Bakewell Derbyshire - central to the Peak District

Bakewell is the home of the Peak District National Park Authority. Founded by the Romans at a crossing of the River Wye. In Saxon times Edward the Elder built a fort here. Jane Austen stayed in the Rutland Arms, where the Bakewell Pudding was invented.

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 Bakewell


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Bakewell Church
Bakewell Church
Bakewell's name is said to derive from the warm springs in the area - the Domesday book entry calls the town 'Badequella', meaning Bath-well.

The town was built on the West bank of the Wye at a spot where it was fordable and the site was probably occupied in Roman times (there is a Roman altar at Haddon Hall, found nearby). The Saxons left their mark here and in 924 Edward the Elder ordered a fortified borough to be built here.

The church was founded in 920 and some Saxon fragments can be seen in the porch. However, although parts are Norman, most of the modern building dates from the 13th century and it was then virtually rebuilt in the 1840s. It contains many interesting monuments and is well worth a visit.

A few yards up the hill from the church is the award-winning Old House Museum, housed in one of the few genuinely medieval buildings of the area. This house serves as a local history museum and is in the care of the Bakewell Historical Society. Other places of historical interest include Bagshaw Hall, a fine 17th century house built by a rich lawyer, and several old buildings down King Street, such as the Old Town Hall, the Red Tudor House and the Hospital of the Knight of St John. Just off the Buxton Road lies Victoria Mill, which ground corn from water power until 1939.

The old bridge at Bakewell
The old bridge at Bakewell
Two of the original wells (which serve up water rich in iron at a temperature of 15 degrees Centigrade) still survive. These are the Bath-well in Bath Street and Holywell (or Pete well) in the recreation ground. The others have been filled in long ago. Likewise, little except the bridge across the Wye (built around 1300 though widened since then) now survives of the old Bakewell, which was quite medieval in character until the early 19th century. In 1777 Arkwright opened a mill in the town and it was perhaps the resulting surge in prosperity which caused the town to be largely rebuilt in the 19th century.

One such building is the Rutland Arms, overlooking the town square and built in 1804. Jane Austen stayed here in 1811 and in Pride and Prejudice she has Elizabeth Bennet stopping here to meet the Darcys and Mr Bingley. However the Rutland Arms' chief claim to fame is as the place where the Bakewell Pudding (Bakewell has never heard of tarts) was invented by a chef of 1859 who made a mistake. You can now buy Bakewell Puddings at several establishments across the town, all claiming to have the original unique recipe.

Bakewell has one of the oldest markets in the area, dating from at least 1300. The first recorded fair was held in 1254. Markets are still held every Monday and, unlike most of the other local centres, there is a thriving livestock market at the recently rebuilt Agricultural Centre, which is well worth a visit. The big event of the year is the annual Bakewell Show, which takes place the first Wednesday and Thursday in August and attracts farmers and many others from all over the Peak District and surrounding area.

Bakewell from the river
Bakewell from the river
There are some very pleasant walks along the river from the bridge in the centre of town. Downstream leads to the recreation ground and upstream takes you to the site of Arkwright's mill, via Holme Hall (a fortified manor house dated 1626) and Holme Bridge (dated 1664). The mill burned down in 1868, but the cottages associated with it (Lumford Terrace), still survive.

Bakewell has a full range of shops, pubs and restaurants. There are numerous options for accommodation and there is also a Youth Hostel.

Bakewell has an annual well dressing and carnival, held in late June and it is the home of the Peak District National Park Authority, who have their main offices at Aldern House, Baslow Road. They also operate the town's information centre which is in the old Market Hall in Bridge street, with a parking area (except on market days) and public toilets next to it. It is open daily 9.30am - 5.30pm in summer and 9.30am - 1pm in winter. Telephone: 01629 813227
 
Bakewell Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Bakewell - Old House museum
0 - Bakewell - Old House museum
Bakewell Church
1 - Bakewell Church
Bakewell Church - medieval stone graves
2 - Bakewell Church - medieval stone graves
Bakewell Church - Saxon Cross
3 - Bakewell Church - Saxon Cross
Bakewell Church - Saxon cross stump
4 - Bakewell Church - Saxon cross stump
Bakewell Church - Tomb of Sir Thomas Wendesley
5 - Bakewell Church - Tomb of Sir Thomas Wendesley
Bakewell Church - Foljambe monument
6 - Bakewell Church - Foljambe monument
Bakewell Church - Norman font
7 - Bakewell Church - Norman font
Bakewell Church - medieval coffin lids
8 - Bakewell Church - medieval coffin lids
Bakewell Church - Saxon stone fragments
9 - Bakewell Church - Saxon stone fragments
Bakewell Church - Norman north door
10 - Bakewell Church - Norman north door
Bakewell - view of the town from the riverside
11 - Bakewell - view of the town from the riverside
Bakewell livestock market
12 - Bakewell livestock market
Bakewell bridge over the River Wye
13 - Bakewell bridge over the River Wye
Bakewell - view of the church and the town
14 - Bakewell - view of the church and the town

Useful local links:
Bakewell Show The premier agricultural show of the Peak District. Held at the Agricultural Centre annually in the first week of August.
What's on in Bakewell A website listing events and news from Bakewell and the surrounding area
Bakewell Show The premier agricultural show of the Peak District. Held at the Agricultural Centre annually in the first week of August.
Visitors Guide to Bakewell A guide and local directory for the town of Bakewell, Derbyshire, the 'capital' of the Peak District
Local places of interest

Bakewell Church

Bakewell parish church, Bakewell, Derbyshire, is built on the foundations of a Saxon church and includes some Norman sections.

Caudwell's Mill, Rowsley

Caudwell's Mill, Rowsley, Derbyshire, is a working 19th century flour mill which still mills and sells flour. It is open for guided tours and there is also a mill shop and tea room.

Chatsworth House and Park

Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, in the Peak District. Home of the Dukes of Devonshire, the Cavendish Family. First built by Bess of Hardwick. Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned here. The greatest house of the Peak District, set in a large park.

Haddon Hall

Haddon Hall, a medieval manor house and home of the Dukes of Rutland, the Manners family, formerly home of the Vernons, in the Peak District by the River Wye near Bakewell, Derbyshire.

Magpie Mine

The Magpie Mine, just South of Sheldon, was one of the most famous lead mines in the Derbyshire Peak District and was worked until the 1950s. Many of the buildings still stand.

Monsal Head

Monsal Head, a famous Derbyshire Peak District beauty spot with a magnificent view down Monsal Dale and up the Wye valley.

Old House Museum, Bakewell

The Old House Museum, Bakewell, Derbyshire, has a small exhibition of local life and artefacts, housed in a typical yeoman's house of the 16th century.

Stanton Moor

Stanton Moor, and the Nine Ladies stone circle, Derbyshire - a scenic area with many bronze age relics and burial mounds overlooking Stanton in Peak and the Wye and Derwent valleys.

Youlgrave Church

Youlgrave or Youlgreave Church, Derbyshire, is one of the finest churches in the Peak District. The tombs of Thomas Cockayne, Sir John Rossington and Roger Rooe are especially fine.

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