Ever since I found out that I had family that lived in Thurgoland over 100 years ago, I have been trying to find out as much as I can. Some of this information I have come across quite naturally and accidentally, like finding 3rd great grandfather Giles Button’s house when I was out walking with Sam. Or finding information about the wire mills while lunching in the pub. I have recently found out that a relative of my ancestor was landlord at that same pub.
We have enjoyed exploring this little village since we moved here in June. I have been doing some research about my 4th great grandparents and I had names, dates, and addresses but I hadn’t yet explored the streets that they walked. I was excited when I found that Thurgoland had a heritage trail sponsored by the National Lottery Heritage Fund that takes you right past the wire mills and streets where my ancestors walked, lived, and worked.
We didn’t walk the whole trail because it seemed too far for the kids, and the section that we walked took nearly 2 hours so we are glad we did our shortened version. We walked down Roper House Lane. The trail guide gives you some information about the buildings that are there, and what they used to be. Thurgoland used to have a lot of pubs. To be fair though, for a small village it still has a few!
At the bottom of the hill, the road turns into Old Mill Lane. Along this lane is where the Old Wire Mill was. It is still there, but now it is a private residence. Does anyone else take photos of houses that have historical significance for them? Knowing that someone lives there now make it really awkward for me. I tried to be nonchalant as I made Max and Sam stand in front of the gates so I could snap a pic.
Further along Old Mill Lane, we came across a row of houses called New Ramsden Row. My ancestors lived at Ramsden Row, which has now been demolished. The chairman of the village’s historical society told me that Ramsden Row would have been on the other side of the road.
At the end of Old Mill Lane, we turned left onto Cote Lane and up the hill. We always find that hill difficult, it’s so steep and long that we end up dragging/carrying the children. It was a good walk. I’m glad that there are people out there who make trails like this and share online. We were able to spend time together as a family, and learn more about the history of our village. We looked out for every single point mentioned along the way, and read the guide with the kids. I’m always looking for ways to involve them and hopefully this is something they will remember.