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History of the village

Draycott. Derbyshire,

Draycott (Draicote and Dry Cote are amongst its earlier names) has developed slowly since its first appearance in records as far back as 1500 years ago into todays modern rural village.
Draycott Draicote and Dry Cote are amongst its earlier names) has developed slowly since its first appearance in records as far back as 1500 years ago into todays modern rural village. The Romans had built a straight road from Derby (Little Chester) to what is now Trent Lock to transport their lead from the Derbyshire mines. Progressively a small community established itself along this road and is certainly mentioned in the Doomsday Book as Dry Cote (a ‘dry place’). Over the same period a smaller, but at that time possibly more important; village of Wilne (a ‘clearing in the willows’) is chronicled as located just to the south of Draycott. In the 16th century Draycott and Church Wilne fell within the Manor of Sawley and in 1549 the then Bishop of Lichfield sold his part of the manor to Richard and Thomas Whalley. Richard was a local property dealer and soon sold his purchase onto the Stanhope family. It is recorded that this part of the manor was in the hands of Sir John Stanhope of Elvaston by 1582. The manor of Sawley changed hands many times, firstly, the Bishop of Lichfield granted the lease to his brother Roger Booth but when the lease expired in 1550 to Geoffrey Edmundson and then 1627 to Sir Edward Leech of Shipley. In 1732 the Holden family of Aston-on-Trent bought it. For many reasons it is difficult if not impossible to separate the history and development of the two villages ( Draycott and Church Wilne). Indeed it is highly probable that Church Wilne was the earlier settlement in the 7th or 8th century as St Chad used it as his base to spread Christianity thought what was then the Kingdom of Mercia. Progressively though the ages the village of Church Wilne has disappeared and its inhabitants have migrated to Draycott some 1.5 miles away. Initially this was probably due to the flooding problems in the Derwent plain but it accelerated through the 18th and 19th centuries as the Industrial Revolution brought canals, railways and later electricity to Draycott. With them came the development of mills perhaps the most important single event in that period of the village history. These mills have now disappeared although a number of the buildings remain. Chief amongst these is the Victoria mill that at the time of its completion in 1907 was the largest lace manufacturing plant in Europe – some say in the world. The four-storey building with its green copper capped ornamental clock tower still dominates the skyline. So, from being a Mercian village whose importance relied much upon its river crossing and wonderful agricultural values Draycott has now evolved into a largely dormitory village but one where a number of relatively small niche businesses have made their bases. Home to some 3000 people it is well placed upon a regular bus route between Derby and Nottingham. Its local services include some 20 shops, 4 car repair/service centres, a garage, a childcare nursery and last but not least five quality taverns. Various young peoples organisations flourish in the village including a junior football club, the Scouting organisation, the Army Cadets and the Draycott and Long Eaton Table Tennis Club. There are also a range of facilities varying from an enclosed safe play area for toddlers located by the village primary school, extensive playing fields and the Millennium green (for those a little older) and an enclosed floodlit multi purpose games area for all ages. Other amenities include a fish and chip shop, a Chinese take-away and the village café. Further reference to Draycott in Kelly’s Directory date 1891. link>>
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