Ironville, situated 2 miles east of Ripley, is probably the best example of a mid 19th century company model village in Derbyshire. It was constructed by the owners of Butterley Iron Works between 1834 and 1860.
Other amenities they built were the parish church (1852), 2 schools (1850) and a recreation ground featuring the Jessops Memorial to William Jessop, the founder.
The village site had consisted entirely of farmland when John Wright and Wiliam Jessop purchased it from one Lancelot Rolleston of Watnell in 1809.. There was only a canal, built in the late 18th century, and footpaths but no roads.
The planned village won much acclaim, with its large gardens, a rural setting well away from the ironworks and the overall spacious layout compared with other industial villages.
The Mechanics Institute was built in 1846 and is still an attractive canal side building.
Much of the old model village has gone. The Butterley Company folded in the 1960's and the local authority took control and demolished most of the old houses.
Southern Derbyshire Health Authority recently vaccinated several hundred children at a school in Ironville against the C strain of meningococcal meningitis, Ironville having had a record number of cases of the disease in the late 1990's.
A village web site for Codnor Park & Ironville can be found at