which consists of the villages of Crich, Fritchley and Whatstandwell

Orchard House & Home Farm, The Common

Orchard House Crich
Orchard House and Home Farm, The Common, Crich.

Once, this was all one property.
The right-hand, double-doored, property is Orchard House.
The one with a line of frame-work knitters windows is Home Farm.

Between 1851 and 1871 it was lived in by Joseph and Hannah Howitt and their family. Joseph was a grocer and manufacturer of hose. It is believed the family lived in the Orchard House part and worked the hosiery and knitting business in the Home Farm part – hence the distinctive line of windows.

Joseph originally came from Heanor and was part of the Howitt family which included Mary Howitt (née Botham), author and poet who wrote "The spider and the fly". The Mary Howitt School in Heanor is named after her.

Elizabeth Howitt, a daughter of Joseph and Hannah, married Samuel Bower son of Samuel Bower landlord of the Black Swan, Crich.

Henry Howitt, son of Joseph and Hannah, married Hannah Petts, daughter of Isaac Petts who carved Crich Cross. Henry is buried alongside the Petts family plot.

With thanks to Brian Howitt and Rosemary Bower

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