Six miles south of Derby is the tiny village of Twyford. It's quite close to home but a place I haven't visited for years, the reason being that it's at the end of a lane which goes no-where else - not any longer anyway! (I'll explain tomorrow)
Since 1977, Twyford has been a conservation area and the village is quite a pretty little place, but I did feel a little awkward wandering around; it has a very private feel to it, almost as if it's been forgotten by the rest of the world.
Twyford has a long history. The parish was referred to in the Domesday Book of 1086, although no church was recorded here at that time. In 1563, the joint population for Twyford and Stenson was recorded as 148. Today, Twyford is recorded separately, the 1999 Electoral Roll figures showing it as having 19 households, totalling 101 inhabitants.
The village is served by the church of St Andrew, a medieval build with a Norman chancel arch. The tower shows signs of being built in three stages, the lower part probably dating from the early 13th century and the upper sections from the 15th century. The slightly incongruous looking brick nave is the result of rebuilding in 1735 after the church fell into disrepair. The bricks are the Georgian outer facing of the existing masonry.
Inside the tower are three bells, one of which is dated 1611.
Parish records date back to 1658 and the church is accompanied by a graveyard, which tells stories of its own.
Once, the village also boasted a school and a pub; the Blue Bell. The school was built in 1843, but closed 100 years later because of it's small size; it's children being relocated to nearby Findern. The Pub was earlier, meeting its demise in 1850, when it was demolished by Sir John Harpur Crewe because it was becoming a notorious meeting place for poachers.
Other modern amenities were slow to reach the village. Electricity was only connected up here in 1939 and mains water did not arrive until 1959. To put that into context, that's only two years before Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into space!