Crich, a town no longer, is a large sprawling village lying in a sheltered position in a hollow, on a hillside high up above the Derwent Valley. It is a fascinating, if unusual village. It has a lighthouse, yet is situated in the middle of England, and trams still clank along in a worked-out quarry, far away from the cities they used to serve.
The lighthouse tower, known as Crich Stand, was built shortly after the end of the First World War above a quarry. When it was exhausted the quarry was converted into a tramway museum. Vintage trams run every few minutes along a period street out into open countryside with spectacular countryside views. Behind the façade of the Old Derby Assembly Rooms, is an exhibition hall that houses trams from all over the world and tells the story from horse drawn to electric motor.
Rising above the quarry at a safe distance from the edge, is Crich Stand a 60-foot memorial. It was built in 1923 to commemorate the 11,409 men of the Sherwood Foresters who gave their lives in the First World War 1914-1918. In 1952 it was re-dedicated to the memory of the 1,520 men of the Regiment who died in the Second World War 1939-1945. In 1991 the Memorial was dedicated to Sherwood Foresters killed in service 1945-1970 and those of the present Regiment who have given their lives in service to the country.
It is a landmark that can be seen for miles around and on a bright day it is possible to see Lincoln Cathedral, 50 miles away. This is the third stone built tower on the site and before that there was at least one wooden structure. It stands on a hill that may have been part of the beacon chain that warned of the coming of the Spanish Armada, in 1588.
The 400th Anniversary of the defeat of the Armada was commemorated by the lighting of a beacon; now it is a light powered by electricity that illuminates the sky. The spiral staircase with fifty-eight steps takes the visitor to a viewing gallery, where there are splendid views in all directions. Open all year, there is a short walk available round the site and seating and a car park are provided. A pilgrimage takes place on the first Sunday of July each year for a memorial service.
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Open all year except Wednesdays, there is a short walk available round the site and seating and a car park are also provided. A pilgrimage takes place on the first Sunday of July each year for a memorial service. For further information: Telephone Number 01773 852350.
PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE AREA
Midland Railway Centre, (Tel. 01773 570140) fine heritage railway offering a seven-mile trip through Amber Valley countryside. The Railway Museum containing a unique collection of restored locomotives and rolling stock: the Golden Valley Light Railway, miniature and model railways form only part of the many attractions. Telephone for details. See feature.
Shipley Country Park (Tel 01773 719961) contains over 600 acres of attractive parkland with lakes, woodlands and miles of footpaths and bridleways. There is a Visitor Centre with a countryside gift shop and café. See feature.
Heage Windmill, (Tel. 01773 853579 - when mill closed telephone 01773 853136) a Grade II listed building, is the only working, stone-towered, multi-sailed windmill in England. Spectacular views across the Derwent Valley. Visitor Centre and shop. Light refreshments. Normally open: Saturday and Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays from Easter to the end of October. See feature.
THE DISCOVER DERBYSHIRE AND THE PEAK DISTRICT GUIDE
Provides a wide range of features with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.
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