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The First of May - In Ringwood Park

Posted Saturday, July 7, 2007

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The First of May in Ringwood Park


Hail the sun of blossomed spring

Which shines so bright today;

Dandelion and daisy chains

Herald the First of May.


Children laughing in the park,

At play on slide and swing

Amidst a merry orchestra

Of happy birds that sing.


The meadow-pippit and the lark,

The blackbird and the thrush,

Trilling as they feed their young

In every tree and bush.


Everywhere new life abounds

And the countryside lays open

It`s glorious meadows of delight

And winter`s spell is broken!


There is no sight that swells the heart

Like watching children play

In springtime sun in Ringwood Park

Upon the First of May.


From `Derbyshire, - Born & Bred` by Neil D.Lee.

(ISBN 0 952210819).New Age Poetry Press, 1997.



Bounded on all four sides respectively by Brimington, Hollingwood, Inkersall and Staveley, Ringwood Park is a veritable oasis of England`s `green & pleasant land` set amidst housing estates and old industrial sites alongside the main road from Chesterfield to Staveley.

This 25 acre site, complete with its picturesque lake has been a haven of peace and tranquility managed by Chesterfield Borough Council for a quarter of a century, and a favourite haunt of the area`s children, fishermen, sportsmen, poets, ...... and lovers for almost two centuries!

The Park once belonged to Ringwood Hall and many of its magnificent trees were laid out in the early Nineteenth Century, including the twin columns of Horse-Chestnut trees which line the road through the park,- once the tree-lined carriageway that led from the hall to the lakeside, down which George Henry Barrow, a local wealthy industrialist and his family rode every Sunday in a carriage drawn by four horses.

Ringwood Hall was built in 1820, and the Barrow family (after whom Barrow Hill is named) lived there until late in the nineteenth century. In 1897 the park was purchased by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincoln Railway Company, and then ten years later in March 1907, both the Hall & Park were purchased by well known local industrialist Charles Paxton Markham, who later moved to Tapton House. Ringwood was the private domain of the Markham family until January 1927 when the park was sold to the Staveley Coal & Iron Company, and the water from the lake was piped down to Staveley Works where it had a number of industrial uses, - it was used mainly as a coolant in the iron producing process.

Ringwood Park was purchased from the Staveley Coal & Iron Company in April 1949 by the now defunct Staveley Urban District Council for the sum of £16,545 and opened as a public park later that same year. After the Government restructuring of 1972 and the demise of the old Staveley U.D.C., Chesterfield Borough Council took over ownership and administration of the park and it remains in their capable hands. The park is open to the public from dawn until dusk every day of the year and is a valuable recreational resource for the people of the Borough, as well as being the habitat of a whole range of wildlife, from the fish in the lake, to the family of kingfishers who have made Ringwood Park their home.

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