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Grassmoor

Grassmoor is situated three miles south of Chesterfield in North Der- byshire, off the B6038 road. Originally the name, according to parish records in 1568, was Gresmore, the origin of the name being 'Grey Copse'.

Until the colliery closed in 1970, the main employment in the village was coal mining with about 90% of the men working at the Grassmoor Colliery. The first shaft was sunk in 1846 and officially opened in 1880 by Mr Barnes. An explosion occurred on the 19th November, 1933 when a number of local men lost their lives.

In 1935 the coke oven by-product plant was built by a firm called Simon Carves which brought more employment to the village and also the coking plant at Wingerworth, which replaced the old coke ovens in the 1950s. Before the closure of the colliery, a training centre was opened in 1972 with recreational facilities. Most of the young boys going into Grassmoor Colliery and other mines in the area were trained there.

Two rows of houses were built for colliery workers, the longest named East Street, but commonly called 'Sluggards Row' because the miners living in these houses, although they were nearest the colliery, were always the last to arrive. The second row named Grasshill was for colliery officials and was known as 'Four Bob', the reason being that the rent was only four shillings per week.

Barnes Park, so named after Mr Barnes, the colliery owner, was opened in 1920. At that time there were tennis courts, bowling green, football field, cricket field and swings for children. The tennis courts and bowling green are no more, but the cricket, football field and swings still survive and are used frequently.

There are three public houses and a Working Men's Club and Institute. The oldest of the pubs, situated at the far end of the village, is called the Boot and Shoe, but commonly known as the 'Slipper'. This is situated on the corner of the Main Road and the west side of Birkin Lane. On this side, still visible, a window has been bricked up. This window was used in earlier years as a turnpike and a toll had to be paid for transport passing through.

The cinema which was also at the far end of the village, was opened in 1936 and was called The Electric Theatre. This was later known as the Roxy, but like so many buildings this has 'bitten the dust' and in its place there is now a garage and forecourt. Another cinema in the village situated at the top of New Street, was first turned into a billiard hall (named the Drum) and then into a betting shop. This has also now been demolished. Before it was a cinema, it was the Grassmoor Primitive Methodist Church, opened in 1879 to replace a small Chapel built in 1877 which had become too small. When the existing building was opened in 1899 (see below), the old building continued to be used as a Sunday School, and leased to the Day School Authorities for use as a school. It was sold in 1913 to the Corporation Theatre Company Ltd, for use as a cinema.

The Grassmoor Country Park on the old colliery site is very pleasant and the start of an interesting walk called the Five Pits Trail takes you along all the old colliery sites in the area. Running between Grassmoor and Tibshelf, with 8 miles of traffic free walking and cycling, it has many picnic sites on the way . Astwith Walk, Pilsley Walk and the Tibshelf Town trail all connect with this trail.

Grassmoor Methodist Church, sited literally in the centre of the village, was opened on 14th January 1899, and is still open for worship, baptisms, weddings, funerals and other activities. A new Sunday School building was opened in 1914, on land adjacent to the existing church building, and was sold to the Parish Council in 1974 for use as a Parish Hall. This has recently been magnificently refurbished and reopened as the Grassmoor Community Hall.There is also a wide variety of shops which cater for most needs.

The building programme in Grassmoor has developed rapidly over the last 25 years.

See also
Grassmoor Country Park
Chestertfield

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