BACK in 1589, a certain William Lee devised the stocking frame knitting machine, which was to prove the first major stage in the mechanisation of the textile industry. Lee, a curate at the village of Calverton, was said to have developed the machine because a woman whom he was courting showed more interest in knitting than in him. Others would have you believe he came up with the invention because his wife was a slow knitter. Whichever story you choose to side with, the textile industry has remained grateful ever since.
Now, you may be forgiven for never having heard of Lee, but here is another name to conjure with. Christopher Dean, of ice-skating fame. He was also born and raised in Calverton.
History lesson and name-dropping over, this small rural village, tucked away in rolling countryside eight miles from Nottingham, saw expansion after the opening of Calverton Colliery in 1953. The mine finally closed its doors in late 1999, and the buildings were demolished in February 2000.
As the saying goes, as one door closes, another opens... the latter in the form of an exclusive new development of luxury homes at Willow Park, tucked away on the outskirts of the village. Conveniently situated between Nottingham, Mansfield and the picturesque market town of Newark, the site is currently under development as an ‘eco’ park.
The site, which adjoins Moor Farm, is owned by the Kellam family, which also runs Killarney Park, a ten-minute drive away. Moor Farm is populated by holiday caravans, a small selection of rental properties and residential park homes.
It was last Christmas that Gary Kellam decided to fence off the adjoining land and develop an eco park. Gary had visited a park home show at Peterborough the previous April, where he ordered two Stately-Albion homes. However, having later seen Stately’s impressive Arundel, he decided to sell on the two homes and go down the Arundel route instead, complete with triple glazing and double the amount of insulation, thus keeping bills to a minimum. The ‘eco’ dream was born.
The plan is to have 20 homes at Willow Park, the majority on 36ft x 22ft plots. The centre of the park features an attractive pond, around which will be sited five homes cleverly positioned so as to not block the views from the outer ring of homes.
“We aim to stick with Arundel lodges with vaulted ceilings,” explained site manager Shirley Coy. “Though the Arundel is classed as a leisure home, we specced it up with Stately, as we wanted all the extras on it so that we could then sell it as a residential home.”
Prices start at £129,950, and one of the two show homes at Willow Park has already been sold.
The Arundel is an understatement of luxury, style and comfort – a classically designed home with fully vaulted ceiling, natural wooden blinds, wooden floor to the kitchen/diner, and a fine selection of freestanding oak furniture setting the theme. The rest of the home is complemented by deep pile shag carpet.
There is a modern, stylish kitchen, fully-tiled bathroom and a master bedroom with adjoining en suite and walk-in wardrobe. The exteriors of the two show homes feature stylish decking, complete with balustrade.
Each of the homes will be fed by spring water from the site’s own borehole. Garages come extra on the park, and owners can also erect sheds and fences if they wish.
The entrance to Willow Park is via security gates. Immediately to the left is a gravel parking area, and adjacent to that is a communal allotment where owners can grow their own vegetables, and even keep hens!
“The more eco-inspired ideas we come up with, we will endeavour to put in place,” said Shirley, who is also responsible for the day-to-day management of Moor Farm and Willow Park’s sister site, Killarney Park. “I imagine we will attract some people who are environmentally aware, and who want to own a home on the park because of what it stands for.”
Willow Park lies next door to the Springwater Golf Club. Further along the road lies the bustling village of Calverton, complete with a Post Office, bank, small supermarket, restaurants, doctors’ surgery, dentists, and a library. A ten-minute drive takes you into the bustling market town of Arnold with a leisure centre, two large supermarkets, banks and excellent shopping.
The site is also only ten minutes from Sherwood Forest along the A614. There is plenty of walking to enjoy in the area, and the River Trent is a short drive away.
A convenient bus stop is situated between the entrance to Willow Park and Moor Farm, with regular transport to Newark and Nottingham. There is also a footpath into the village, where the Calverton Connection operates buses to Nottingham every ten minutes.
Willow Park is currently open at weekends, 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm, and attracts plenty of passing trade. Open days are currently being planned, though no dates were fixed at the time of going to press.
Surrounded by public footpaths, which offer country walks with an abundance of wildlife, Willow Park will prove to be a haven of tranquillity from which to enjoy the
Situated in 35 acres of an idyllic, picturesque woodland setting with far-reaching views towards Derbyshire, Killarney Park has been in the Kellam family since the 1960s, and is suitable for the semi-retired or retired over 45s.
This well established park, which is accessed by a key/card barrier, is dotted with attractively priced two-bedroom, bungalow-style park homes, all having private gardens and driveways. With a number of second-hand properties currently for sale, each plot has been carefully designed to make the most of the park’s superb location.
The majority of homes have been manufactured by Stately-Albion, Omar and Lissett. However, according to Shirley Coy, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that a couple of Stately-Albion’s Arundel homes will be sited in the future.
Catering for people who are attracted by the peace of the countryside, the park also enjoys the convenience of being only six miles from Nottingham and eight miles from Mansfield.
There is a residents’ lounge and bar, together with a courtesy bus into the market towns of Arnold and Mansfield. Several golf courses are within a 3-mile radius, together with country walks, pubs and restaurants.
The Lakeside Restaurant and Spa is at the end of the lane, and within a three-mile radius you will find country walks, pubs and restaurants.
WHAT FACILITIES ARE NEAR THE PARK?
• Local amenities:
There is a small supermarket in Calverton. For a bigger ‘shop’, Arnold, Newark, Mansfield and Nottingham are conveniently situated a short drive away. You will also find a bakery and butcher’s shop.
The nearest doctors’ surgery and dental practice are in the village of Calverton, a 10 minute walk from Willow Park.
A bus stop is situated between the entrance to Willow Park and Moor Farm, with regular transport to Newark and Nottingham. Willow Park owners can pop into the village of Calverton, where the Calverton Connection operates buses to Nottingham every ten minutes.
• Food and drink:
Calverton boasts several restaurants and pubs, including Oscars, which serves Indian cuisine. There is also an off-licence, pizza, fish and chip shop, and Chinese take-away.
• What can I do around here?
Set in 125 acres of undulating parkland in the heart of the Trent Valley, Springwater Golf Club
organises a full calendar of competitions and other events. There is also a covered, floodlit 6-bay driving range and practice putting green. Explore the workings of a fully operational watermill at Stainsby Mill
, which gives a vivid evocation of the workplace of a 19th century miller. Flour is ground regularly and is for sale throughout the season. Once home to the great romantic poet Lord Byron, there is much to see and do at Newstead Abbey
. Visitors can enjoy its stunning grounds, which are a delight in all seasons. Idyllic walks with amazing scenery and wildlife can be enjoyed at Clumber Park
, where Europe’s longest double avenue of lime trees line the grand entrance. Discover the park on a bike, with over 20 miles of routes through spectacular scenery.
, Killarney Homes, Moor Farm, Moor Lane, Calverton, Nottinghamshire NG14 6FZ
Tel: 0115 965 2426/07929 208369
• Service charge:
£133.95 per month
• Council Tax:
Band A, £1,092.57 per annum
• Age limit:
45+, semi-retired and retired
Welcome at park owner’s discretion
At the time of writing there was a 36x22 Arundel Lodge show home available at £129,950
This feature was published in the November 2011 issue of Park & Holiday Homes. To order a copy of Park & Holiday Homes please click here
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