Ripley in Derbyshire
Ripley is an old industrial Derbyshire town, mentioned in Domesday as Ripelie along with the neighbouring village of Pentrich (Pentric), with whom it has had a long association. It is situated at 520ft above sea level, just off the A38, about 9 miles north of Derby. The population of Ripley stood at 19,636 in the 1991 census.
Coal and iron have been mined in the Ripley area for centuries but it was the Butterley Company, founded by Benjamin Outram that turned Ripley into a prosperous town.
Benjamin Outram along with William Jessop engineered the Cromford Canal (1793) which led to a junction at Ripley. At Butterley Ironworks they made cast iron rails to replace wooden tramways. Outram went on to construct a railway at Little Eaton known as Outram's Way. The company also built the cast iron roof of St Pancras railway terminus in London.
In 1894 the Ripley Urban Council was formed. A new town hall was built and the green in front of the town hall became a market place with a weekly saturday market. During the week now, it is used as a public car park. In 1974 the Ripley Urban Coucil became the Amber Valley Borough Council and Ripley Town Council. For a while, the town was twinned with Lons le Saunier in France, reflected in the naming of the housing estate, Lons Estate, and the local infant school, but the link has been broken.
Many old buildings were demolished in the later part of the 20th century to make way for new ones. Benjamin Outram and Ripley Technical Schools merged to become Mill Hill School and there is now a leisure centre, modern library, and various modern shops.
Butterley Hall, built in the 18th century and home to Benjamin Outram for a number of years as well as once being once the head quarters of the Butterley Company, is now the head quarters of the Derbyshire Police Force.
The Church of All Saint's, situated close to the market place, was built in 1820-21 and has an aisle less interior and a tower.
The inventor Barnes Wallis lived for a time in Ripley and now has one of the town's parks named after him. The house where he was born is now marked with a blue plaque.
Near to Ripley is the Midland Railway Centre which is a railway museum with working steam trains, a railwaymans church, signal box, and miniature and model railways. It is open every weekend throughout the year, and most school holidays.
The nearby village of Codnor probably dates back to Saxon times, and it is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1087 as Cotenovre. About a mile east of the village centre is Codnor Castle, a fragile ruin, its few remaining high walls supported by scaffolding. The original "keep and bailey" fortress was built by William Peveril, replaced by the present stone structure in the 13th century. That fell into ruin in the late 17th century. Recent diggings by Channel Four Time Team revealed a gold coin, three-metres below ground at the foot of a moat.
Ripley and surround has plenty of recreational sites. Butterley Reservoir situated at the north of the town is popular with anglers and wildlife enthusiasts. Greenwich to the east of Ripley has football pitches, a cricket pitch and pavilion. There is also a skateboard ramp area which local boarders use and a good open area within which you can walk your dogs.
There are further recreation grounds in Marehay and Upper Marehay. Crossley Park is a few acres of grassed land opened in 1935. It is surrounded by shrubs and trees on a tract of land given to the town by James Crossley in 1901. The Park contains a children’s play area with summer paddling pool, tarmacced walk around the perimeter and bandstand, which has Brass Bands playing occasionally in the summertime on Sunday late afternoons.
Information on Ripley Leisure Centre can be found at Ripley Leisure Centre
For places to eat in the Ripley area see Ripley Food and Drink
Dentists in Ripley
Nottingham Road Dental Practice
19 Nottingham Road
Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3DJ
14 Derby Road
Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3HR
Doctors in Ripley
Ivy Grove Surgery
Steeple Dr, Ripley, DE5 3TH
Tel. 01773 514130
Messop Medical Practice
Church Farm Primary Care Centre/Steeple Dr, Ripley, DE5 3TH
Tel. 01773 514110
Ripley Medical Centre
Derby Road, Ripley, Derbyshire DE5 3HR
(0844) 499 4468 (24 Hour/Emergency)
Ripley Medical Centre
Chemists in Ripley
Boots The Chemists
5 High Street
Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3AA
1-2 Oxford Street
Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3AG
J H Hurst Chemists Ltd
5 High Street
Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3AB
Ripley Town Council
The Midland Railway at Butterley
Local and sports news
Photographs from around Ripley town centre at Ripley photographs
Ripley Town Hall and TIC
All Saint's Church