A story of rural country folk

View of Palterton in 1910

For such a small village, it is suprising how much information has been discovered about Palterton and most certainly there is still more to be revealed.  My research is an ongoing project and all the pages on the site will be regularly updated.

In presenting my research into the history of Palterton, I decided to separate it into particular periods.  Consequently, the early history covers the period from 1002 to around 1700 and the later history from that time to around the 1900.

The history of the village from that time is covered on other pages under various headings.

It is inevitable that some periods will overlap.

I have avoided describing the hierarchy of status within the village though always it had a master and each person knew his or her place and duties.

The main priority was to farm the surrounding fields and in medieval times the land was divided between hay meadow, common pasture, woodland, ploughland and small units such as orchards and paddocks.  There were also small pieces of land attached to the peasant huts where small livestock and vegetables could be raised.

The typical peasant family would live in a ramshackle home that was dark, cramped and must have been overcrowded.

Life would have changed for some villagers in 1726 when the first Enclosure Act in Derbyshire was made law.  This was a first for the villagers of Palterton and Scarcliffe.

A farming scene in Palterton c.1930

Greater changes occurred around 1890, with the arrival of miners to the village from other parts of Derbyshire and Staffordshire.

The landscape to the south west and west of Palterton changed dramatically with the arrival of the deep mining at Glapwell, Ramcroft, Bolsover and Markham collieries.  The landscape was scarred by the spoil heaps ("pit tips").  Today, the countryside adjacent to Palterton, shows very little evidence of their previous existence.  Even the 1960's opencast mining operation that took place in the valley in Sutton Scarsdale, shows no trace except for the fields now being much larger and the absence of hedgerows.

With the closure of the local collieries, the village of Palterton, with a close knit community at that time, like many other villages, suffered economic hardship but it did not decay.

A welcome from Palterton c.1920

We have to remember that a village like Palterton will only flourish when conditions are right and will swiftly perish when the special circumstances which fostered it are removed.

What of the future for Palterton?  Most certainly it will survive and flourish.  It has changed and will continue to change.  The desire for country life will continue to sustain and revitalise the village but at what price?  Will community spirit be lost or will it flourish? Only time and the future history of Palterton will tell!

A story of rural country folk

Email: ronald.richards3@ntlworld.com

Home Page: http://www.richardsbygonetimes.co.uk/

Created 2 December 2001
Last updated: 29 December 2015.