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Lea Hurst Golf Club, Cromford, Derbyshire.

A nine-hole course founded in 1890 and situated in Lea Hurst Park. Lea Hurst was a Grade 2 listed building and was the childhood home of Florence Nightingale. Mr Woodman from Buxton was the professional.

It was reported in the Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald on Saturday 8th June 1890 that a club had been formed near Matlock. Several meetings of the local gentry have been held recently at Bridge House, Cromford the residence of Mr Charles Hill. The patron is the Duke of Devonshire, with the following officers; President Mr F C Arkwright JP; vice president, Mr C Hill; captain, Dr J C Innes; treasurer Mr J B Marsden-Smedley; secretary Mr A B Moody. The ground is the picturesque park of Lea Hurst, there are more than 106 acres over which to roam and the whole of it has been let by the steward, Mr W Yeomans. It has been staked out by Dr Innes and Mr Woodman, of the Buxton club. The members will have their headquarters at the Yew Tree Inn. It is intended to keep the club very strict, and one black ball in five will exclude any gentleman nominated for membership. Competitions will be held as soon as practice has been obtained. A professional is to be engaged to tutor the members.

In September 1890 the President of the club Mr F C Arkright JP, presented a superb challenge bowl supplied by Goldsmith’s Company, Regent Street, the cost of the trophy was £10. The first contest took place on Saturday 6th September and was won by the man himself, Mr F C Arkwright, with a score of 138-30-108. Other scores; Captain Walker JP, 139-30-109; Captain Vernon Melllor, 193-80-113; Mr Edmond Lee, 161-40-121; Sir J C Lee, 167-40-127; Mr Charles Hill, 159-30-129; Major Levett, 156-20-136; Dr J C Innes, 138-scr-138; Mr B A Moody, 175-30-145; Mr J I Johnson, 206-40-166; Hon C W Trollope, 267-100-167; Mr H A Johnson, 215-40-175. Amongst the no returns were the splendid names of; Rev J A Sorby, Mr H A Chandos Pole-Gell, Mr R Wildgoose, Mr Palmer Morewood.

In October 1890 the second qualifying round for the cup presented by the president was played. The course was said to be “ever improving” and there was a large gathering of local gentry, both as spectators and players, as with the earlier contest there were some very interesting scores and names, the donor of the trophy came second. Result; Mr P Middleditcth, 148-50-98; Mr F C Arkwright JP, 125-20-105; Capt E Walker JP, 130-20-110; Mr C H Hill, 141-25-116; Mr J Fisher, 169-50-119; Major Levett, 141-20-121; Mr Vernon Mellor, 163-40-123; Mr J R Parkin, 166-40-126. The following also competed; Sir Joseph C Lee, Mr L B Lee, Mr J B Marsden-Smedley, Mr H H Middleditch, Mr J Thewlis-Johnson, Dr J C Innes, Mr N Lee, Mr A Clay, Mr T Clarke and the Rev A Christian.

From the Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald 16th July 1892 – “The Golf Club at Lea Hurst the residence of Sir Joseph Lee, is now a fashionable institution. The Golfing Annual just published at the Field office gives a plan and description of the links. The plan is drawn by Mr Parkin, of Idridgehay, and shows that the course starts just in front of the house, the holes going in the direction of the lane between Holloway and Whatstandwell, and returning by some very broken ground beyond the front of the residence towards Lea Wood. There are altogether nine-holes, and plenty of hazards are found in the shape of trees, bracken, and roadways, and a small brook. The club days are on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, play beginning at ten o’clock each morning. The Duke of Devonshire is the president, and Mr Middleditch, of Leaholme, Holloway, is the secretary. The best record on the ground is 98, made by Mr J C Innes. Mr Herbert Strutt, Mr Lennox Lee, and Captain Walker are among the members of the committee, and Mr Marsden Smedley is the treasurer.”

The course closed in 1907.