Somercotes

Extract from Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, 1895.
Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2012

SOMERCOTES is a large and populous village and parish, formed in 1891 out of the parishes of Alfreton and Riddings, 1½ miles north of Pye Bridge on the Midland railway and Pye Hill station on the Kimberley and Pinxton branch of the Great Northern railway, 2 miles south-east from Alfreton and 130 from London, in the Mid division of the county, Scarsdale hundred, Belper union, Alfreton petty sessional division and county court district, rural deanery of Alfreton, archdeaconry of Derby and diocese of Southwell. The church of St. Thomas, erected in 1852, is an edifice of brick and stone, consisting of chancel and nave: the chancel was built and the east stained window inserted at the sole expense of Thomas Haden Oakes esq. J.P. of Riddings House: there are 350 sittings. The registers are incorporated with those of Riddings and Alfreton.

The living is a curacy, net yearly value £160, in the gift of the Bishop of Southwell, and held since 1894 by the Rev. Charles Russell Dickinson M.A. of Trinity College, Dublin. At Birchwood there is a mission room in connection with the church. Here is a Primitive Methodist chapel, built in 1839, with 250 sittings. There is a Wesleyan Methodist chapel, built in 1860; a Free Methodist chapel at Sleet Moor lane, built in 1867; one at Birchwood, built in 1853 by John Smedley esq. late of Riber Castle, and a third at Lea Brooks; erected in 1859. The Salvation Army hold their services and meetings in a corrugated iron building, erected in 1894, in Sleet Moor lane, and holding about 300 people. A cemetery of about 4 acres, situated at Lea Brooks was opened in 1895, and is managed by a burial board of 8 members, representing the Urban District Council of Riddings, Somercotes and Swanwick Wards: the mortuary chapel is a neat structure of brick with stone facings, in the Gothic style, and was erected at a cost of over £600.

The Working Men's Institute and Club, in Seely terrace, is the property of Col. Seely, and has now (1895) 83 members: there are reading and news rooms, a well-lighted and fitted billiard saloon, with two full-sized tables, and a good library of 517 volumes: lawn tennis, football and cricket clubs are maintained here. A market is held here every Friday evening, and is well attended. Near here are several tramways for the collieries. The Morewood charities for this place are distributed annually from Alfreton, and particulars will be found under that town. The principal landovners are T.H. Oakes esq. J.P., Charles Seely esq. and Charles Rowland Palmer-Morewood esq. D.L., J.P. The land is chiefly in pasture. To the north-east of this village is a district called Birchwood, where are the Birchwood and Cotes Park collieries.
[Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, 1895]

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