Area Focus: Shirland, Clay Cross and Tupton


Chesterfield CAMRA’s Chair, Steve Monaghan shares with us an area focus: Shirland, Clay Cross and Tupton. (Top photo: Rykneld Turnpyke, Clay Cross).

The villages of Shirland and Tupton coupled with the town of Clay Cross run from Alfreton to Chesterfield along the Old Roman Rykneld Road. More recently known as Derby Road or the A61. As a main route it had Coaching Inns for horse drawn Coaches. There has been a resurgence of the pubs either side of this road. Let me introduce you to them…

Hay Hotel, Shirland

This small L-shaped micro pub has been thoughtfully renovated. The wooden bar was recycled from another pub. Pool table at one end and in the Winter a roaring fire at the other side. Sports TV throughout and free buffet on Sundays. This is a hidden gem. The four cask ale selection includes beer featured on Locale, meaning thet within 25 miles of Chesterfield. Breweries such as Dancing Duck and Thornbridge are on offer. I tried the Ay Up refreshing Pale Ale. Javid, the landlord, rescued the former hotel in 2017. Opening in December of that year. The staff and customers are friendly, a small car park adjacent and off street parking.

Just 5 minutes walk up the road is…

The Red Lion, Shirland

In 2022 the traditional pub was taken on by new publicans. There is a large car park at the rear, a small beer garden and recently they held a community fete. Along with good pub grub they offer Locale ales including Dancing Duck. I sampled Abduction, a good strong Pale Ale.

Greyhound at Higham

This is a large Marston’s family pub serving meals all day. A tipple of Pedigree, a well known beer, sufficed. The beer garden and patio on a Summers day are a delight. Bring the children to enjoy the play area.

Much further to the outskirts of Clay Cross we find…

The George, Clay Cross

Formerly The George and Dragon and recently rebranded as The George – Gastro pub by local entrepreneur Craig. Cask Ale includes Locale Peak Ales. Chatsworth Gold is a go to choice. Accomodations is available, regular live music and a small outdoor terrace.

Taking a slight detour we encounter…

The Three Horseshoes, Market Street, Clay Cross

This was Craig’s first pubventure. The bar offers excellent food and customer service. Cask offerings include Locale Peak Ales and Thornbridge along with Timothy Taylor Landlord and Abbeydale Moonshine. I partook in a Moonshine in the outdoor seating area.

Slightly downhill into Clay Cross lies…

Rykneld Turnpyke, John Street, Clay Cross

This former Brewpub, run by Glyn, offers three National Cask Ales in interestingly decored surroundings. In particular two large Chandeliers. Nice chunky wooden tables, pew style benches and a recently added pool table from one end. At the other circular classic pub tables and a direct view of the bar and paraphernalia adorning it. TV and jukebox are available. A recently held fund-raiser funded the nearby defibrillator.

For many Jaipur is a common choice. On this occasion I nestled a pint of award winning Kelham Island Pale Rider whilst racking the balls and breaking off. NB. Turnpyke was the gate on the road at which you paid a toll (tax).

Now back to the A61 (Bus 51 from Clay Cross terminus) to…

Tupton Tap, Old Tupton

Gary has taken over the helm. Re-introducing pub food, continuing six Cask Ales, including very Locale Ashover Brewery. A very spacious beer garden and car parking form a pleasant space for outdoor events such as a beer festival. Wednesdays is quiz night. Small areas in the pub create an intimate feel. Another locale brewery Welbeck Abbey provided my choice Harley a subtle fragrant light pale ale.

Once again down hill to…

The New Inn, Queen Victoria Road, New Tupton

Another new management team, Dave and Dean, have put Cask Ale as one of their priorities for the pub. Now serves three including Locale Drone Valley Brewery. 400 Tropicale, a punchy pale ale, and new to me, had to be sampled. One side of the pub has a pool table, a dartboard and a Sports Tv. The other is more quiet. Something for everyone. Lots of variety in snacks and spirits. Quiz nights Thursday and Sunday. Food to be available soon.

A thoroughly entertaining ale trail along the Old Roman Road.

Steve Monaghan Chesterfield CAMRA Chair aka Uncle Albert.