About this image
St Chad's Church and adjoining cottages and farm looking north-east.
Church (or Little) Wilne is located on the north bank of the River Derwent about a mile above the latter's confluence with the Trent and is essentially a deserted village with only the church, a former textile mill and a few cottages remaining. Nevertheless, earthworks show that it was once larger but various factors caused Draycott, a mile to the north, to expand at the expense of its neighbour, the latter having better communications by road, rail and canal and with a lesser propensity to flood. Despite this, St Chad's Church remained the Anglican place of worship for both villages and also effectively served the nearby hamlet of Great Wilne (actually located in the parish of Shardlow and Great Wilne) to which the only connection was via a footbridge over the river.
In this view close examination indicates that 'modern' technology has reached the hamlet. A telegraph pole with four insulators has been erected beside the gate across the road and this almost certainly provided telephone communication for Wilne Mills, then occupied by cotton spinners Marcus Astle Ltd. Similarly, on the opposite side of the road at the entrance to the church, a man is up a ladder attending to a gas lamp, the supply for this coming from Draycott Gas Works.
However, in reality Church Wilne is depicted here at its latterday greatest extent for today the church stands in complete isolation with the area to the left now woodland. All the other buildings, plus a further grouping of cottages a little to the north (which rejoiced in the name New Delight) had all been demolished by the late 1970s, probably as a result of gravel extraction, which at one point virtually left the church and churchyard as an island surrounded by quarrying.
This photo was taken by Derby-based postcard publisher F W Scarratt and was allocated the number 942 in his series.