Millers Lane

An extensive network of lanes and footpaths has developed over the centuries as Drover's roads and for walking to work in mining, milling, weaving and agricultural enterprises, as well as ancient routes to Trinity Chapel. Some of the Drovers' routes are still traceable in bridleways, footpaths and narrow roads such as here in Millers Lane.

As recently as the 20th Century farmers with small land-holdings would drive their cattle all the way to the Chatsworth Estate for seasonal grazing. The Green (common land) was also a traditional area for cattle grazing, evidenced by the unrestricted access to the site where Miller's Lane meets Occupation Lane on the eastern side of The Green.

Millers Lane is probably part of an old drove route connecting with the river Amber, Lindway Lane and over to Dethick Lea and Holloway (“Holloway” meaning sunken track used as a drove route.)

There are two sections that were excavated to a lower level in the sunken-way fashion to stop the animals from wandering.

Opposite Green Farm is a roadside well, site of an ancient spring. Previously blocked with debris it was cleared out in 2016 to reveal a depth of over a metre. The bottom of the well has been worn into a smooth, shallow dish shape, the product of innumerable scrapes by bucket and water scoop.

Recollections (audio)

Listen to this clip about one of the last cattle drives.

Millers Lane

Linking Butterfield Lane and the Green, this sunken lane was used as a drovers' route for taking cattle to summer pastures at Chatsworth House.

The Well

Opposite the entrance to Green Farm is an ancient roadside well. Full to the brim with mud and debris, it was thoroughly cleared out in 2016, revealing a depth of just over a metre. The bottom of the well had been shaped ionto a smooth, semi-circular shallow dish, the product of an immeasurable number of scrapes by bucket or water scoop.

Where next?

Continue up Millers Lane to its junction with Brackenfield Lane. Turn right along the Green to return to your starting point. 

If you like, you can take a permissive path through woodland on the western edge of The Green.