Derbyshire Life - - Places -

The twist­ing road to Pott Shrigley de­scends from the moors past a fam­ily-run in­dus­trial es­tate on the site of a for­mer brick­works. A sur­pris­ing pres­ence in this re­mote coun­try­side lo­ca­tion is Jamie Robins’ be­spoke kitchen show­room. As I dis­cov­ered on talk­ing to em­ployee Jonathan Slater, rep­u­ta­tion and word of mouth can be more im­por­tant than a prime lo­ca­tion in guar­an­tee­ing the suc­cess of a busi­ness.

Jonathan said: ‘Jamie es­tab­lished his first work­shop for the man­u­fac­ture of hand­made fur­ni­ture for kitchens, bed­rooms and home of­fices on the site over 20 years ago. The orig­i­nal work­shop is still here but is now sup­ple­mented by a much larger work­shop and a show­room where we dis­play our range of be­spoke kitchens and fur­ni­ture.’

Half a mile be­yond the in­dus­trial es­tate, there is a se­cluded hol­low at the in­ter­sec­tion of three moor­land roads. This is the idyl­lic lo­ca­tion for the pic­turesque ham­let of

Pott Shrigley, where one cot­tage has the type of black-and-white frontage more of­ten seen in the vil­lages of the Cheshire Plain.

The church, which is sur­pris­ingly grand, is ap­proached through a lych-gate whose pointed arches com­ple­ment the dis­tinc­tive gothic styling of the win­dows in sev­eral vil­lage houses.

Pott Shrigley’s school, orig­i­nally founded in 1492 but ex­tended in the 1960s when a vil­lage hall was also at­tached, is yet an­other pri­mary school which Of­sted in­spec­tors ranked as ‘out­stand­ing’. The in­spec­tors were par­tic­u­larly im­pressed that ‘teach­ers and other staff know pupils and their fam­i­lies very well and meet their wel­fare and learn­ing needs in an out­stand­ing in­di­vid­ual way.’

Un­like the vil­lages of Kettleshulme and Rainow, Pott Shrigley does not have a pub.

One story has it that a vil­lage inn called the Lowther Arms was closed down in the 1920s by Lady Lowther af­ter she had de­tected al­co­hol on the breath of her groom. How­ever, Pott Shrigley does have a splen­did ho­tel and spa at Shrigley Hall on the edge of the vil­lage. The hall was built in 1825 for William Turner, a Black­burn mill owner, whose daugh­ter Ellen was at the cen­tre of a fa­mous case of ab­duc­tion. At the age of 15, she was lured away from her school in Liver­pool by Ed­ward Gib­bon Wake­field, who whisked Ellen off to Gretna Green, where he mar­ried her be­fore tak­ing her to Calais, where she was traced and res­cued by her un­cle.

In 1929, Shrigley Hall was sold to the Sale­sians, who con­verted the build­ing into a mis­sion­ary col­lege and later added a church on an ad­ja­cent plot of land. Af­ter the Sale­sians left in 1986, the hall and the church were con­verted into a ho­tel, which is now an in­de­pen­dently-owned 4-star ho­tel and spa with 155 bed­rooms, a swim­ming pool, gym­na­sium, sauna and beauty sa­lon, with the bonus of ex­ten­sive grounds which con­tain an 18-hole cham­pi­onship golf course and pro­vide far­reach­ing views. The most strik­ing ar­chi­tec­tural fea­ture of the ho­tel’s in­te­rior is a fab­u­lous painted dome, which makes a dou­ble vis­ual im­pres­sion be­cause it is re­flected in a large mir­ror on the land­ing of the main stair­case.

Black-and-white cot­tage in Pott Shrigley

Jonathan Slater in Jamie Robins’ show­room in Pott Shrigley

The painted dome of Shrigley Hall

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