The old Lord Byron Inn and yard are gone forever. But I remember it all from my childhood days through to my teenage days. It is often when something has gone, that is the time we appreciate what we had. The rough sketch I have drawn shows the only way a vehicle, horse drawn or otherwise, had access to the yard. It was down the unmade track which passed by the fronts of the old Stone Freestone Houses. Worth noting is the Freestone Cottages backed more or less up to the River Maun at the rear. Therefore their gardens were across the track and up the steps between the openings of the stone wall.
Also worthy of note, is the similarity of the Freestone Cottages with those of the stone cottages on Quarry Lane, situate at the bottom of Sibthorpe Street. Although the Quarry Lane cottages have their gardens also facing their front doors, the steps to the gardens are in reverse of the steps leading to the gardens of Freestone cottages. I had friends living in both these rows of cottages.
As previously written, the river Maun flows behind the Freestone Cottages on the right of the sketch. Behind the far end of the cottages, was a low (this side), stone wall, with quite a drop over the water side of the wall, this wall continued to the wooden footbridge that spanned the river. It was here that the folk from Bradder Street and the many allotments from the surrounding areas crossed to access the Lord Byron Inn.
The third access is the steep walk up to what we called “The Top Field”.The top of the hill came out onto Matlock Avenue, which ended just to the left of the picture sketch. Two other roads led from Matlock Avenue, Cromford Avenue being one, and Hillsway Crescent being the other, and of course they still do. The difference is today, Matlock Avenue has been extended with houses that are at right angles from where it ended originally.
The track crossing the front of Freestone Cottages came all the way from Quarry Lane, under the old viaduct, passing the quarry entrance, and (This name keeps cropping up), Fatty Man’s Bank. (What a name that would be for one of our High Street Banks ). Proceeding under the second Viaduct where it forked, one went down to the Byron Yard, and one took you onto Matlock Avenue.