Creswell Model Village is an arts and crafts style model industrial settlement in Creswell in the parish of Elmton-with-Creswell in the Bolsover district in northeast Derbyshire. Its 280 houses were built in 1895 by the owners of Creswell Colliery on land leased from the Welbeck Estate. It was designed by Percy HouftonLate 19th and early 20th-century English architect. .
The Bolsover Colliery Company acquired ten acres (4 ha) of land in Creswell from the Duke of Portland on which to build a village to house Creswell Colliery employees. The village was built in 1895 to designs by architect Percy B. Houfton on land leased from the Duke of Portland’s Welbeck Estate. Influenced by garden village principles, it provided the workers with modern facilities; it had a tramway to deliver coal to the houses. Designed around a large oval village green with an access road through the centre, the houses are of varying styles. The Model as it is known, has been refurbished.
The village comprises 280 cottages built in an arts and crafts style in two ovals, an inner and an outer, around a large green with shrubberies and a bandstand. The inner-circle cottages faced the green and their back yards faced those of the outer circle.The two storey-houses had five or six rooms and were lit by electricity. They had small front gardens facing either the green or surrounding the outer circle. Between the circles was a 15-yard (14 m) road with a tram track used to transport coal to the colliers’ cellars. Enclosed ashpit lavatories in the back yards were emptied weekly at night by employees of the colliery company; the night soil was taken away on the tram line.
The company built the village institute or club between the houses and the colliery. In addition to its bar and billiard room, it had a reading room and library, and a lecture room capable of seating 400 people, where the colliery brass band practised. A branch of the Bolsover Co-operative Society opened a store in the village, and hawkers brought fish and fresh fruit for sale. Allotments and a cricket ground were provided between the village and the colliery.
The Duke of Portland and his wife took a great interest in the village. The Duchess of Portland paid for a nurse to look after the residents. The duke built the church, dedicated to St Mary Magdalene, which was lit by electricity generated by the colliery, and with the colliery company he financed the local school. The Methodist congregation built a chapel in the village, and the Wesleyans met in the institute’s lecture room until they had premises of their own.
Most of the colliery employees lived outside the village and used the workmen’s stopping trains that ran to Creswell railway station from Mansfield.