demonstrated that ‘former mining town’ does not mean an end to all that is
interesting, handsome of appearance and worthy of a second glance. The town starts
with the distinct advantage of an impeccable pre mining legacy. Buildings which
may be seen on William Senior’s town survey of 1634 contribute to the present
day Market Place townscape. The street pattern of Cotton Street, Town End,
Church Street, Middle Street and High Street was laid down by William Peveril
in the Middle Ages. This makes Bolsover, along with Castleton, one of the earliest
planned towns in Derbyshire. Three centuries later William Cavendish’s
extravagant castle gave us a building unique in English country house architecture.
Our mining period threw up the gem of New Bolsover, one of this country’s few
examples of colliery model village developments. Over one hundred years after
its conception, its unity and its situation, sheltering below the castle in a rural,
relatively unspoilt setting can still make you stand and stare in admiration.
In the past twenty
five years I have written many books and guides to town and colliery but one
project remained outstanding. This was to chronicle the changes of the past
fifty years and show to outsiders and to remind ourselves what a gem of a place
we have to be proud of.
I hope you will agree
as you scan this book that, in Bolsover, we have much to be proud of. We are
all guilty of taking for granted where we live. Sometimes we need to look
afresh at what we have. Talk the place up to each other and to outsiders. I
trust what you see here will help you believe the place is worth it.