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City Centre Streets 4


This small street links the Wardwick with Bold Lane







Bold Lane

This street that runs from the bottom of Sadler Gate to Jury Street was originally recorded in 1570 at which time it was known as Bolt Lane. It is thought that this name derives from the makers of arrow heads who had their workshops in this area. Today it is a fairly non-descript street however in the past it was much more crowded and busy. The Markeaton Brook once ran down its length on its journey to the river before it was culvetted in the 19th century. One of the towns earliest mills was at its junction with St Mary's Gate and in the 19th century there were as many as nine courts (slum housing), the last surviving until about 1935. The road was significantly widened in 1908 and a large park called Boden's Pleasurance was opened to the public in July 1910. Henry Boden had been a local lace magnate, member of the Temperance Union and philanthropist who had lived at the The Friary on Friargate. His wife, Mary Shuttleworth donated the land to be used as a public park and at its entrance had the wrought iron gates, below, inserted at the entrance complete with a memorial plaque to her husband. Unfortunately the park did not last long, it was tarmaced over following the First World War and was finally redeveloped in 1974 with the construction of the car park

Bold Lane

Bold Lane

The wrought iron gates at the entrance to what was once Boden's Pleasurance. They were the work of local iron smith Thomas Taylor who had served his apprenticeship at the famous Haslam's foundry before setting up  his own business in the 1890s

Gates to Boden's Pleasurance Bold Lane

The building below was the old Derby Corporation Stables and was built in 1879

Bold Lane

Bold Lane

The building in the photograph below has a fascinating and extremely varied history. Originally built in 1712 as a malthouse, in 1773 it was converted into the town's first theatre by a Mr Whitely. Prior to this theatrical performances had been presented in private rooms, barns or Inns such as the nearby George. In the early decades of the 19th century the manager was a Mr Manly and he would frequently  attract actors from London alongside regular local performers. The theatre closed in 1864, possibly due to lack of space and the building became a Gospel Hall the following year. This survived until it relocated to Becket Street in the 1940s at which time the council took over the building, first as a library and then until 1992 as a Magistrates Court. Empty for a number of years recent times have seen the building converted into various restaurants, the use it retains today

Bold Lane

Bold Lane

Below is the newest edition to the street scene, a mixture of offices and a small cafe. Known as Sadler Bridge Studios the £4.4 million development is designed as a hub for the creative industries

Bold Lane

Bold Lane

St James's Street

Originally a narrow thoroughfare known as St James’s Lane the street reached its current width when it was completely rebuilt in the 1870s. It takes its name from St James’s Priory, a religious house that had been established since the Saxon era. It had a chapel that was donated by King Stephen in about 1140 and a century later a hospital was added where the monks cared for the poor and unwell. At the West end of the lane was a bridge over the Markeaton Brook. This was controlled by the monks and probably provided them with an income.

Following the dissolution in the 16th century the land was given to the Corporation of the town. Nothing now survives of the religious institution. Between 1869 and 1878 the Derby Hotel and Improvement Company funded the complete rebuilding of the street which included a substantial hotel – the St James’s. Today the street is mainly home to estate and letting agents

Also in the photos below is St James's yard. This was originally the yard for the hotel of the same name and would have been used for stabling as well as the other services required to run a large hotel. Much of the site is now used as a car park, however, various plans have been put forward over the past few years to redevelop the site as small boutique shops and apartments with a way opened up through to Sadlergate. This would be an exciting development and one can only hope that an inspired developer will one day carry it through

St James Street


St John's Terrace

Essentially a continuation of Bridge Street, this beautiful row of terraces was gated in the 1980s and has since taken the name of the adjacent church

The Morledge







Becket Street






Curzon Street