History of The Mundy Arms, Mackworth and Markeaton
The Mundy Arms pub restaurant stands on the A52 Ashbourne Road in Mackworth, flanked on all sides by Derbyshire’s rolling fields and farmland.
It is not clear precisely when The Mundy Arms was established, though until the mid-80’s it was a working farm-cum-alehouse. Historically it would have been part of the estate of Sir John Mundy, a successful businessman who acquired the Manor of Markeaton and Mackworth in 1516.
Mundy was an ambitious man, a goldsmith by trade, who became Sheriff of London in 1514 and Lord Mayor of London in 1522, before being knighted in 1529. In 1519, he undertook a lavish rebuilding of Markeaton Hall in Markeaton Park, bringing its appearance up to a standard befitting his future position as a knight of the realm.
The hall stood until 1755 when it was pulled down and replaced by his descendant, Wrightson Mundy. Only the Orangery still stands today. A Grade II Listed building, it is a now a small café overlooking Markeaton Park's formal gardens.
A languid stroll around the conservation village of Mackworth, can take the interested walker on a trip through the ages.
There is evidence of an old Roman road (just off Bunn Lane near Wheathils Farm), a 14th century church, a 17th century thatched and timber-framed cottage, and several farmhouses dating back to the late 1800s. The village was recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086 too.
All Saints Church is set back from the main road, standing all alone in a field, to the east of the village centre. Though it is largely 14th century, it is likely that it stands on the site of a former place of worship, dating back to the 12th century. Inside is a striking monument to Edward Mundy, High Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1772 and MP for Derbyshire in 1783, fashioned from red/brown alabaster.
A five-minute walk from The Mundy Arms, down Gold Lane and Lower Lane will bring you to an ornate stone gatehouse, the remains of Mackworth Castle. Actually, it is doubtful that a castle ever stood here. It is more likely that the structure is simply an ornate gateway, which led into the courtyard of a fortified manor house, owned by the de Mackworth family, who served under the Black Prince at the battle of Poitiers.
The manor of Mackworth has always been joined with Markeaton, a small Derbyshire village, which dates back to medieval times. The village existed until around 1755, when Wrightson Mundy, having just completed a stylish upgrade to Markeaton Hall, forced the villagers to uproot their homes and move outside the newly erected boundaries of his estate.
Today visitors can still see the former blacksmith’s shop, called The Old Forge, which is over 300 years old. And across the road from it, three brick houses dating back to 1790, which contain timber recycled from the old Markeaton Hall.
You can follow a footpath from Markeaton Park north towards Allestree and east into Vicar Wood. Pause a moment and peer through the beech trees for in the distance you can see Kedleston Hall, a beautiful 18th century mansion surrounded by historic gardens and woodlands. It’s worth a proper look around, not least so you can marvel at the wonderful Robert Adam interiors - especially the stunning marble hall - the extensive collection of fine art, and the treasure trove of Indian artefacts in Lord Curzon’s Eastern Museum.
The Mundy Arms sits in the Amber Valley in glorious Derbyshire, flanked on all sides by gently undulating hills and farmland. If you’re visiting Kedleston Hall, the Peak District or Derbyshire, be sure to stop by for a delicious pub lunch, chilled glass of wine or pint of foaming, nut-brown ale.
For a detailed history of Mackworth and Markeaton, we recommend A History of Mackworth and Markeaton by the late Don Farnsworth.
Directions to The Mundy Arms
You can find The Mundy Arms on Ashbourne Road In Mackworth, Derbyshire. Simply key DE22 4LZ into your satnav.