Local History > Local History 1 > Adelphi Ironworks
THE PASSING OF MR.GLADWIN'S ORCHARD. Godfrey Rose 31 March 1993
There came a clerk from Stanton
To farm at Ducky Works,
To work for Mr. Arkwright,
To breed and rear his stirks.
He planted trees around him,
And grafted apple, pear,
Greengage and damson, cherry,
With scions begged elsewhere.
His trees outlived the companies
Who mined below but spared
The coal beneath his orchard,
The fruits for which he cared.
But British Coal have spoken:
"That orchard has to go,
Let the machines wreak havoc-
There's profit down below!"
When Duckmanton Ironworks closed Mr. Gladwin became the first tenant of Works Farm. He loved his fruit. He was a competent chap and rather sentimental. Between the years 1854 to 1856, he took cuttings from fruit trees growing where he used to live. He grafted the cuttings on wild rootstocks, grafting his favorite apple cuttings on wild crab apple stock, for example. He did this with his favorite pears, damsons and plums, too.
He planted his orchard between Works Farmhouse and an old pool which stored water for the ironworks. This water came from the brook which runs through old Arkwright's allotments. His trees prospered, and many Arkwright folk will tell you how much they enjoyed the pears, apples, damsons and plums from Works Farm.
By 1993 the trees were getting on in years- they were about 140 years old-but you only had to ask, and Mr. Parsons at Works Farm would let you help yourself to Mr. Gladwin's fruit.
Then, in March 1993 British Coal cut down Mr. Gladwin's orchard so that their vehicles could drive behind the farmhouse. Perhaps the vehicles will get bogged down where the old pool stood, the one which gathered the water from Arkwright Brook.
In the obligatory Environment Statement which was part of the application to the Local Planning Authorities asking for consent to opencast coal around the New Arkwright Town site, British Coal stated.
"Works Farm will remain during the operations and will be protected in the Adelphi Ironworks."
Perhaps Mr. Gladwin, besides being a competent and sentimental chap shares British Coal's sense of humour. Otherwise, he must be turning in his grave, for he was proud of his fruit trees.
Godfrey Rose 31 March 1993.
In 2008 the buildings mentioned as "Works Farm will remain during the operations and will be protected in the Adelphi Ironworks." Are derelict, and will not stand up to the ‘riggors of time’. I have heard of this before this is called ‘Demolition by Stealth’ as no money is now available and the buildings are not protected under heritage status they will fall to the ground in time.
At the time of the initial opencast, plans were made by Mr. Shadler-Hall to secure them as listed buildings but this failed if my memory serves me correctly.
Also on the site is the mine which was used to supply the washery at Markham with water pumped from underground. Nature is taking over here too.
Ironworks pit and brick Bee-Hive shaft cap from older shaft.
What does the future hold for this once idyllic site?
The answer was found in 2012 when the site was levelled and landscaped.