A Brief History of Quarndon
There was a settlement in Quarndon by the 9th century. Its name is said to be derived from two Old English words: cwoern, meaning 'quern' - a handmill for grinding corn - and dun meaning 'hill'. Other theories are that 'Quarn' is derived from (a) gwaun, meaning 'down' or 'moor', or (b) a local tribe known as the Cornovii.
QUARNDON'S FORMER WATER MILL
The site of this can be approached by crossing the stile at the bottom of Old Vicarage Lane. The Mill Pond would have been to the south of the field, fed from the confluence of two streams. Because of the shallowness of the water, the Mill was probably powered by an 'undershot' wheel, where the water struck it from the bottom instead of the top. The Mill may have fallen into disuse following the Black Death of 1348-51.
QUARNDON'S NORMAN CHAPEL
Only the ivy-covered bell-tower remains of this former place of worship, at the southern end of the village. After it was enlarged in 1835, it could accommodate a congregation of between 250 and 300. Quarndon didn't become a separate parish until 1736 and the Chapel Churchyard wasn't consecrated for burials until 1821. The Nave and Chancel - including a Norman doorway - were demolished when the Chapel was closed in 1874.
BURLEY HILL POTTERY
This was discovered in 1862 on the south-east side of Burley Lane. It had produced pottery between 1250 and 1375. Decoration took the form of clay pods modelled into leaves, flowers, buckles, human faces, thumb 'pie-crusting' and horseshoes. (See examples in Derby Museum.) In 1942, the site was used for testing the Cromwell Tank - hence, when a second excavation took place in 1957, many of the fragments were unusually small!
It's said that, in times of emergency - eg, the Spanish Armada, the Napoleonic threats and 19th century famine riots - a cannon was wheeled out from Kedleston Hall to this vantage-point.
THE CHALYBEATE SPRING
Before Matlock and Harrogate became celebrated watering-places, the iron-impregnated water which once flowed from the lion's head pourer at the left hand bottom corner of this crenulated structure attracted spa visitors from far and wide. By the mid-17th century, Quarndon's water was well-known for its "specific in Coughs, Asthma, Consumption & Spitting of Blood". It was also believed to ward off the plague. During the Commonwealth of 1649-60, Presbyterian sermons were preached from its battlements on Sunday afternoons - often lasting two or three hours! In 1727, it was visited by Daniel Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe. A series of late-19th and mid-20th century earth tremors stemmed its flow.
THE JOINERS' ARMS
The name of this 17th century inn presumably originated with the craftsmen who slaked their thirst here during the building of Kedleston Hall in the 1760s. In the 19th century, The Joiners' became the industrial hub of the village, when wheelwrights, blacksmiths, joiners, undertakers, builders and painters and decorators occupied workshops in its grounds. In 1996, a red-brick extension, housing a function room, was added to the north of the building.
Before the enclosure of land in the early 19th century, much of the countryside was unfenced, or inadequately so. As a consequence, animals could stray and cause considerable damage. The Village Pinder, or Pounder, would round up the offending animals and impound them in a Pinfold - from which they would only be released on payment of a fine by the owner. No. 226 Burley Lane is the site of Quarndon's former Pinfold and Cottage. The Pinfold Wall remains, but the Cottage has been rebuilt.
THE KEDLESTON HOTEL
This former 'posting house and coaching inn' stands on a turnpike which had been relocated by Sir Nathaniel Curzon (later 1st Baron Scarsdale) in 1760. Originally called 'The New Inn', it's believed have been designed by Robert Adam while he was building Kedleston Hall.
THE CURZON CHURCH OF ENGLAND (VOLUNTARY AIDED) PRIMARY SCHOOL
This was founded by the Rev'd Alfred Curzon, 4th Baron Scarsdale, in 1859. When it was replaced by a 'method-construction' building in 1967, the School House was left standing and is now a tenanted property as part of the Kedleston Estate.
THE FORMER WESLEYAN CHAPEL
This was built in 1859 and closed in 1948, when it was converted into The Quarndon Stores (later The Quarndon Stores & Post Office). In 1997 it became a private house.
THE BLACK COTTAGE
The 4.5-inch walls of No. 2 Woodlands Lane were pitched to protect them from damp and rain. In the early part of the 20th century, sweets, parkin (moist, spicy ginger-cake) and cigarettes were sold from a shed in the garden. Hikers' billycans were also replenished. A red-brick extension was added in 1993.
ST PAUL'S CHURCH
This was completed in 1874 at a cost of just over £4,000. The land - together with a contribution of £1,000 - was donated by the Rev'd Alfred Curzon, 4th Baron Scarsdale. The rest was raised by "villagers and their neighbours and friends". At the four corners of the base of the spire, carved heads represent the four Evangelists: St Matthew (Man), St Mark (Lion), St Luke (Ox), St John (Eagle). The skeleton clock was installed in 1897 to mark Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
QUARNDON CRICKET CLUB
Winners, Whitbread Village Cricket Trophy at Lord's, 28th August, 1983. This is commemorated by a weathervane, paid for by public subscription and designed to combine the Old Father Time weathervane at Lord's with the Whitbread Trophy. Quarndon were 1st Division County League Champions in 1993 and three times winners of the Derbyshire Building Society Silver Link Trophy. The senior section of the Club boasts a 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th XI. It also has 150 junior members who participate in local leagues at under-17, under-15, under-13 and under-11 age-groups. A second (adjacent) ground was acquired in 2007.
QUARNDON VILLAGE HALL
Known originally as the 'Parish Hall', later as 'The Institute' and, until the end of the 20th century, as 'The Church Hall', this was built by the Curzon family (assisted with funds raised by village efforts) and opened on 9th May, 1914 - three months before the outbreak of the First World War. In 1965, the Hall was extended with an augmented stage. It was extended again in 2004 to provide better storage space, improved kitchen and WC facilities and an internal staircase.
THE "GREAT SALE"
In 1931, a large quantity of land in Quarndon and its environs was sold to pay the death duties of George Nathaniel, Marquess Curzon, and 1st Viscount Scarsdale (former Viceroy of India and later Foreign Secretary), who had died in 1925.
Until the end of the Second World war, Quarndon was mainly an agricultural village, though stocking-making also featured in its industrial history.
BEST KEPT VILLAGE COMPETITION
Quarndon was voted Best Kept (medium-sized) Derbyshire Village in 1976, 1977, 1986 and 1991. It was outright Best Kept Derbyshire Village in 1992.
THE MILLENNIUM TOPOGRAPH ON BUNKERS HILL
This directional compass, providing details of bearings, distances, elevations and dates of nearly 50 places of special interest, was unveiled on 29th September, 2001. It stands on an 8-ton block of Derbyshire gritstone - 420 feet above sea level - in memory of Francis, 3rd Viscount Scarsdale.
THE MILLENNIUM HUMAN SUNDIAL
You will find this on Church Road, outside the Senior Citizens' Bungalows. If you stand with your heel on the line under the current month, your shadow will tell you British Summer Time.
POPULATION & HOUSING
Quarndon has a population of 903. Since the boundary changes of 1984, 32 houses have been built in the village - including the Sulley's Field and Somme Road developments - bringing the current total to 379.
LOCAL, NATIONAL & EUROPEAN GOVERNMENT
Quarndon has a Parish Council of nine members. It is in the South West Parishes Ward of Amber Valley Borough Council, the Duffield Division of Derbyshire County Council, the West Derbyshire Constituency of the British Parliament and the East Midlands Constituency of the European Parliament.