Most of the houses in the Six Streets area were built on the Parkfields House estate from about 1901 onwards. The original house, now divided into three homes, is hidden at the top of White Street and at the end of Parkfields Drive.
When it was built, the house would have been a fine sight, visible from Kedleston Road below. Its surrounding parkland was separated from the house and its gardens by a stone ha-ha. This is still visible in some Park Grove gardens.
Parkfields House was built in about 1820 for Henry Cox, whose family owned the lead works and Shot Tower on the Morledge, and were also involved in brewing. The estate grew as small plots of land were bought or exchanged until, in the early 19th century, a sizeable park was in place.
In 1867 George Wheeldon, who owned malting works on Nottingham Road and also in Bedford and Grantham, bought the estate - a suitably fine residence for a gentleman who became Mayor of Derby in 1873.
The house was reached by a carriage drive, running along the line of Wheeldon Avenue, past the lodge (built where Wheeldon Avenue and Newton's Walk meet), curving up Parkfields Drive to the front of the house with large stable buildings, conservatories and greenhouses.
In 1899, Wheeldon died and his executors arranged the sale of the estate. The land for Wheeldon Avenue, Statham St, Park Grove and White Street was sold in November 1900 to William Hollis Briggs, a local solicitor, and George DuSautoy, a brick and tile manufacturer.
They laid out the streets dividing them into building plots. The first plots on White Street were sold in June 1901, with interesting conditions attached: alehouses, places of entertainment, candle or soap manufactories were forbidden and houses must be valued at above £300. The pavement line and the front building line were carefully set out as well as the maximum size of bay windows or porches.
Houses had to be built within six months of the purchase of the plot. Building commenced that summer, with builders, joiners, even solicitors' clerks buying plots for 2, 4 or 6 houses. Occasionally somebody purchased a plot for their own house but most were sold on or rented out. Building proceeded in a patchy way until 1903-4.
Edward Hulse JP had purchased Parkfields House in 1900, and in 1926 he sold the house and land he retained to Frank Porter. Frank Porter split the house in two parts and sold off land on Park Grove for housing. The Hodgkinson family, grocers in Derby lived in the north part (reached from Parkfields Drive). The south part was purchased by the Innes brothers and rumour has it that they fell out and as a result the south part of the house was split into two parts. Woodlands occupied by William Innes and Southlands by Frank Innes (the estate agent). It was at about this date that parcels of land were sold for housing on Parkfields Drive.
Past Owners of Parkfields House
1820 - 1867 | Henry Cox
He built the house, but did not live here all the time. When he died his widow Maria sold the estate
1867 - 1899 | George Wheeldon
He was a Maltster, owning works in Derby, Bedford and Grantham. He served on the Borough Council and was Mayor in 1873-4. He lived here with his wife (Emma Statham) and family. He died 27 April 1899
1900 | The estate is split
William Hollis Briggs (solicitor)and George DuSautoy (brick manufacturer) purchased most of the estate, including the land for White Street, Statham Street, part of Park Grove and Wheeldon Avenue. They immediately sold the house and gardens for £8,250. The rest of the estate "Pump Closes" - the triangle formed by Newton's Walk, Park Grove and Wheeldon Avenue was sold to Henry Vernon, a builder.
1900 - 1926 | Edward Hulse, JP
He purchased the house from Briggs and DuSautoy
May 1926 | Frank Edwin Porter
Porter, a removal contractor purchased the house and land. He split the house up and also sold off land along the north side of Park Grove.
1926-1958 | North part: Hodgkinson family
High class grocers in Derby. Then the north part still had an extra wing and a conservatory
1927 | Southlands and Woodlands (the south part): Innes brothers
Frank Innes (the estate agent) owned Southlands (reached from Park Grove), his brother William, Woodlands (reached from White Street)
1926-1927 | Park Grove
Building of semi-detached houses starts on north side of Park Grove. Previously this boundary was fenced and Parkfields House would have been visible
1949 | Southlands: sold to Charles Middleton
Charles Middleton (Director of Education). By this date Gerald Briggs lived in Woodlands
1958 | alterations to north part
West wing and conservatory demolished, house modernised