Villages around Robin Hood's Stride

Aldwark

Slideshow

Aldwark Farm
Aldwark Farm
People have lived in Aldwark (the name is Saxon meaning 'Old Fort') since ancient times and there are several Neolithic burial sites in the surrounding fields. Flint arrowheads have been found in these fields and the burial mound of Greenlow lies a short distance outside the hamlet. Minninglow, one of the most famous Neolithic burial sites in the area, lies only a mile away.

In the 18th century Aldwark was a busy staging post for stagecoaches plying the Buxton - Derby route, and had several inns, but these have all closed and now it is a peaceful and secluded farming hamlet.
 

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Aldwark Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge
Aldwark farm
0 - Aldwark farm

Birchover

Slideshow

Birchover is larger than first appears, with rows of cottages clustered along a road which heads straight up the hillside to the historically significant Stanton Moor. It is a very good centre for exploring both Stanton Moor and Harthill Moor on the opposite side of the valley.

At the bottom of the village is the Druid Inn and there is a church hidden in a hollow below it. The church has some unusual paintings which seem more appropriate to the namesakes of the Inn than a church. Behind the Druid Inn is Rowtor Rocks, a small gritstone tor with a fine view similar to the better-known Robin Hood's Stride across the valley from it. It contains several finely balanced rocking stones which can be moved by the application of a shoulder. One of these could once be moved easily by hand, but was shifted from its position as a prank by fourteen young men on Whit Sunday 1799 and although it was replaced it is not now so finely balanced. The steps and seats which are carved out of the rock here were the work of the Reverend Thomas Eyre, the builder of the village church.

At the top of the village there is an active and important stone-cutting works and behind this are quarries where high-quality gritstone is extracted for building purposes.
 
Birchover Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Stanton Moor - Cork Stone
0 - Stanton Moor - Cork Stone
Harthill Moor - The Nine Stones
1 - Harthill Moor - The Nine Stones
Stanton Moor - the 9 ladies stone circle
2 - Stanton Moor - the 9 ladies stone circle
Robin Hoods Stride
3 - Robin Hoods Stride
Stanton Moor - the Andle Stone with Youlgrave behind
4 - Stanton Moor - the Andle Stone with Youlgrave behind
Birchover view
5 - Birchover view
Cratcliffe Tor
6 - Cratcliffe Tor
Winster - Old Market Hall
7 - Winster - Old Market Hall
Winster Dower House
8 - Winster Dower House
Winster Hall
9 - Winster Hall
Winster street
10 - Winster street

Bonsall

Slideshow

After the bustle and noise of Matlock Bath it comes as a surprise to find just over the hill a peaceful village like Bonsall nestling in a deep dale. Bonsall is a village of many parts; The steep road up from the Via Gellia is called The Clatterway. At the village green The Dale splits off to the left while the High Street carries on all the way to Town Head. Between Town Head and The Dale is Uppertown while just along from The Dale is the hamlet of Slaley.

Bonsall has a long lead-mining heritage and once boasted five pubs. The moor above is pock-marked with the remains of lead-mines and the village comprises mainly small lead-miners and weavers cottages.

At the centre of the village is an old market cross on a circular base of steps outside one of the two remaining pubs, The King's Head, dating from 1677. Just along church lane is the Victorian church, which overlooks the village. Over in The Dale is the other remaining pub, The Barley Mow, which hosts the annual Bonsall Chicken Race on the first Saturday in August.
 
Bonsall Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Matlock Bath - The Pavilion
0 - Matlock Bath - The Pavilion
Bonsall Market square
1 - Bonsall Market square
Cromford - Scarthin and millpond
2 - Cromford - Scarthin and millpond
Matlock Bath
3 - Matlock Bath
Matlock Bath from above the Temple Hotel
4 - Matlock Bath from above the Temple Hotel
River Derwent at Matlock Bath
5 - River Derwent at Matlock Bath
Middleton by Wirksworth cottages
6 - Middleton by Wirksworth cottages

Darley Dale

Slideshow

Darley Dale is a long, drawn out Derwent Valley settlement that lies A6 to the north-west of Matlock. It is principally residential now but was the location of the Mill Close Mine - the last major lead mine in the Peak, which closed in 1939. Now there is a lead smelter on the site. Largely ignored by the traffic passing through it nonetheless has some very interesting nooks and crannies. The old town is down and to the west of the road towards the river and the parish church has a Norman font and a very old and impressive yew tree with a 33-foot girth. The tree is claimed to be over 2,000 years old. On the main A6 road above the church is the Whitworth Institute, founded by Sir Joseph Whitworth, a local industrialist and local benefactor.

Either side of Darley Dale there are excellent walking prospects and scenery. To the West is Stanton Moor with both ancient and industrial heritage while to the east is the much quieter Fallinge Edge, now largely accessible thanks to the CROW act. Both Stanton and Fallinge are gritstone and sport incredible heather in late July and August.
 
Darley Dale Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Restaurant car at Peak Rail
0 - Restaurant car at Peak Rail
Peak Rail engine
1 - Peak Rail engine

Elton

Slideshow

Elton is a pretty village constructed of a warm-coloured local sandstone. It is situated on the hillside looking down towards Youlgreave and Stanton-in-the-Peak and the views from nearby Blake Low are particularly fine. Robin Hood's Stride and Cratcliff Tor are within easy walking distance.

The village is situated just off the Iron Age road known as The Portway, and that and the presence of local springs probably accounts for its existence here, placed high on the hillside in an otherwise exposed position. It was a lead-mining centre in the 18th and 19th centuries and the church, which dates from 1812, replaced an earlier building which collapsed in 1805 due to mining subsidence.

At the village centre there is a pub and a cafe, while further along the main street there is a the former Elton Hall which until recently was a Youth Hostel.
 
Elton Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Harthill Moor - The Nine Stones
0 - Harthill Moor - The Nine Stones
Robin Hoods Stride
1 - Robin Hoods Stride
Birchover view
2 - Birchover view
Cratcliffe Tor
3 - Cratcliffe Tor
Elton cafe
4 - Elton cafe

Grangemill & Ible

Grangemill is situated at a crossroads on the Via Gellia, the A5012 road from Cromford to Buxton. There are a few houses, the former mill, and a pub called the Hollybush.

Ible is situated on the hilltop just to the east. Relatively untouched and untroubled, it is one of the Peak's best hidden little hamlets, with a small cluster of farms on a bluff overlooking the Griffe Grange Valley below.
 

Middleton by Youlgreave

Slideshow

Middleton cottages
Middleton cottages
Middleton by Youlgreave is a quiet, leafy place built above the River Bradford, upstream of its larger neighbour. There was once a castle here, a fact commemorated in the name of Castle Farm, but the modern village was mostly constructed in the 19th century around the hall, which is hidden behind trees at the southern end of the village.

The most notable feature of the village is the grave of Thomas Bateman (1820-61), an important local archaeologist and excavator of some 500 local barrows. Though he took some care to record and analyse his finds, his methods were unfortunately not nearly as scientific as modern techniques, and he was known to have excavated as many as five barrows in one day. Many of his finds are now in Sheffield Museum, and some in the British Museum. He is buried in a field behind the former Congregational chapel, in a small enclosure surrounded by cast-iron railings. A barrow would perhaps have been more appropriate.

On the village green there is a playground and public toilets, and alongside there is a more recent memorial to the crew of a Lancaster bomber which crashed at nearby Smerrill in 1944.

The walking around Middleton is excellent. Bradford Dale is beautiful and the high, limestone pasturelands around the village harbour much archaeology, both ancient and industrial.
 
Middleton by Youlgreave Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Youlgrave church - exterior view
0 - Youlgrave church - exterior view
Youlgrave Church - tomb of Thomas Cokayne
1 - Youlgrave Church - tomb of Thomas Cokayne
Youlgrave Church - medieval pilgrim figure
2 - Youlgrave Church - medieval pilgrim figure
Youlgrave Church - Roger Rooe tomb
3 - Youlgrave Church - Roger Rooe tomb
Youlgrave Church - memorial to Robert Gilbert
4 - Youlgrave Church - memorial to Robert Gilbert
Bradford Dale
5 - Bradford Dale
Middleton by Youlgrave - Thomas Bateman\'s tomb
6 - Middleton by Youlgrave - Thomas Bateman\'s tomb
Fluorspar workings on Long Rake
7 - Fluorspar workings on Long Rake
Middleton by Youlgrave
8 - Middleton by Youlgrave
Over Haddon stile
9 - Over Haddon stile
Youlgrave YHA
10 - Youlgrave YHA
Youlgrave water cistern
11 - Youlgrave water cistern
Youlgrave public house
12 - Youlgrave public house

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

Pikehall

Slideshow

Pikehall is a small farming hamlet on the A5012 road between Buxton and Cromford, approximately where the modern road is crossed by the line of the old Roman road leading south from Buxton. The hamlet is a useful access point to the High Peak Trail, which passes just to the south of here and is notable for the annual 'trotting' races which are held on a field just outside the hamlet.

The parking area nearby on the High Peak trail is a useful starting point not only for the trail itself but also for the exploration of Royston Rocks and Royston Grange to the south and Gratton Dale to the north.
 
Pikehall Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
High Peak Trail near Minninglow
0 - High Peak Trail near Minninglow
High Peak Trail - old limekiln at the side of the trail
1 - High Peak Trail - old limekiln at the side of the trail
Minninglow cist
2 - Minninglow cist
Minninglow barrow
3 - Minninglow barrow
High Peak Trail - on the trail  near Gotham
4 - High Peak Trail - on the trail near Gotham

Rowsley

Slideshow

Rowsley lies at the junction of the Wye and Derwent rivers and is bisected by the main road, the A6. The village is in two sections - the original village lies in the 'Y' between the two rivers while to the east is the so-called 'railway village' constructed around the former Midland railway station. The two sections form an interesting contrast - the old part is made of gritstone cottages and farmhouses and has connections with nearby Haddon and Chatsworth, while the newer part is more utilitarian.

Peacock Hotel Rowsley
Peacock Hotel Rowsley
Two buildings in Rowsley are of interest. One is the Peacock Hotel on the main road. Built in 1652 by a John Stevenson who was agent to Grace, Lady Manners, this was at one time a dower house of Haddon Hall and is a very fine building. Above the entrance there is a magnificent ceramic peacock (the emblem of the Manners family), made by Mintons of Stoke-on-Trent. The second interesting building is Caudwell's mill, which lies off the A6 to the south, and is a fine example of a working 19th century mill. The outbuildings in the grounds of the mill house a number of different art and artisan workshops as well as an excellent cafe.

In the old village there is a Victorian church just to the north of the old railway line. Over the bridge across the Derwent there is a second pub and a small 'shopping village' behind it.
 
Rowsley Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Caudwells Mill
0 - Caudwells Mill
Rowsley - the Peacock Hotel
1 - Rowsley - the Peacock Hotel
Restaurant car at Peak Rail
2 - Restaurant car at Peak Rail
Peak Rail engine
3 - Peak Rail engine

Stanton in the Peak

Slideshow

Stanton-in-the-Peak is an estate village mostly constructed by the Thornhill family during the 18th and 19th centuries. Stanton Hall lies well hidden just to the south of the village, much of which is pleasingly built around stone courtyards and alleyways. The village faces west and catches the afternoon and evening sun all year. It is a fine vantage point from which to view the Wye valley, with Haddon Hall in clear view.

The church is an imposing building dating from the 1830s. The village pub is called The Flying Childers, named after an otherwise long-forgotten race-horse. The main interest around here lies above the village on Stanton Moor, with its stone circles, standing stones and Bronze Age enclosures plus fine views across the Derwent valley.

Stanton Lees is a small hamlet on the east side of Stanton Moor with a spectacular view across Darley Dale and the Derwent Valley.


 
Stanton in the Peak Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Stanton Moor - Cork Stone
0 - Stanton Moor - Cork Stone
Harthill Moor - The Nine Stones
1 - Harthill Moor - The Nine Stones
Stanton Moor - the 9 ladies stone circle
2 - Stanton Moor - the 9 ladies stone circle
Caudwells Mill
3 - Caudwells Mill
Stanton Moor - the Andle Stone with Youlgrave behind
4 - Stanton Moor - the Andle Stone with Youlgrave behind
Cratcliffe Tor
5 - Cratcliffe Tor
Rowsley - the Peacock Hotel
6 - Rowsley - the Peacock Hotel

Wensley

Slideshow

Wensley is a small village of former lead-miners' cottages which overlooks the Derwent Valley above Darley Dale. It provides good access to the beautiful Clough Wood and Cambridge Wood and from there to Stanton Moor. Deer are frequently seen around this area. There is a pub here.
 
Wensley Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Stanton Moor - Cork Stone
0 - Stanton Moor - Cork Stone
Stanton Moor - the 9 ladies stone circle
1 - Stanton Moor - the 9 ladies stone circle

Winster

Slideshow

Winster Market Hall
Winster Market Hall
Winster is one of the oldest and most picturesque villages in the Peak and was once the centre of the local lead mining industry. It is named after Wynn's Tor, an outcrop of rock on the edge of Bonsall Moor above it. In the 18th century this was a thriving and prosperous centre and acquired some fine buildings which remain to attest to this short period of importance. Chief of these are Winster Hall, which stands half-way along the main street, and the Dower House, which is in front of the church.
Dower House
Dower House
Its most conspicuous landmark is the old Market Hall, which stands in the centre of the main street and was constructed in the 16th and 17th centuries. It is a unique building and was the first property in this area to be acquired by the National Trust.

The village still has the feel of a lead-mining centre, with rows of former miners' cottages clinging to the slope of the north side of the hill. There are shops and a pub called the Bowling Green, which bears the date 1473 though the present building is much newer. Outside the village proper to the south is the Miners' Standard, a well-known former miners' pub and just up the hill from this there is an unusual building which was once used for storing lead ore.

Parking in Winster can be a bit tricky if you are planning to use it as a base from which to explore the area and it is best to park in the vicinity of the Miners' Standard rather than the Main Street
 
Winster Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Robin Hoods Stride
0 - Robin Hoods Stride
Birchover view
1 - Birchover view
Cratcliffe Tor
2 - Cratcliffe Tor
Elton cafe
3 - Elton cafe
Winster - Old Market Hall
4 - Winster - Old Market Hall
Winster Dower House
5 - Winster Dower House
Winster Hall
6 - Winster Hall
Winster street
7 - Winster street

Youlgrave

Slideshow

Youlgrave (or Youlgreave as the Ordnance Survey persist in calling it) is a sleepy village. Now mainly devoted to farming it was once one of the centres of the Derbyshire lead-mining industry. Though lead is no longer mined some of the old mines are still used for the extraction of fluorspar and calcite but this is low-level and unobtrusive.

Youlgrave Church
Youlgrave Church
The village was built on a ridge between the rivers Bradford and Lathkill, and is a fine centre for exploring both of these beautiful valleys. The village spills down the slope to the Bradford to the south in a topsy-turvy fashion. The river is often dry here in summer, having found an underground course to the Derwent at Darley Dale in 1881, but the dale upstream is very pretty.

At the crossroads at the eastern end of the village lie the George Hotel and the church and from here the main road goes westwards past rows of old cottages.
Conduit Head
Conduit Head
There are several shops and a second pub before you reach the former Market Place where the main feature is the Conduit Head, a large circular tank which was once an integral part of the village's water supply. Opposite, the former Co-op building now houses the Youth Hostel.

The church is one of the most interesting in the Peak, and the village contains many rows of lovely old cottages. Behind the Market Place is the original Hall, now Old Hall Farm, a grand building dated 1630, and there are some fine buildings along the main street.

Downstream of Youlgreave the hamlet of Alport lies at the junction of the Lathkill and Bradford rivers. It is a pretty spot and a good place to start a circular walk of the two valleys.
 
Youlgrave Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Youlgrave church - exterior view
0 - Youlgrave church - exterior view
Harthill Moor - The Nine Stones
1 - Harthill Moor - The Nine Stones
Youlgrave Church - tomb of Thomas Cokayne
2 - Youlgrave Church - tomb of Thomas Cokayne
Youlgrave Church - medieval pilgrim figure
3 - Youlgrave Church - medieval pilgrim figure
Youlgrave Church - Roger Rooe tomb
4 - Youlgrave Church - Roger Rooe tomb
Youlgrave Church - memorial to Robert Gilbert
5 - Youlgrave Church - memorial to Robert Gilbert
Lathkill Dale - the remains of the aqueduct from Mandale Mine
6 - Lathkill Dale - the remains of the aqueduct from Mandale Mine
Bradford Dale
7 - Bradford Dale
Conksbury Bridge
8 - Conksbury Bridge
Middleton by Youlgrave - Thomas Bateman\'s tomb
9 - Middleton by Youlgrave - Thomas Bateman\'s tomb
Cratcliffe Tor
10 - Cratcliffe Tor
Fluorspar workings on Long Rake
11 - Fluorspar workings on Long Rake
Middleton by Youlgrave
12 - Middleton by Youlgrave
Over Haddon village
13 - Over Haddon village
Over Haddon stile
14 - Over Haddon stile
Youlgrave YHA
15 - Youlgrave YHA
Youlgrave water cistern
16 - Youlgrave water cistern
Youlgrave public house
17 - Youlgrave public house
Mandale Mine engine house
18 - Mandale Mine engine house
Mandale Mine buildings
19 - Mandale Mine buildings

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