title banner for Derbyshire UK - Derbyshire and Peak District GuideHulland Ward in Derbyshire



Hulland Ward is situated 4 miles east of Ashbourne and lying partly on the A517 Ashbourne to Belper road, Hulland Ward is really the centre of a number of small hamlets such as Hulland, Hulland Moss, Upper and Nether Biggin, Biggin Mill and Millington Green.

Nine centuries or so ago a vast tract of land, including that on which Hulland Ward now stands, was the Royal Duffield Forest or Frith. Here in 1372 came John of Gaunt to hunt as did also Kings Edward I and III and King Henry IV. And in Dog Lanes the hunting dogs of the forest were kept. Even today older folk remember Hulland Ward as Wardgate possibly Woodgate - one of the gates into the forest.

The old packhorse road between Manchester and London ran along the ridge here and this was the route used by Bonnie Prince Charlie on his way to Derby in 1745.

But Hulland, or Hoillant as it was called in the Domesday Book, really began on low lying land south of the ridge road where, in 1485, a chantry chapel was founded by John Bradbourne and his wife Anne. The moated mound where their manor house stood can still be seen in the meadows close to the two remaining medieval fish ponds. It is said the house was destroyed in the Civil War, and much of the stone used to build the `Old Hall' on higher ground just south of the ridge road at what is now Hulland.

Here also are to be found the Primitive Methodist chapel and the newer Hulland Hall, a red brick house built in 1777. Christ church, in the Diocese of Derby, was built in 1838 by John Mason of Derby and stands on the highest point of the area. Until 1853 Hulland formed an outlying chapelry of Ashbourne. In 1863 a school was built next to the church. Meanwhile Hulland Ward had become the main village.

The main occupation in the area has been mixed farming and in years gone by several small businesses flourished. Among them were a milliner's and draper's, a saddler, two butchers, a joiner and wheelwright, shoe repairer, threshing machine proprietor and two blacksmiths (the last of which closed less than 30 years ago) and, in the 1930s, Hulland Gravel Works opened. The whole area is criss-crossed by numerous footpaths which, in the past, were in constant use by all. In the 1940s an old lady of 90 said these paths were very necessary in her childhood, when the narrow winding lanes were dangerous for walking due to the heavy- laden packhorses going to and from the water mill. This is now a private house, the weir gone and the mill pond silted up. Biggin House at Nether Biggin was built in the reign of Queen Anne. Opposite stood a medieval chapel attached to St Oswald's church, Ashbourne.

Many wells were in use in this area until 1953 when piped water was brought. Two wells on higher ground gave water containing iron. Two lower down, both in woodland, gave sulphur water. One of these was buried in a landslide following tree felling in the Second World War. The other, still used, has never been known to run dry or freeze. It steams in frosty weather. Tea made from it is strong and of very good flavour so the wartime ration went a long way.

In 1990 there was a general store, garden shop, saddlery and post office. There are two garages, a cabinet maker, a doctors' surgery and two public houses. Hulland Gravel has become English China Clay and, covering a huge area, is one of the biggest concrete works in the country. Twenty eight council houses were built at Hulland Ward in 1950, and 15 years later a large housing estate and modern primary school on the north side of the main road, thus increasing the population to around 1,000.

The resident population of Hulland in mid 1998 was 2100 people, 3 per cent of the population of Derbyshire Dales local authority. 16 percent of Hullandís population in mid 1998 were aged under 16, 61 per cent were aged between 16 and 59 and 23 per cent were aged 60 and over.

nags head Pub in Hulland Ward
Nags Head pub

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