Bid to trace castle builder’s family

nrhn 300812 ''Picture of Langley Castle, built in the late 1800s on Hands Road in the Heanor area.Picture courtesy of the East Midlands Photographic Record.
nrhn 300812 ''Picture of Langley Castle, built in the late 1800s on Hands Road in the Heanor area.Picture courtesy of the East Midlands Photographic Record.

Sometime in the late 1800s and early 1900s, a local Heanor man called Newtonbegan an extension to his cottage. What he had in mind for it may never be known, but it was beginning to resemble a skyscraper. 
His grandaughter Ann was told was told he was building it high enough so they could see uncle Will, who had emigrated to America. 
The town council insisted he stop building and it never was finished. 
It became known as Langley Castle. 
I believe the builder was my great-great grandfather William Newton, married to Phoebe (Brough). 
He died in 102 and they lived at 20 Hands Road. His son Thomas and wife Elizabeth (Palmer) lived at this address after his death. William was born around 1824 and for most of his life was a framework knitter – apart from one decade in the 1860s where he became a county policeman. 
His records show he resigned in order to better himself.
Could this ‘castle’ be the work of an eccentric delusional, or an entrepeneur in the making? We’ll never know as this unfinished building was pulleddown. If anyone knows anything about this extraordinary building or the family that built it - I’m particularly keen to find out about William’s parents. I know his father was also called William and I think his mother may have been called Clarissa (Elliott).
Would anyone with information please contact me on 01924 262128, or email

Clare Robinson

Ossett, Yorkshire

Olympic Games


Here are some facts about the Olympic games some of your readers might not be aware of! 
Thirty six years after it hosted the 1976 Games Montreal is still paying off its debts. 
The 2012 Olympic 100m gold medal winner Usain Bolt will get almost £13million in prize and sponsorship money this year. 
The London 2012 Olympics logo is believed to have cost £400,000 just to design it. More reasons to make me glad I did not even watch any of it on TV!

Granville Stone


oap bus passes

Begrudge a bus pass?

With regards to the letter sent in last week by Mr R. Sheldon. 
Has he only just noticed how the two towns have gone downhill? 
There was a time when you gould get everything you wanted in Ripley - a great market, good shopping streets - but not for many years. 
Supermarkets may have taken everything away from towns. We have had them for many years now, although their range of goods is greater than it was then. 
As for people using bus passes – and buses looking like OAP outings – it’s better than running them empty. 
People may have worked in factories for years and are now exploring their county having time to do it as they get older. 
They have earned their bus passes. 
If people use it as an opportunity to chat and socialise to others it may be that they have no family members and see no one all day. 
So don’t begrudge them something for nothing.

K Shoebridge


Village greens

Fill out your surveys

I would like to thank all the people who have already filled out our village green questionnaires in a bid to stop housing and supermarket builds at several of our open green space sites in Amber Valley.
Anyone who has not yet filled them out can do so by downloading them from our site and sending them to the relevant addresses. Head to: people can just google ‘amber valley sos’ and go to the village green section. If these Village Green applications are won we can effectively stop these builds forever, it is not too late to do this, please download, print off, fill in and return.

Sylvia Mason

Amber Valley SOS