THE CHANGING COUNTRYSIDE
The Hartington Area in 1811
About three miles to the East of Hartington in Newhaven the Duke of Devonshire has erected a large, handsome and commodious inn, where travellers may meet with excellent accommodation. The country around this place is very bleak, and was, formerly, an open and barren waste; but a bill of enclosure having been obtained some years ago, it begins to assume a less wild appearance, and several hundred acres are now in a state of cultivation. Many extensive and thriving plantations which have been made, near the inn, will occasion a change in the appearance of this tract, and may cause similar improvements to be effected in the neighbourhood.
There is an annual fair held here for the sale of horses, cattle, sheep, etc., which is normally attended by a great concourse of people. The spot of ground where the booths are erected, and pothouses established for the entertainment of the company, is so broken and diversified as to have the appearance of the site of an ancient encampment.
At a little distance from this place is a lead mine, now not worked, wherein rich specimens of wheat stone, or white ore of lead, have been frequently obtained,
D.P, Davies, A New Historical and Descriptive View of Derbyshire (Belper, 1811), Vol. II, p.499
THE CHANGING COUNTRYSIDE
The Hartington Area in 1789
Returning southward to the Midland part of the county, we may observe considerable improvements begun and carrying on at the extremity of the east moor. There are two very extensive enclosures in the parishes of Matlock and Ashover, including several thousand acres. The fences are made with stone, in some places collected from the surface of the ground, and in other places taken out of pits opened for that purpose, When I was in this part of the country, the enclosure was only lately begun……………………………….. I remarked that the method of preparing the land for tillage was paring and burning it and manuring it afterwards with lime.
At Bradbourne and Hartington a very small quantity of corn is grown. In the latter parish there is a very extensive common, which is apparently susceptible of very great improvement. The soil in most places seems to be good, and is covered with a fine turf. The greatest hindrances to improvement are the coldness of the climate and the scarcity of suitable manure. The quantity of dung is but small which can be spared from the land already enclosed and cultivated, However , there is not the least doubt that, with the assistance of the lime and other kinds of manure that the country affords, very important advantages might be derived from the enclosure of a common, the natural soil of which appears to be so good.
- Pilkington, A View of the Present State of Derbyshire (Derby, 1789), pp.298-299.