Contact Us

Darley Abbey Historical Group

Ice House dig
Darley Abbey Mills
Darley Abbey Historical Group Wins National Lottery Support
For a Community Archaeology Project to part-excavate an 18th Century Ice House in the City of Derby suburb, Darley Abbey


On the 5th August 2017 the Darley Abbey Historical Group (DAHG) was officially granted £9500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting local project, “The Darley Hall Ice House Community Dig”.
Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project will focus on the exposure of an underground Ice House which has been unseen and unused for perhaps 150 years. This was associated with the now demolished Darley Hall.
The site, in the City-owned Darley Park, is believed to be very close to the lost Abbey of St Mary’s Darley which was demolished entirely in 1538 and its buildings and contents sold off, never to be seen again. This dig may well expose abandoned underground stonework and maybe even a crypt or Abbey artefacts.
We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from Derby City Council. Without this the project could not take place and all opportunities would be lost.
The project will enable local young people and the more mature to discover the origins of Ice Houses and early food technology and the dig may even expose hidden structures of the lost Abbey complex itself.
DAHG is partnering with professionals Trent and Peak Archaeology of Nottingham on this professional standard dig. The organisations will work with young people from local schools and adult volunteers helping them to learn the practical skills of archaeology. Working with the heritage professionals from Trent and Peak, participants will gain a deeper insight into this previously under-researched part of Darley Abbey’s history, as well as teaching them valuable new skills to use in the future.
The Dig will take place 20th to 29th September 2017. The results of the dig will become available in 2018.
Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands, said: “Archaeology is a great way to allow people to quite literally unearth the heritage of their community. This project will allow the fascinating history of Darley Abbey to come to light, and we are delighted that support from National Lottery players has made it possible”.

About Darley Abbey Historical Group (DAHG)

DAHG is a small group formed in 2004 to study and to promote understanding of the Local History and Genealogy of the Village of Darley Abbey and its neighbourhood. And, to stimulate public interest in the history of Darley Abbey by undertaking
research into selected aspects of the history of Darley Abbey publishing the results of such research as and when feasible.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.

Further information

The DAHG Blog can be found at:

For further information, images and interviews please contact:
Alan Bradwell – Chair of DAHG email:
Or Tony Lintott – Vice Chair of DAHG email:
Or via the Group email address:

Back to top