Villages around Monsal Head

Ashford in the Water

Slideshow

Ashford is an attractive and popular little village lying on the River Wye, just upstream of Bakewell. It has a long history, and from the Iron Age or earlier was one of the major crossing points on the Wye. The river and the bridges across it are major features of Ashford. Sheepwash Bridge dates from the 17th century and has a pen next to it for the purpose of washing the sheep, a practice which continued until quite recently. Downstream, Mill Bridge is dated 1664, but is newer than Sheepwash Bridge.

Sheepwash Bridge
Sheepwash Bridge
The church has some parts dating from the 12th century, including a south door with its original Norman tympanium showing a tree of life in the centre with a hog and wolf facing it. There is a 14th century tower and font, but the church was heavily restored, nay rebuilt, in the 1870s, and most of the building dates from then.

An ancient local custom unique to this village was that of hanging funeral garlands from the roof of the church. Four garlands still hang there, the oldest from 1747. They were made of white paper cut to form rosettes and fixed to a wooden frame. They would then be carried before the coffin of a young virgin in the funeral procession, before being hung up.

In the church is the grave of Henry Watson (d. 1786), who was responsible for the commercial exploitation of Ashford Black Marble. Not a true marble, this impure limestone comes up an attractive shiny black colour when polished. It was quarried from Kirk Dale and Rookery Wood just outside Ashford and was used at an early date in both Hardwick Hall and Chatsworth House. Watson's invention in 1748 of machinery for cutting and polishing the marble allowed it to be mass-produced and it became very fashionable. Watson's machinery used water power from a mill on the River Wye near the foot of Kirk Dale, which closed in 1905, though the foundations may still be seen. Examples of Ashford Marble are on display in Buxton Museum.

A further 2km upstream, on the River Wye, lies the outlet for Magpie Sough, built in 1873, an impressive 2km long underground 'drain' for the Magpie mine at Sheldon. Lead mining was extremely important in this area until the end of the 19th century.

Ashford has an annual well-dressing which is held during the week of Pentecost - six weeks after Easter (usually late May/early June). There are about 6 wells to dress, and this is one of the largest such festivals.

The village has a shop and a couple of pubs.
 

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Ashford in the Water Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Ashford Church
0 - Ashford Church
Ashford Welldressing
1 - Ashford Welldressing
Ashford Welldressing
2 - Ashford Welldressing
Ashford - Sheepwash Bridge
3 - Ashford - Sheepwash Bridge

Bakewell

Slideshow

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 Church
0 - Bakewell Church
Bakewell Church - Norman north door
1 - Bakewell Church - Norman north door
Bakewell Church - Saxon stone fragments
2 - Bakewell Church - Saxon stone fragments
Bakewell Church - medieval coffin lids
3 - Bakewell Church - medieval coffin lids
Bakewell Church - Norman font
4 - Bakewell Church - Norman font
Bakewell Church - Foljambe monument
5 - Bakewell Church - Foljambe monument
Bakewell Church - Tomb of Sir Thomas Wendesley
6 - Bakewell Church - Tomb of Sir Thomas Wendesley
Bakewell Church - Saxon cross stump
7 - Bakewell Church - Saxon cross stump
Bakewell - view of the town from the riverside
8 - Bakewell - view of the town from the riverside
Bakewell livestock market
9 - Bakewell livestock market
Bakewell bridge over the River Wye
10 - Bakewell bridge over the River Wye
Bakewell Church - Saxon Cross
11 - Bakewell Church - Saxon Cross
Bakewell Church - medieval stone graves
12 - Bakewell Church - medieval stone graves
Bakewell - Old house museum
13 - Bakewell - Old house museum
Bakewell - view of the church and the town
14 - Bakewell - view of the church and the town

Cressbrook

Slideshow

Cressbrook is located on the River Wye about 4 miles north of Bakewell. It grew up around a cotton mill and consists mainly of former mill cottages, though some of the oldest houses in and around the village are lead miners' cottages, testifying to a history that predates the mill.

Cressbrook Mill
Cressbrook Mill
The mill is still the major building in the village though now it has been converted into apartments. The original mill was built by Sir Richard Arkwright in 1779 but this burnt down in 1785 and was rebuilt by Richard Arkwright Jnr in 1787. A large extension (Wye Mill - Grade II* listed) was commissioned in 1814 and erected by William Newton on behalf on J L Philips and Brother, Cotton Spinners. Newton was a local character whom Anna Seward dubbed 'The Minstrel of the Peak'. Behind the mill are apprentices cottages, older than the current main mill building by several years. These were built to house orphans brought as child apprentices from London to work in the mill.

In 1820 the tiny cottages in Ravensdale (known locally as 'The Wick') were built followed in 1840 the model village of pretty cottages at the top of the hill. The Cressbrook mill owners were generally philanthropic and as well as fine housing they provided piped water pumped up the hill from a spring near the river and they funded the village band, which still survives.

Above the mill is Cressbrook Hall, the house of mill-owner Henry McConnel. The house stands on a bluff overlooking the river and is a fanciful piece of Gothic architecture. The position is superb, with magnificent views down Monsal Dale. Farther up the hill is the rest of the village, for the most part consisting of the cottages once occupied by the millworkers.

The heyday of the mill was the 19th century when it produced high-quality cotton for lacemaking. After World War I all the local mills struggled to make a profit and cotton spinning ceased here in 1965. The mill finally closed in 1971 after which it was allowed to decay for several years before being restored.

The demise of the cotton industry brought great changes to the village. As there is now almost no employment within the village the population has declined and faster transport links have meant that they have been replaced by an influx of older professional people who work within a wide radius of the village. House prices have risen so that local young people can rarely afford them. This has meant that the population has aged - to the extent that the local school closed in 1997, when its roll was down to 6 pupils. A number of the cottages have become second homes or holiday homes, and of course many of these are empty for much of the year.

The scenery around is magnificent. Along the River Wye, just upstream of Cressbrook Mill lies Water-cum-Jolly, a beautiful river gorge with fine limestone cliffs which attract many rock-climbers, bird-watchers, walkers and fishermen. North of the mill lies Cressbrook Dale, or Ravensdale, a fine gorge-like limestone dale with numerous crags and the remains of several lead mines. Most of this dale is a National Nature Reserve renowned for its range of rare flowers.

The village has a fete and well dressing each year in early June.
 
Cressbrook Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Monsal Dale - river Wye
0 - Monsal Dale - river Wye
Monsal Dale
1 - Monsal Dale
Cressbrook Dale
2 - Cressbrook Dale
Cressbrook Mill
3 - Cressbrook Mill
Cressbrook 'New' Houses
4 - Cressbrook 'New' Houses
Cressbrook - Ravens Crag
5 - Cressbrook - Ravens Crag
Litton - Tansley Dale flowers
6 - Litton - Tansley Dale flowers
Litton - Tansley Dale walls
7 - Litton - Tansley Dale walls
Water cum Jolly and Cressbrook millpond
8 - Water cum Jolly and Cressbrook millpond
Water cum Jolly
9 - Water cum Jolly
Water cum Jolly - Cressbrook Hall and millpond
10 - Water cum Jolly - Cressbrook Hall and millpond
Cressbrook mill workers' cottages
11 - Cressbrook mill workers' cottages
Water cum Jolly from the Monsal Trail
12 - Water cum Jolly from the Monsal Trail
Monsal Trail - at Water-cum-Jolly
13 - Monsal Trail - at Water-cum-Jolly

Eyam

Slideshow

Eyam is one of the best-preserved villages in the vicinity and is the famous 'plague village', which went into voluntary quarantine when the plague was imported from London in 1665. Above the village lies Eyam Moor which is a fine area for walking, with good views across the Derwent valley and many Bronze Age remains and monuments.

Eyam Church
Eyam Church
The church in the centre of the village has many relics of the Plague, including Mompesson's chair, gravestones of Plague victims and the Parish Register recording the deaths. Within the church there is a small exhibition about the Plague. The church has two Norman columns, and may be built on Saxon foundations, but dates mostly from the 13th and 14th centuries. In the churchyard there is a magnificent Saxon cross dating probably from the 9th century and carved with a mixture of pagan and Christian symbols. There is also a fine sundial on the wall of the church.

The Rectory next door to the church was the birthplace in 1747 of Anna Seward, the 'Swan of Lichfield', a noted literary character of the 18th Century who wrote poetry in the 'Augustan' style, which is now thoroughly out of fashion. Amongst many other works, she wrote a touching poem 'Eyam' which was about the village, and she was a friend of Sir Walter Scott amongst others.

Eyam Hall
Eyam Hall
There are many fine old houses in Eyam and parts of the village have been kept as they looked several centuries ago, especially the area at Townend, around the Miner's Arms. Many of the buildings also have plaques giving details of their history and the part their inhabitants played in the Plague saga, notably the Plague Cottages, where the outbreak began, which are on the main street on the west side of the church.

Also on the main street lies Eyam Hall, built in 1676 but in a style which was already out of fashion, so it looks like an early Jacobean mansion. It is the home of the Wright family who built it and have lived there ever since, and the house is open to visitors in the summer months, as well as housing a small craft centre.

Waterfall Swallett
Waterfall Swallett
The local industries were lead-mining (the lead-miners were noted Non-Conformists and Wesley preached here), silk weaving and shoe-making. The discovery of the Hucklow Side Vein in 1777 led to a boom in lead mining in this area for the next hundred years and next to the village school is a mound which still houses the shaft of Glebe Mine, a lead mine which was later worked for fluorspar until 1965. At the West end of the village is Townhead factory, built as a silk mill, and there is a former shoe factory in the centre of the village. Eyam had one of the earliest public water supplies of anywhere in the area (1588) and parts of this system can still be seen around the village.

To the West of the village, off the road to Foolow, lies Little and Greater Waterfall Swallet, good examples of natural potholes. The water which disappears into these swallets reappears near Stoney Middleton.

Eyam has several shops and tea rooms, plus one pub, the Miner's Arms. This is dated 1630 and is the former meeting place of the Barmote Court, which dealt with lead mining disputes. It is also is reputed to be one of the most haunted buildings in Derbyshire, which would surely add interest to a night's stay! Just outside the village is a public carpark and toilets with a small museum opposite. On the edge above the village there is a Youth Hostel.

Eyam has a well-dressing in late August.
 
Eyam Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Eyam Plague Cottages
0 - Eyam Plague Cottages
Eyam Churchyard
1 - Eyam Churchyard
Eyam cottages with plague signpost
2 - Eyam cottages with plague signpost
Eyam churchyard - Plague gravestone
3 - Eyam churchyard - Plague gravestone
Eyam - Riley Graves
4 - Eyam - Riley Graves
Eyam - Riley Graves
5 - Eyam - Riley Graves
Eyam Saxon cross
6 - Eyam Saxon cross
Eyam - brass band in welldressing parade
7 - Eyam - brass band in welldressing parade
Eyam Hall
8 - Eyam Hall
Eyam moor view of Froggatt edge
9 - Eyam moor view of Froggatt edge

Flagg

Slideshow

Flagg is located between Monyash and Taddington, high up in the centre of the limestone dome that makes up the White Peak. It is rich pastureland and Flagg is a predominantly farming community. Aside from the many local farms there is a Hall of 16th Century origin.

On the A515, which pass Flagg to the south, lie two pubs, the Duke of York and the Bull I' th' Thorn. The latter has been a hostelry since 1472, much added to since that time, but is one of the oldest surviving buildings in the area. It is well worth a visit to sample its interior, in the centre of which is the medieval hall house which predates the hostelry.

Flagg races, a point-to-point event, take place here on Easter Tuesday every year. This is a quite unique event of the area and usually attracts large crowds. Point-to-point over an area of limestone walls is a notably dangerous sport!
 
Flagg Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge
Deepdale (Sheldon)
0 - Deepdale (Sheldon)

Foolow

Slideshow

Foolow
Foolow
Foolow is a picturesque village clustered around a village green with an ancient cross and duckpond. It was formerly a lead-mining village and many of the houses are from the 17th century. The mere, or pond, is fed by natural springs and the shaft of the village cross is medieval, though the base is more recent and has a bull-baiting ring attached to it. There are no shops but there is a pub, the Bull's Head.

The area around is limestone and the village stands on the 'Foolow Beds'. Huge, deep slabs of Carboniferous limestones that mark the transition from the Dark Peak in the north to the White Peak in the south. There is much evidence of lead-mining locally. There are also some interesting geological features, such as Waterfall Swallet, where one of the local streams disappears underground. This lies along the road to Eyam. To the north the ground rises up to Eyam edge and the landscape changes rapidly to gritstone. The whole surrounding area is a fine one for relatively gentle walks.

Foolow has a well-dressing in late August.
 
Foolow Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Bretton - the Barrel Inn
0 - Bretton - the Barrel Inn
Bretton Clough and Abney Low view
1 - Bretton Clough and Abney Low view
Foolow village green
2 - Foolow village green
Foolow - Waterfall swallet
3 - Foolow - Waterfall swallet

Hassop

Hassop has an imposing look, due to the splendour of the architecture left behind by the Eyre family, the local landlords and builders of Hassop Hall. The Hall is now a private hotel but it retains the fine buildings and classical park (with lake) that the Eyres erected. The Eyres were devout Catholics and so the large Classical style church which draws your eye as you pass through the village is a Catholic one. As well as being landowners, the family made much money from lead-mining and it is said that there are two large manholes in the floor of the cellar of the Hall which lead to a former lead-mine.

The village has a pub called, not surprisingly, the Eyre Arms.
 

Litton

Slideshow

Litton is a small village lying 2km East of Tideswell. It is situated in a picturesque area just to the east of Tideswell and the eastern end of the village overlooks Tansley Dale and Ravensdale, a National Nature Reserve. It is a popular area for walkers.

Litton's derivation is as the historical seat of the Lytton family, who settled here shortly after the Norman conquest. Sir Gilbert de Lytton accompanied Richard III on the crusades and his descendants held many sovereign positions including Sir Rowland de Lytton, who served Elizabeth I. Subsequent to the Lyttons the land passed down through the Alsop, Bagshawe, Upton and Statham families as well as Lord Scarsdale.

Litton
Litton
Originally a lead-miners' village, Litton mostly comprises small cottages, though there are some fine large houses and several old buildings, including one house dating from 1639. In the eighteenth century it had a flourishing stocking making industry. There is a village green with an ancient cross and a pair of stocks. In Litton Dale the remnants of an ancient medieval field system, with long narrow fields, may still be seen.

There is a pub, the Red Lion, and a small shop. Litton has a well dressing in late June.


 
Litton Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Tideswell Church
0 - Tideswell Church
Tideswell Church in snow
1 - Tideswell Church in snow
Tideswell Church - the tomb of Thurstan de Bower
2 - Tideswell Church - the tomb of Thurstan de Bower
Tideswell Church - carving by Advent Hunstone
3 - Tideswell Church - carving by Advent Hunstone
Tideswell Church - medieval womens graves
4 - Tideswell Church - medieval womens graves
Litton
5 - Litton
Litton village green
6 - Litton village green
Cressbrook Dale
7 - Cressbrook Dale
Litton - traditional dancing in Wakes week
8 - Litton - traditional dancing in Wakes week
Litton - Tansley Dale flowers
9 - Litton - Tansley Dale flowers
Litton - Tansley Dale walls
10 - Litton - Tansley Dale walls
Tideswell
11 - Tideswell
Cressbrook Dale - view of Peter's Stone
12 - Cressbrook Dale - view of Peter's Stone

Longstone

Slideshow

Longstone is made up of two small villages, Great and Little Longstone. The villages have many fine 18th century cottages, built during an era of prosperity from lead-mining and shoemaking. There is a village green in Great Longstone, with an ancient cross and a nearby manor house which has medieval origins. Across the road is Longstone Hall, originally built during the 14th century, but rebuilt in the mid 18th, with a prominent brick facade. There is a rather nice church hidden round the back of the village.

Great Longstone church
Great Longstone church
There is a shop and two pubs in Great Longstone, the Crispin (patron saint of shoemakers) and The White Lion, while Little Longstone has the Packhorse.

Great Longstone and Little Longstone have well-dressings in late July.

Just along the road, to the west of Little Longstone, is Monsal Head, a famous beauty spot and viewpoint. There is a small car park with a fine view down the valley, and a much larger car park, with public toilets, 100m away. A few hundred metres towards Ashford there is an old Quaker burial ground.

To the north of Longstone lies Longstone Edge, a fine viewpoint for the surrounding countryside. Unfortunately the top of the edge has been intensively quarried for lead and, more recently fluorspar, which has left some impressive holes in the ground but rather detracts from its scenic value.
 
Longstone Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Monsal Head Viaduct
0 - Monsal Head Viaduct
Monsal Dale - river Wye
1 - Monsal Dale - river Wye
Monsal Dale
2 - Monsal Dale
Longstone parish church
3 - Longstone parish church
Entrance to Headstone Tunnel below Monsal Head
4 - Entrance to Headstone Tunnel below Monsal Head

Miller's Dale

Slideshow

Miller's Dale was once an important railway junction, where passengers for Buxton joined or left the trains between London and Manchester on the old Midland Railway. Since the railway was closed in 1970 the station has become an important car park and access point to local walks. The hamlet is still dominated by the impressive, massive railway viaducts across the Wye valley here.

Millers Dale view
Millers Dale view
Miller's Dale is an excellent centre from which to explore the gorges of the Wye and the high limestone plateau around it. Ravenstor, towards Litton Mill, is a fearsome overhanging limestone cliff on which local rock climbers practise, and there is more rock-climbing in Cheedale, upstream of Miller's Dale.

Downstream lies Litton Mill, a small hamlet grouped around a former cotton mill on the River Wye. The mill was built in the late 18th century and burned down in 1897 (there is a photograph in the Angler's Rest in Millers Dale), but was then rebuilt. In its early years the mill was known locally and nationally for its harsh treatment of its apprentices, many of whom were orphans both local and from as far away as London. This was the subject of an expose in the form of a book by Robert Blincoe in 1832 which is said to have helped the passage of the Factories Act of 1833 and may have inspired Dickens when he wrote Oliver Twist.

There are two Nature Reserves near Miller's Dale. Priestcliffe Lees and Station Quarry belongs to Derbyshire Naturalists' Trust, while Monk's Dale (a dry tributary valley of the Wye) is a National Nature Reserve. Both are rich in classic limestone flora and fauna of the area.

There is a small church and a pub, the Angler's Arms and 1km away is Ravenstor Youth Hostel.
 
Miller's Dale Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Miller's Dale
0 - Miller's Dale
Cressbrook 'New' Houses
1 - Cressbrook 'New' Houses
Miller's Dale - Raven Tor
2 - Miller's Dale - Raven Tor
Water cum Jolly and Cressbrook millpond
3 - Water cum Jolly and Cressbrook millpond
Water cum Jolly
4 - Water cum Jolly
Water cum Jolly - Cressbrook Hall and millpond
5 - Water cum Jolly - Cressbrook Hall and millpond
Cressbrook mill workers' cottages
6 - Cressbrook mill workers' cottages
Water cum Jolly from the Monsal Trail
7 - Water cum Jolly from the Monsal Trail
Monsal Trail - at Water-cum-Jolly
8 - Monsal Trail - at Water-cum-Jolly

Monyash

Slideshow

Monyash is an unspoilt village clustered around the village green, its main preoccupation is now farming and tourism but at it was an important lead-mining centre from medieval times to the end of the 19th century and had its own Barmote Court. The village cross dates from 1340, when Monyash was granted a licence for a weekly market and two annual fairs. Around the village may be seen characteristic narrow fields which were enclosures of medieval strips and, further away, the larger fields which resulted from the 1771 Enclosures Act.

Monyash and the surrounding area have been settled since Neolithic times, as can be inferred from its proximity to Arbor Low, which dates from 2000BC or earlier. The village has a good water source and sits on a deposit of clay, which means that the water does not sink immediately into underlying limestone, as it usually does in this area. This led to the creation of several ponds or 'meres' and at least one survives until the present day. The village was mentioned in the Domesday Book as 'Maneis', which is often translated as 'many ash trees' (cf. Oxford Dictionary of British Placenames), but research by Professor Bob Johnston indicates that it is more likely derived from the Old English words mani and eas for many waters.

The Romans built a road which follows the ridge to the south-east of the village, and which probably follows the line of a much earlier trackway. Later, the Saxons overran the area, which became part of the territory of the 'Pecsaete' tribe (some people believe that 'Peak District' is derived from this tribe's name) and a celebrated Saxon burial at Benty Grange just south of Monyash was probably one of their chieftains.

Monyash
Monyash
Some of the farms are quite ancient, such as One Ash Grange, about a mile from the main village, which was originally a farming outpost of Roche Abbey. It later belonged to the Bowman family, who were noted Quakers - and the village became a Quaker centre because it was also the home of John Gratton, a prominent early Quaker. Though it is no longer used as such, the Quaker meeting house still stands along the road towards Flagg and behind it there is a poignant Quaker cemetery. John Bright, of the Anti Corn-Law League, was a friend of the Bowman family and spent his honeymoon at One Ash Grange.

The lead mines for which Monyash was famous also provide a Quaker connection, since they were worked in the 17th and 18th centuries by the London Lead Company, a Quaker firm. Sheldon House was once one of the mining offices and the miners were said to have queued for their pay here.

Evidence of other industries of bygone days may be found in the local names of Shuttle Lane and Chandler House. Monyash's most recent claim to fame is as the burial place of Sir Maurice Oldfield, a local man who became the head of MI6 and was the model for 'M' in the James Bond books.

The village lies at the head of Lathkill Dale and is therefore very busy with walkers and hikers at weekends, since it is a good base for exploring the surrounding area. There is a pub, the Bull's Head, where the Barmote Court still meets twice yearly. Next door to the Bull's Head there is a popular cafe. Monyash has an annual well-dressing at the end of May.
 
Monyash Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Magpie Mine
0 - Magpie Mine
Magpie Mine
1 - Magpie Mine
Magpie Mine
2 - Magpie Mine
Lathkill Dale - view from Haddon Grove with spring flowers
3 - Lathkill Dale - view from Haddon Grove with spring flowers
Monyash
4 - Monyash
Lathkill Dale
5 - Lathkill Dale
Lathkill Dale - upper section under snow
6 - Lathkill Dale - upper section under snow
Monyash well dressing, 2004
7 - Monyash well dressing, 2004
Lathkill House Cave
8 - Lathkill House Cave

Over Haddon

Slideshow

Over Haddon is a picturesque former lead-mining village clinging to the top of the steep side of Lathkill Dale to the south of Bakewell. It is a popular stopping point for weekend walkers in the Lathkill valley and has a useful car park, though using this does involve a steep descent (and thus ascent) into (and out of) Lathkill Dale below. The village has a pub called The Lathkill.

Lathkill Dale is a beautiful and fascinating place. An alternative perspective can be achieved by following the gorge top access land from the access point to the south of Haddon Grove Farm, one mile to the west of Over Haddon.
 
Over Haddon Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Lathkill Dale - the remains of the aqueduct from Mandale Mine
0 - Lathkill Dale - the remains of the aqueduct from Mandale Mine
Lathkill River
1 - Lathkill River
Conksbury Bridge
2 - Conksbury Bridge
Over Haddon village
3 - Over Haddon village
Over Haddon stile
4 - Over Haddon stile
Mandale Mine engine house
5 - Mandale Mine engine house
Mandale Mine buildings
6 - Mandale Mine buildings

Pilsley

Slideshow

Pilsley is one of the villages of the Chatsworth Estate and is built of a mellow local sandstone. There is a public house (the Devonshire Arms, naturally) and on the other side of the road there is the Chatsworth Farm Shop, housed in the former Shire Horse Stud building.

Pilsley has a well-dressing in mid-July.
 
Pilsley Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Baslow Old Bridge over the River Derwent
0 - Baslow Old Bridge over the River Derwent
Edensor
1 - Edensor
Pilsley pub
2 - Pilsley pub

Sheldon

Slideshow

Sheldon is a small farming hamlet perched high above the River Wye, South of Ashford. From just outside the village there are fine views of the Wye and the lower part of Monsal Dale.

Lead mining flourished around here in the 18th and 19th centuries and most of Sheldon dates from this period. One of the most famous and certainly the best-preserved Peak District mine, the Magpie Mine, lies just 1km south of here.

Sheldon has a pub, the Cock and Pullet, popular with hikers.
 
Sheldon Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Magpie Mine
0 - Magpie Mine
Magpie Mine
1 - Magpie Mine
Magpie Mine
2 - Magpie Mine
Sheldon Cottages
3 - Sheldon Cottages
Monsal Dale view from Sheldon
4 - Monsal Dale view from Sheldon

Stoney Middleton

Slideshow

Stoney Middleton lies at the foot of Middleton Dale, a spectacular cliff-lined valley which has been much affected by long years of quarrying. The village centre lies just off the main A623 road and is surprisingly secluded and quiet.

There is a small church, St Martin's, which was originally built by Joan Eyre to commemorate her husband's safe return from Agincourt in 1415. Only the tower is original, the nave having burnt down in a fire in 1757 to be replaced in 1759 by an unusual octagonal building.

Nearby are some low buildings which are advertised as the 'Roman Baths', though the current building was constructed in the 19th century. These are fed by some warm springs which issue from the hillside and historical evidence indicates that they were in use from Celtic times, probably forming the focus of a shrine to an aquatic goddess. The earliest documented references to the springs are medieval, but numerous Roman coins have been found locally.

Clustered along the main road is the former toll bar, now a fish and chip shop, a pub called The Moon and an Indian restaurant. Just above the restaurant is 'Lover's Leap' where, in 1762 the jilted Hannah Baddaley flung herself off the clifftop, only to be saved by her voluminous skirts, which acted as a parachute. Sadly she died of natural causes only two years later, still unwed.

Higher up the valley, at the foot of Middleton Dale, the scenery is dominated by Windover Buttress, home of some of the most spectacular rock climbs of the area. There are also several important pot-holes in this dale, notably Carlswark cavern.

Stoney Middleton has a well-dressing in late July.

The upland area to the south of Middleton Dale (between Stoney Middleton and Longstone Edge) has been mined extensively for Fluorspar, leaving large settling ponds full of 'tailings', and resembles a moonscape. It is well worth a visit just to see this scene of desolation. Further south there is the open moorlands of Longstone Edge, one of the few ecologically sensitive Limestone Heaths in the area. Longstone Edge offers excellent walking and views.
 
Stoney Middleton Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Eyam Plague Cottages
0 - Eyam Plague Cottages
Eyam Churchyard
1 - Eyam Churchyard
Eyam cottages with plague signpost
2 - Eyam cottages with plague signpost
Eyam churchyard - Plague gravestone
3 - Eyam churchyard - Plague gravestone
Eyam - Riley Graves
4 - Eyam - Riley Graves
Eyam - Riley Graves
5 - Eyam - Riley Graves
Eyam Saxon cross
6 - Eyam Saxon cross
Eyam - brass band in welldressing parade
7 - Eyam - brass band in welldressing parade
Eyam Hall
8 - Eyam Hall

Taddington

Slideshow

Taddington is clustered around an ancient well on the north side of a ridge formed by a sill of Dolerite in the surrounding limestone. It is one of the highest villages in the area.

The church is mostly 14th century and has an enigmatic decorated shaft in the churchyard. The origins of the shaft are obscure, but it dates from at least Norman times.

Taddington
Taddington
About 2km West of the village, on the escarpment lies Five Wells chambered cairn. This is the highest megalithic tomb in England and must have been an impressive construction on this high point before it was eroded by the elements and robbed for stone. It is a superb viewpoint, with a magnificent view over the surrounding area. Twelve burials were found in the tomb when it was excavated.

At the eastern, lower end of the village (known as Town End), is a pub, the Queen's Arms, and outside the village on the A6 lies the Waterloo Hotel. Taddington has a well-dressing in mid-August.

Blackwell and Priestcliffe are two hamlets of a dozen houses each, sited between Taddington and the River Wye. Most of the dwellings are active farms.

The area below Blackwell, between it and the River Wye, has a series of ridges and terraces in the fields which are the remnants of a Britano-Roman field system, dating from around 400 AD. This was centred around a fortified settlement on the top of Chee Tor, overlooking the River Wye.
 
Taddington Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Taddington - Five Wells chambered cairn
0 - Taddington - Five Wells chambered cairn
Miller's Dale
1 - Miller's Dale
Monsal Dale view from Sheldon
2 - Monsal Dale view from Sheldon
Miller's Dale - Raven Tor
3 - Miller's Dale - Raven Tor
Taddington view
4 - Taddington view
Taddington church
5 - Taddington church
Water cum Jolly
6 - Water cum Jolly
Water cum Jolly - Cressbrook Hall and millpond
7 - Water cum Jolly - Cressbrook Hall and millpond
Water cum Jolly from the Monsal Trail
8 - Water cum Jolly from the Monsal Trail
Monsal Trail - at Water-cum-Jolly
9 - Monsal Trail - at Water-cum-Jolly

Tideswell

Slideshow

Tideswell Church
Tideswell Church
Tideswell (known locally as 'Tidza') is one of the most ancient settlements in the central Peak District and was granted a charter for a market in 1251 - these were held regularly until relatively recently. It was the site of the 'Great Courts' of the Royal Forest of the Peak in the time of Edward I and a few of the buildings along the main street have foundations which date from this period. However the major feature from the medieval era is the magnificent 14th-century church, known locally as 'The Cathedral of the Peak'.

This fine church was funded by the local wool trade and by lead mining - for Tideswell was a major centre for the lead-mining industry from medieval times to the nineteenth century. As the mining declined from 1850 onwards so did the population of the village and it has only started to recover in recent years.

Wheston Cross
Wheston Cross
The village still has a range of shops, cafes and pubs.

The nearby hamlet of Wheston is one of the smallest hereabouts with about 15 houses, mostly farms, and a hall which is reputedly haunted. There is an agricultural supplier here but no shops or amenities.

The main point of interest is the fine, recently restored 15th-century cross just on the western edge of the hamlet. Unusually, the cross is essentially complete despite its age. It is thought it once marked the boundary of the Royal Forest and has the Virgin Mary on one side and Christ crucified on the other.
 
Tideswell Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Tideswell Church
0 - Tideswell Church
Tideswell Church in snow
1 - Tideswell Church in snow
Tideswell Church - the tomb of Thurstan de Bower
2 - Tideswell Church - the tomb of Thurstan de Bower
Tideswell Church - carving by Advent Hunstone
3 - Tideswell Church - carving by Advent Hunstone
Tideswell Church - medieval womens graves
4 - Tideswell Church - medieval womens graves
Litton
5 - Litton
Litton village green
6 - Litton village green
Litton - traditional dancing in Wakes week
7 - Litton - traditional dancing in Wakes week
Litton - Tansley Dale walls
8 - Litton - Tansley Dale walls
Tideswell
9 - Tideswell
Wheston mediaeval cross
10 - Wheston mediaeval cross
Wheston mediaeval cross obverse
11 - Wheston mediaeval cross obverse

Wardlow

Slideshow

Wardlow is a small farming and former lead-mining village strung out along a road which follows the route of the Portway, an ancient Iron Age track that ran from Southern Derbyshire to the great Iron Age fort on Mam Tor. Later adopted by the Romans to reach thier fort at Navio, near Brough, the road is still called Castlegate but known locally as 'Scratter'.

The village layout, with farms spaced out along the through road, has probably changed little since Saxon times.

The area around is dotted with relics of the local lead-mines, which were numerous and extended into nearby Cressbrook Dale and Ravensdale and towards Longstone. The village provides excellent access to Cressbrook Dale National Nature Reserve and Longstone Edge, one of the few Limestone Heaths in the Peak District. There is a pub and a roadside cafe at Wardlow Mires.

Wardlow has a well-dressing in early September.


 
Wardlow Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Cressbrook Dale
0 - Cressbrook Dale
Cressbrook Mill
1 - Cressbrook Mill
Cressbrook - Ravens Crag
2 - Cressbrook - Ravens Crag
Litton - Tansley Dale flowers
3 - Litton - Tansley Dale flowers
Lead mine shaft heads near Wardlow
4 - Lead mine shaft heads near Wardlow
Cressbrook Dale - view of Peter's Stone
5 - Cressbrook Dale - view of Peter's Stone

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