Local History > Local History 1 > Glapwell & Rowthorne
Blunder Castle Plantation SK 47426 67138 .
Blunder Castle SK 472 672
Footbridge over Stockley Brook SK 46432 67344
Bottom edge of tip path SK 46623 67305 at 92m above sea level
Site of Bramley Vale Farm SK 46790 66805 97m above sea level 53 acres 2roods 10 perches
Top of tip path SK 46970 67255 at 131m above sea level
Blunder Castle Plantation Building SK47284 67106
Footpath SK 46835 66621
When the Glapwell Estate was sold on Thursday June 3rd 1920 it was interestingly sold as a Valuable Freehold Agricultural, Sporting and Residential Property.
Over the years some of my senior friends in Carr Vale have spoken to me about a Folly called Blunder Castle or Blundercastle near Glapwell. They wondered what it was and how old it was. I had seen some ruins from the road into Glapwell from Palterton and thought these might be what they referred to, these ruins turned out to be the Summer House belonging to Glapwell Hall. Blunder Castle was near to a plantation of the same name some short distance away with a commanding view of the valley and lands to the west.
Blunder Castle Plantation is a small wood formed on the valley sides of a spring or stream which has cut a steep V into the hillside and runs steeply downhill from east to west with a small pond at the bottom of a small deep ravine it continues to flow downhill and ends up in the Stockley Brook flowing through the Glapwell Colliery site. Too steep and inaccessible for people to come and enjoy the view. Not a place to build something that could be seen for miles with a panoramic view.
It would appear that Blunder Castle was not a folly but was a place of residence.
I would not like to challenge the information you have about Blunder Castle, but I have always been told that it was a dwelling and why it was called Blunder Castle we can’t find out. What I was told when I was younger by Thomas Leonard Hazlehurst Jnr, was that he was the only baby to be born in Blunder Castle, The only reference we can find in the census about Blunder Castle is in 1891, under Road Street or Name of House, this is “Riley, Blunder Castle” and is occupied by Robert Dickens, retired farmer. The 1901 census give the address as Palterton (Riley), Dickens House, the house is occupied by a family called Fisher also living with them is their married daughter, Clara and her husband Thomas Leonard Hazlehurst. In 1902 they had a son and called him Thomas Leonard, in the 1911 census the family are living at 147 Doe Lea, but then in the sale of the Glapwell Estate, Thomas Hazlehurst bought the Smithy at Glapwell and the family came to live there once the Blacksmith (Tom Jennings moved into a house at Bramley Vale) The Smithy was dismantled and the buildings and land then became a Smallholding. I am a slightly related to Len Hazlehurst as he was generally known, I live in the old smithy in Glapwell,
I would like to say that I have not collected all this information some of it came from our neighbour, who some time ago was going to include it in our church magazine, also I notice one thing from the map of 1883, that there was a well marked at where Blunder Castle would have been and there would be no reason to dig a well if just a Folly.
I have only just started looking at some of the local history you have and I think you are doing a great job as I know the time it has taken me when researching an item,
regards A. Crofts
Hi Lynne and Albert and thank you for your email.
I will correct my write up forth with. The problem was that a lot of the older end remember the name of Blunder Castle and have I think associated it with the real folly at the chapel and as nobody has (as far as I am aware) put anything down in writing about the site it has led to the confusion. The title Blunder does nothing but give an air of mystery to the place but what a site to live the view is breathtaking. I could never understand that if it was indeed a folly it was in a place that the Victorians would have had to travel to by pony and trap or horse as I do not think they would have walked far given its position.
Thank you once again for the information.
I grew up in Glapwell and remember adventures with my mates around Blunder Castle - mostly war games. Blunder was a brick built house. At that time ,around 1959, it was in a ruined state. No roof and all the upstairs floor boarding long gone.
As Glapwell pit tip expanded it eventually came to within a couple of hundred yards of Blunder. The tip had blocked a stream which turned into quite a good sized lake and very deep. One of my mates slipped off our raft and just managed to scramble to the bank.
I still can remember its location and if anyone wants to see Blunder I'd be happy to walk them to it. I haven't been there for years and it is possible that the reclamation work done on the tip has buried the site.
Just been reading your article on Blunder Castle!
I lived in Glapwell throughout my childhood and use to go play army around the summer house, we were once told by a teacher that it was part of a network of tunnels that connected Hardwick hall to the church in Bolsover! But when we use too go it seemed to be more intact than your photos there was a small rectangle window space it was quite high up and we mounded up bricks and stones so that we could climb up into it looked out East away from the woods! Through the wood towards backlane in Glapwell to what use to be the egg farm there was a network of ponds running through the wood although only the top one had an unbroken dam wall I use too fish it. I think it is now owned by Barry Hill. The second pond was a little more broken down and couldn’t hold much water Im sure there was another pind after that.
If you go down Glapwell hill the lane at the side of ma hubbards that leads to Glapwell pit ponds i forgot the names of them! In the small wood to the right there use to be a wood fully intact railway station on a platform. I wish had taken pics of the place because nobody older than me believes me but we use to play in and around it one door was padlocked tight so we never got in there. If you follow the wood back across Glapwell hill it leads into a wood we called the rough meadows which the old railway must have run into has it created a valley! At the end there is a tunnel which had been filled in I’ve walked all round Rowthorne and can’t find the opposite entrance I notice you have photos of Rowthorne railway station we use to play on it my friend had a field bike we use to ride it between the platforms and there was still parts of the buildings there then they were like old red Hardwick bricks!
Just thought had write to you because your website brought back so many memories. My dad also said Albert maybe wrong about living in the old Smithy. He sore a map ages ago which showed the smithy to be at the bottom of the steps at the end of lime tree avenue, in the vicinity of the dairy which was owned by Beryl Busby and her husband!
Sent from my iPad
Yes my dad told me last night it got used has landfill I can actually remember going down there looking through stuff when we was kids. He also told me it was last used to take arms for the army camp at Hardwick he doesn’t know if it was reopened for that, he can just remember stories he was told when he was a kid!
Blunder castle again,
Neil, I have been talking to somebody who knows one of the Dore's family that have farmed Rylah hill for years and it is their belief that Blunder castle was the cheeky name given to the property, because when it was built there was no road to it only a footpath.
I can see that Bryn is not sure about the location of property in Glapwell but if he checks out the history of the sale of Glapwell estate there are plans and full descriptions of the sale plots. This can be found under www.richardsbygonetimes.co.uk/glapwell.htm .
He will be able to see that the Smithy is plot 1 and on the cross-roads at Glapwell and the property he thought was the Smithy was the Police station, plot 10 with the Post office , plot 11,next door , hope this has helped,