Clay Cross is a town and a civil parish in the North East Derbyshire district of Derbyshire, England. It is a former industrial and mining town, about 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Chesterfield. It is directly on the A61, the former Roman road Ryknield Street. Surrounding settlements include North Wingfield, Tupton, Pilsley and Ashover.
Clocktower and adult education centre
Clay Cross parish highlighted within Derbyshire
|Population||9,222 (civil parish, 2011)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East Midlands|
The High Street was built over a pre-dating Roman road, that may have been called Rykneild street, where a tollhouse (1786-1876) was situated. The discovery of coal in the area, introduced the village to the Industrial Revolution. Packhorses at first transported the 'blackgold' over the Peaks on a turnpike road opened in 1756 between the iron foundries of Derby and Sheffield. Until the early 19th century, Clay Cross was a small village known as Clay Lane, but increasing demand for coal and other minerals trebled the population by 1840, the oldest building being the George and Dragon Inn. While driving the tunnel for the North Midland Railway, George Stephenson discovered both coal and iron, which together with the demand for limestone, caused him to move into Tapton Hall, near Chesterfield, and set up business as George Stephenson and Co.
A map of 1833 showed Thanet Street and Clay Lane. The railway 'mania' of 1840s witnessed expansion northwards facilitated by the Clay Cross tunnel dug in 1837-38. Whilst tunnelling over a mile underground they discovered vast quantities of commercial grade coal. Clay Cross became a boom town. The 'Liverpool Party' of Stephenson engineers formed the Clay Cross Company in 1839 which they funded from their considerable resources. As well as sinking a number of shafts with colliery support, there were coke oven works, brickworks, limeworks, irons furnaces and foundry. The ductile pipe was developed into an internationally sold product, making Clay Cross renowned for its iron and coal industry worldwide. Although the company had been formed to mine coal and manufacture coke from the railway, the supplies from Durham were preferred, and the works turned to iron working and brick making. When Stephenson died in 1848 his son, Robert, took over, leaving the company in 1852 when it became formally known by the name of the Clay Cross Company. In 1871 the Jackson family acquired 100% of the stocks and shares. They continued as owners until 1974. For many years, the company was the town's major employer. In 1985 Biwater took it over. In December 2000 Biwater sold the site to French company, Saint-Gobain. Some months later, it was closed down with the loss of around 750 jobs. Demolition of the vast Biwater site began in late 2008, and new houses and shops are appearing in the town.
In 1925 the Ashover Light Railway was opened to transport minerals from the quarries at Ashover Butts to the Clay Cross Company at Egstow. The passenger services on the narrow gauge line were closed in 1936 and the mineral traffic ceased in 1950.
In 1840 the Stephensons built Eldon House as its office headquarters, which latterly was converted into a private dwelling-house. The Stephensons also built more than 400 miners' cottages. In addition they set up elementary schools and consecrated new churches. The company provided the town with almost all its energy needs in gas and electricity.
The largest house Clay Cross Hall was built in 1845 for the company's General Manager Charles Binns. Stephenson's workers' houses were of high quality for their time, having four rooms compared to the normal two. By 1850 there were three chapels, a church and an institute - but no constable. On such construction of 1847 was the Wesleyan Chapel in use at least until 1900 on Holmgate Road. They also provided a company bowling green with a clubhouse. A Mechanics Institute was opened which was handed over to the Clay Lane Urban Districts School Board in 1893. The Board's Senior School for Boys was opened in 1884, converted to a junior school in the 1930s and still teaches in 2015. During the late Victorian era middle class villa style houses were also built in a new part of the town.
Colliery owner Thomas Houldsworth, also a churchwarden for 25 years, built Alma House which stood in extensive parklands. The house was surrounded by railings and flat roof of indeterminate date. He was responsible developer of Clay Cross pits until 1850, and then the Alma Colliery in North Wingfield, after the Crimean War.
Springfield House was built by the Clay Cross Company for engineer William Howe by the company. He was the resident from 1866 until his death in 1872. An even earlier event was Hill House built by 1833 it was purchased by the North Midland Railway Company in 1837 as an office for resident engineer Frederick Swanwick.
When the tunnel was completed, Swanwick left town, but the house was passed to engineers James Campbell and William Howe, and by the 1860s, Dr. Wilson, the local medical practitioner was in residence.
The North Midland Railway tunnel sank nine ventilator shafts through which smoke wafted across the Peaks. Clay Cross is situated at the highest point on the line 361 feet above sea level, when it opened in 1840. A narrow gauge line transported coal up the incline to the works. Another mile north along the 'Black Path' was Clay Cross railway station, between the halts at Tupton and Hepthorne Lane.
The Anglican church of St Bartholomew had been built and consecrated in 1851. Six years later a spire was added. The Rev. Joseph Oldham and his wife, Emma were the first conscientious incumbents. Her brother was radical designer and founder of the Arts and Crafts movement, William Morris. Morris was commissioned to install a saintly stained glass window.
Other places of worship in Clay Cross are:
Parkhouse Colliery Memorial in Danesmoor Cemetery stands today as testament to a disaster. In November 1882 an underground explosion brought the collapse of the pit shaft causing the death of 45 men and boys. Many of their families lived in company housing at Pleasant Row, Chapel Row, Cellar Row and Gaffers Row. Also known as Egstow Terrace, this last street was built in 1846, was considered of better average quality housing.
The Clay Cross Pioneer Industrial Co-operative Society's first shop was opened on the corner of the High Street and Market Street. It was an early member of the Co-operative Movement founded in Rochdale by John Bright that spread rapidly across the North of England. The Co-operative Society archives say that the Clay Cross Pioneer Industrial Society merged with the Chesterfield & District Co-operative Society in 1915.
The town was an urban district until 1974, when it was merged into the North East Derbyshire district under the Local Government Act 1972. In the 1970s the council achieved brief notoriety due to its refusal to implement the Housing Finance Act 1972 in increasing the rents of council housing: by law the rents should have increased by £1 a week from October 1972. The council was one of several to show defiance against the Act and of three to be ordered to comply by the Department of the Environment in November 1972 (the others being Eccles and Halstead). Clay Cross UDC was threatened with an audit in December 1972. The constituency Labour party barred the eleven councillors from its list of approved candidates. The District Auditor ordered the eleven Labour Party councillors to pay a surcharge of £635 each in January 1973, finding them 'guilty of negligence and misconduct'. Conisbrough UDC faced a similar audit on 19 January 1973.
The UDC made an appeal in the case to the High Court. Clydebank and Cumbernauld abandoned similar actions in March 1973. The surcharge was upheld by the High Court on 30 July 1973, which also added a further £2,000 legal costs to their bill, as well as barring them from public office for five years. The council further defied authority (the Pay Board) in August, when they decided to increase council workers' earnings. This provoked a further dispute with NALGO. Ultimately, the dispute became moot with the replacement of Clay Cross Urban District Council with the North East Derbyshire District Council from 1 April 1974. The councillors were made bankrupt in 1975.
A book on the dispute between the council and the government, The Story of Clay Cross, was written by one of the councillors, David Skinner and the journalist Julia Langdon. The book was published by Spokesman Books in 1974.
Clay Cross has a large modern business park called Coney Green Business Park and is located between Egstow and Danesmoor. There is a community hospital on the A6175 Market Street. Danesmoor Industrial Estate close to the former site of the Parkhouse Colliery. The town's library is on Holmgate Road. Clay Cross town centre is currently undergoing a £22m redevelopment which has so far included a new supermarket, new bus station and new relief road. The second phase of this is due to start which will see a new parade of shops plus a new medical centre. Eventually the site of the former junior and infant schools which is located in the town centre will be redeveloped. M1 junction 29 is 5 miles away. Nearest railway stations are Chesterfield (6 miles) and Alfreton (Clay Cross railway station closed under the Beeching Axe). In 2017, a Stagecoach bus connecting Clay Cross to Chesterfield Railway Station was introduced. A passenger railway line runs in a tunnel under the town without stopping. In 2009 ATOC (Train Operators) announced proposals for reopening a station on the edge of town, to be called 'Clay Cross and North Wingfield'.
Tupton Hall School is in Tupton and located about one mile to the north of Clay Cross. Previously Clay Cross had a secondary school located in Market Street, and a junior school located off High Street. The junior and infant schools were merged and moved to a new purpose built complex on Pilsley Road Danesmoor and renamed Sharley Park Community Primary School. The site of the former schools has been cleared and is awaiting development. The secondary school was closed in 1969 and transferred to Tupton Hall as part of the Government's drive to comprehensive education, it is now one of the largest with around 2,000 pupils, including a sixth form centre. Clay Cross Secondary School was converted to an adult education centre.
Sharley Park Leisure Centre, on the A6175, Market Street, has swimming, gym and sports hall facilities.
Clay Cross Chess Club has thrived in the town since 1977. It holds weekly club nights and is a constituent member of both Sheffield & District Chess Association and Derbyshire Chess Association, entering teams in the leagues of both. New members - beginners and grandmasters alike - are welcome.
Five football clubs from the town, all now extinct, have competed in the FA Cup over the years -
In the 2011 census, Clay Cross was 97.7% White, 1.1% Asian, 0.8% Mixed (multiple), and 0.2% Black. 
The Clay Cross by-election of 1933 was held on 1 September 1933. The by-election was held due to the death of the incumbent Labour MP, Charles Duncan.Unusually, the Constituency Labour Party asked for nominations for the vacancy, and published the list: Percy Barstow of the National Union of Railwaymen, former leader of the party Arthur Henderson, Samuel Sales of the Derbyshire Miners' Association, and Ben Smith, former Member of Parliament for Rotherhithe. Henderson was chosen as the party's candidate, and H. Drinkwater acted as his election agent.Henderson easily won the election.1936 Clay Cross by-election
The Clay Cross by-election of 1936 was held on 5 November 1936. The by-election was held due to the death of the incumbent Labour MP, Alfred Holland. It was retained by the Labour candidate George Ridley.1944 Clay Cross by-election
The Clay Cross by-election of 1944 was held on 14 April 1944. The byelection was held due to the death of the incumbent Labour MP, George Ridley. It was won by the Labour candidate Harold Neal.D. Craven Griffiths, a Liberal who worked for the civil service wanted to stand in the by-election. The President of the Board of Trade refused him permission for a leave of absence to fight a campaign.2017 Derbyshire County Council election
An election to Derbyshire County Council took place on 4 May 2017 as part of the 2017 United Kingdom local elections. 64 councillors were elected from 61 electoral divisions which returned either one or two county councillors each by first-past-the-post voting for a four-year term of office. No elections were held in the City of Derby, which is a unitary authority outside the area covered by the County Council. The Conservative Party won back control of the council, taking thirty-seven of the authority's sixty-four seats.
All locally registered electors (British, Irish, Commonwealth and European Union citizens) who were aged 18 or over on Thursday 4 May 2017 were entitled to vote in the local elections. Those who were temporarily away from their ordinary address (for example, away working, on holiday, in student accommodation or in hospital) were also entitled to vote in the local elections, although those who had moved abroad and registered as overseas electors cannot vote in the local elections. It is possible to register to vote at more than one address (such as a university student who had a term-time address and lives at home during holidays) at the discretion of the local Electoral Register Office, but it remains an offence to vote more than once in the same local government election.A61 road
The A61 is a major trunk road in England connecting Derby and Thirsk in North Yorkshire by way of Alfreton, Clay Cross, Chesterfield, Sheffield, Barnsley, Wakefield, Leeds, Harrogate and Ripon. The road is closely paralleled by the M1 motorway between Derby and Leeds.Ashover Light Railway
The Ashover Light Railway was a 1 ft 11 1⁄2 in (597 mm) narrow gauge railway in Derbyshire, England that connected Clay Cross and Ashover. It was built by the Clay Cross Company to transport minerals such as limestone, fluorite, barytes and gritstone to its works at Clay Cross and for transport around the country by the LMS.Clay Cross (UK Parliament constituency)
Clay Cross was a county constituency centred on the village of Clay Cross in north-east Derbyshire. It returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, elected by the first past the post system.
The constituency was created for the 1918 general election, and abolished for the 1950 general election.Clay Cross (athlete)
Clay Cross (born 26 November 1977 in Sydney) is an Australian shot putter. He won the Australian championships in 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2005.
His personal best is 19.42 metres, achieved in June 2004. This result makes him the all-time number one for New South Wales.
His brother Ryan Cross is a notable rugby league/rugby union player, and his father Paul played rugby league in the 1966 Grand Final.Clay Cross Town F.C.
Clay Cross Town Football Club is an English football club based in Clay Cross, Derbyshire. The club plays in the Central Midlands League South Division.Clay Cross Tunnel
Clay Cross Tunnel is a 1,784 yards (1,631 m) tunnel on the former North Midland Railway line near Clay Cross in Derbyshire, England, now part of the Midland Main Line.Clay Cross railway station
Clay Cross railway station was a railway station built by the North Midland Railway in 1840. It served the town of Clay Cross in Derbyshire, England.
It was originally planned to have been built within the Clay Cross Tunnel, however it was clear that it would be impossible to ventilate it effectively, so instead it was built at the northern entrance - nearer to Tupton.
The original station was the usual Francis Thompson Italianate design. In 1879 the line from Trent Junction was built through the Erewash Valley meeting the North Midland at the station, which had platforms serving two passenger lines, with two goods lines passing to the east, which continued the whole way down the Erewash Valley. The station was rebuilt in the Midland Railway style and, at some time, it was enlarged to serve four tracks, with two outer platforms and an island platform in the middle.
The station closed in 1967. There are no visible remains.
North of Clay Cross, there developed very busy Coal sidings, particularly those serving the Avenue Coal Carbonisation Plant. A locomotive shed was built at Hasland in 1861 with at one time as many as sixty engines. In the 1960s it supported sixteen Garratt 2-6-0+0-6-2 locomotives used for the coal traffic from Yorkshire.
The next station northwards was at Chesterfield.Dennis Skinner
Dennis Edward Skinner (born 11 February 1932) is a British politician of the Labour Party serving as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolsover since 1970. Skinner became the longest continuously serving Labour MP on 16 December 2017. He was Chairman of the Labour Party for one year from 1988 to 1989 and served as a member of Labour's National Executive Committee, with brief breaks, for thirty years.He is known for his left-wing views and is considered by some to have an acerbic wit. He is a member of the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs.Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service
Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service is the statutory fire and rescue service for the county of Derbyshire, England.Midland Main Line
The Midland Main Line is a major railway line in England from London to Sheffield in the north of England. The line is under the Network Rail description of Route 19; it comprises the lines from London's St Pancras station via Leicester, Derby/Nottingham and Chesterfield in the East Midlands.
Express passenger services on the line are operated by East Midlands Trains. The section between St Pancras and Bedford is electrified and forms the northern half of Thameslink, with a semi-fast service to Brighton and other suburban services.
A northern part of the route, between Derby and Chesterfield, also forms part of the Cross Country Route operated by CrossCountry. Tracks from Nottingham to Leeds via Barnsley and Sheffield are shared with Northern. East Midlands Local also operates regional and local services using parts of the line.North East Derbyshire
North East Derbyshire is a local government district in Derbyshire, England. It borders the districts of Chesterfield, Bolsover, Amber Valley and Derbyshire Dales in Derbyshire, and Sheffield and Rotherham in South Yorkshire. The population of the council as taken at the 2011 Census was 99,023. The district council is now a non-constituent partner member of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority.
The council's head office was originally based outside the district, in the town of Chesterfield, which the district surrounds on three sides, and thus acts as the shopping and work centre for much of the district. However the council relocated to District Council Offices, Mill Lane, Wingerworth, within its own administrative area, in April 2015.
Settlements in the district include:
Arkwright Town and Ashover
Calow and Clay Cross
Holmesfield, Holymoorside and Holmewood
Renishaw and Ridgeway
Shirland, Spinkhill and Stonebroom
WingerworthThe district was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. It was a merger of the Clay Cross and Dronfield urban districts along with all but one parish of Chesterfield Rural District.River Amber
The River Amber is a left bank tributary of the River Derwent in Derbyshire, England.
It gives its name to the local government district and borough of Amber Valley.The name Amber is a pre-Celtic word with uncertain meaning.Stagecoach in Chesterfield
Stagecoach in Chesterfield is the sector of the Stagecoach Group that operates buses in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England.
They currently carry more than eight million passengers per year, experiencing a year on year passenger increase of around 10% in recent years. Operating 119 buses and employing up to 320 employees within Chesterfield, Stagecoach is one of the largest bus operators in the UK.As well as within Chesterfield and its boroughs, the company also run certain buses to Bolsover, Clay Cross, Alfreton, Matlock, Dronfield, Sheffield, and Eckington. They also operate a Pronto service between Chesterfield, Mansfield and Nottingham in partnership with Stagecoach in Mansfield and Trent Barton.
To assist the elderly and disabled, many routes have low-floor buses.
On 3 May 2005 Stagecoach opened a new coach station in Chesterfield (on the site of the old one) for their express routes, and also for National Express services.
Although most routes operate all week, some do not operate on Sundays, and some only operate on Sundays. On bank holidays, a Sunday service is in operation.Stretton railway station
Stretton railway station was a railway station at Stretton, Derbyshire, England built by the North Midland Railway.
Stretton station was first opened in 1841 as Smithy Moor, a year after the line opened, but renamed in 1843. It is also called "Shelton" in the Railway Guide.It was situated at the Derbyshire summit and the highest point of the line, after the stations at Ambergate and Wingfield, and just before the Clay Cross Tunnel.
A station on the Ashover Light Railway (1 ft 11 1⁄2 in (597 mm) narrow gauge) from Ashover to Clay Cross was built adjoining it, and its passenger services were timed to connect with those on the North Midland.
This was mainly used to carry limestone and fluorspar to the Clay Cross Company works, but also supplied around 400 tons of ballast per week to the railway until the quarry closed in 1950.The station closed on 11 September 1961. There are no visible remains.Tupton
Tupton is a village and civil parish in North East Derbyshire, Derbyshire, England, 4.5 miles (7 km) south of Chesterfield. The population of the civil parish including Egstow and Old Tupton was at the 2011 Census 3,428. It lies just north of Clay Cross on the A61 (Derby Road) which runs from Chesterfield to Alfreton. It comprises the areas of Old Tupton and New Tupton. However, it is generally referred to as Tupton. A similarly named area, Tapton, is a few miles away, being part of Chesterfield.
The village has a primary school, and a secondary school with a sixth form. Tupton also has two general stores, post office, hair dresser, tanning studio, building supplies, tyre services, multiple garages, car repair centres, preschool nursery, two pubs, one club, a fish and chip shop, a nursing home, a coffee house and a pharmacy.
Other settlements near the village are Wingerworth, Grassmoor and North Wingfield.
A carnival called the Tupton Carnival is a yearly event held on a Saturday in July, this was first started in 2003 and has grown in size and attendance as the years have gone on. A young lady is elected Carnival Queen and travels through the village attended by the carnival princes and princesses and followed by a procession of floats, bands and fancy dress participants. This parade ends on the Primary school field where an afternoon of fun, and live music is set up, with stalls, displays by local groups and various competitions.
Tupton has also seen new development around Ankerbold Road, which runs on the outer edge of the village, close to North Wingfield. A large, new, modern housing estate has been built around the Pond Lane proximity, as well as modern housing to the south. Tupton also has the Midland Main Line passing straight through it. At the bottom of Station New Road, there is a bridge passing over the track into North Wingfield, this was the location of Clay Cross railway station.
It is also known that Tupton has been a settlement since way back in the Anglo-Saxon times, as the historic Ryknield Street runs directly through the village. The locality was formerly known as "Topetune" and "Tuphome." Tupton is shown on the C. Smith New Map of Great Britain and Ireland in 1806 and on the first Ordnance Survey maps, Tupton Moor, Tupton Over Wood and Tupton Hall are shown.
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