Mapperley in Derbyshire is a remarkably compact village, housing some 400 people, within sharply defined edges. It is situated off the Derby to Ilkeston route, on a u shaped road that goes nowhere else except from High Lane to a different part of High Lane, apart from the narrow approach to Shipley Park. It has no passing traffic.
Mapperley has all the essential village requirements, a primary school, a post office cum newsagent cum general shop, an occasional bus service and a pub called the Black Horse which became locally famous around the turn of the century not only because it was kept by a Mr Beer but also because he generated his own 5 candle power electricity on the premises even before Ilkeston had electricity.
Although Mapperley is an agricultural village with half a dozen working farms, it is only within the last 20 years or so that it has looked out on a landscape devoid of industry.
A furrow about a mile and half wide and 3 miles long between Mapperley and High Lane was intensively worked over for coal and ironstone in the 18th and 19th century and at a far shallower level, for 2 or 3 centuries before that. The pits were worked mainly by local landowners like the Hunlokes at Wingerworth and West Hallam, and the Drury Lowes of Locko near Derby. Later they sometimes leased the pits to industrialists from the Black Country who founded the West Hallam Ironworks and kept the last of their shallow pits working until well into the 20th century.
The output of these mines was restricted by poor drainage and by inadequate communications which confined sales to the immediate locality. The first problem was eased by using more powerful pumping engines as they became available. The second, gradually, by turnpike roads, mineral tramways which criss crossed the trough, many of them leading to Nutbrook Canal when this was opened as an independent branch of the Erewash Canal in the 1790's, and eventually by the arrival in the 1840's of the Midland Railway Erewash Valley line, from which a branch ultimately ran direct to Mapperley Colliery.
The Church of the Holy Trinity can be seen as you enter the village on the right at the top of the hill. It was erected in 1851, but was badly affected by subsidence from the mines and closed for rebuilding in 1964. The modern new church was reopened in April 1966, much use being made of plain glass in the western gable, and in the north windows, which command a fine view to the south. Opposite the church, are the village stocks.
A History dvd of Mapperley village is available from