Stanage Edge | Peak District Towns and Villages | Staffordshire | Derbyshire | England | UK
Peak District Towns and Villages: Stanage Edge
Villages around Stanage Edge
On the road down to Hathersage lies Highlow Hall, an Elizabethan manor house and the seat of one of the branches of the Eyre family. A Robert Eyre of Highlow was High Sheriff of Derbyshire at one time. The building is quite distinctive and is reputedly one of the most haunted buildings in Derbyshire, with at least four ghosts.
To the west, on Hucklow Edge, there is the headquarters of the Derbyshire and Lancashire Gliding Club and at weekends gliders are often in the sky above.
Abney Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
|Bamford is a former mill-village and occupies the hillside underneath Bamford Edge and above the River Derwent. There is a lot more to the village than can be seen when just passing through. It has some lovely quiet corners and the Derwent is especially pretty around the millpool just above the mill itself. The impressive wier can be admired from the footbridge below the mill that carries the Public Footpath across to the south bank. There is a well-dressing festival here in mid-July.|
The mill is the first of many on the course of the Derwent and was built around 1780, burnt down and rebuilt in 1791-2. It was a cotton mill but closed for this purpose in 1965 and was used by an electric furnace manufacturer until the 1990s. It has now been converted into apartments.
Ladybower Reservoir, about 3km away. At the bottom end there is the railway station, which very conveniently links Bamford with both Manchester and Sheffield. On the road just below the station the Peak Park have re-erected the Mytham Bridge toll gate which used to stand nearby. This was one of the toll gates on the first turnpike in the area - built in 1758 to link Sheffield to Sparrowpit. Higher up, at the centre of the village there are some shops and two pubs.
Nearer to Ladybower there is the settlement of Yorkshire Bridge, with a pub of the same name. This settlement was built to rehouse some of the people who were displaced when Ladybower dam was constructed in the 1940s.
Bamford Edge is a fine gritstone edge which overlooks the village and offers a fine view of Ladybower. The edge is private land and was not readily accessible to walkers until the 'Right to Roam' legislation came into effect. This means it is considerably less well tramped or eroded than other edges. The view from the edge is very worthwhile.
Below Bamford, across the Derwent lies the hamlet of Shatton. This straggles up a lane south of the River Noe leading up onto Shatton Edge. At the end of the lane lies Shatton Hall and Nether House, one of the houses Robert Eyre of Highlow built for his seven sons in Elizabethan times. Shatton Edge, high above the hamlet, offers fine views over the Hope Valley and good walking country.
Bamford Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
|Grindleford actually comprises Grindleford itself on the west bank of the River Derwent, and Padley on the east bank. Of the two, Padley has the more interesting history for Padley Hall was the seat of the Eyres of Padley, who were the local landlords for several centuries. The ruins of the hall lie beyond Grindleford station, (which also actually lies in Padley) just off the road which climbs up from Grindleford bridge to Fox House and Sheffield. |
Modern Grindleford is a centre for walks, especially up Padley Gorge, a picturesque remnant of the deciduous forest which once covered the whole area. Above the gorge are the moors around Burbage and Froggatt edges and the isolated pub at Fox House, on the road to Sheffield. The station makes a good base for exploring the area and there is an excellent cafe here, which now also processes and sells Grindleford Spring Water.
On the Padley side there is a large hotel, the Maynard Arms, while on the edge of the village nearest Hathersage there is the Sir William, a pub taking its name from the old turnpike road which runs up the hill to Bretton. There are various shops and also the Derwent Gallery, which exhibits and sells the work of local artists. There is excellent walking also to be had on Eyam Moor to the West, with more deciduous woodland remnants and neolithic sites.
Grindleford Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
|Hathersage is one of the more interesting villages in the area, with historical associations to Robin Hood and the Eyre family. The village centres around a road junction above the River Derwent, where the road to Sheffield branches off the route which follows the Derwent downstream. The ancient centre of the village was just above the church, which itself stands above and to the north of the modern village centre. On a knoll next to it there is an earthwork called Camp Green, which is probably Danish in origin. |
Until the late 18th century Hathersage was a small agricultural village with cottage industries making brass buttons and wire, but in 1750 a Henry Cocker started the Atlas Works, a mill for making wire. By the early 19th century there were several such mills in operation and activities had spread to the manufacture of needles and pins, for which Hathersage became famous.
A paper mill was also in operation near North Lees, making wrapping paper for the pins and needles produced. Though water power was used initially for the mills, this was superseded by steam in the mid 19th century and the result was that the village was usually enveloped in a pall of smoke. Conditions for the workers were bad too. To make their points the needles had to be ground on a rotating gritstone wheel, a process which gave off fragments of dust and steel. Occasionally millstones would shatter while grinding, injuring the grinder. The lungs of the grinders gradually filled up with dust and their average life expectancy was 30 years. This prompted the interest of a Royal Commission in 1867 which led to one of the first Factory Acts, laying down working hours, requiring machinery to be protected and making it illegal for children to be employed on some types of work.
Wire and needle making moved to Sheffield at the end of the 19th century and the last mill here closed in 1902, but several of the mills are still standing - Dale Mill lies along the road to Ringinglow, Darvell's mill is at the top of the main street, and down near the stream at the bottom of the village are Atlas Works and Barnfield Works.
The modern village has a range of pubs, hotels and shops including banks, cycle hire shops and Outside, the outdoor equipment suppliers, with a cafe above. Behind the main street there is a public car park and the surprising luxury of an outdoor swimming pool (open only in summer). The railway station, on the Manchester-Sheffield line, lies on the southern edge of the village, while at the western end of the village there is a Youth Hostel.
At a hamlet called Leadmill on the Grindleford road there is an interesting modern cutlery factory, the David Mellor roundhouse.
Hathersage Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
|Hope is about the same size as nearby Castleton but of quite a different character, for though tourists do come to Hope, most of them pass through to other centres. The village is quite pretty, but dominated by the cement works which lies at the foot of Pindale.|
The village lies at the junction of the River Noe and Peakshole Water, where the Edale valley meets the Hope valley. It was the base of the Eyre family, whose various branches became major landowners in this area of the Peak and played a significant role in its history. The original Eyre was said to have come with William the Conqueror and lost a leg in the battle of Hastings - hence the family crest has an armoured leg above the shield.
Around the church there are several shops and two pubs - the Woodroffe Arms Hotel and the Old Hall Hotel - the latter was once the house of the Balguys, a family of local landowners. There is also a car park with public toilets. There are further pubs along the road towards Castleton and along the Edale road.
On the north side of Hope valley, between the Noe and the Derwent, lie the two small secluded hamlets of Thornhill and Aston. Originally the Eyre family had their seat at Thornhill but there is nothing to see of this now.
Hope has a railway station 1km east of the village, near to Aston. This is on the Sheffield to Manchester line and has fairly frequent trains to both cities.
Hope has a well-dressing festival at the end of June. The large car-park at the centre of the village means that it is a good base for those wishing to walk the Great Ridge, over Lose Hill to Mam Tor
Hope Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Castleton is a centre for visiting many of these old workings, which can also be seen at Bagshawe Cavern near Bradwell and at Poole's Cavern in Buxton. Blue John is turned into jewellery in Castleton's craft shops and the village is famous too for its Christmas lights and the ancient Garland Ceremony held every May.
To the north of the valley a walk from Mam Tor to Losehill along the ridge dividing the Hope and Edale valleys gives unrivalled views in both directions.
The train from Manchester or Sheffield is a popular way to visit the valley. From the west, the line bursts out of the Cowburn Tunnel to stop at Edale - the next valley north of Hope Valley, a great centre for walkers, pony trekkers and campers and the start of the Pennine Way. The railway follows the Edale Valley to its junction with Hope Valley just east of Hope Village and continues eastwards with stations at Hope, Bamford and Hathersage.
The three rivers which define the valley are; Peak Water, rising from Peak Cavern and flowing to Hope; the River Noe, rising on Kinder Scout near Edale and flowing down to join Peak Water near Hope; and the River Derwent, rising on Howden Moor before flowing through a series of massive reservoirs on its way to meet the Noe at Bamford. These reservoirs are another important recreational centre. Bicycles can be hired to explore their pine clad slopes or perhaps you would rather sample the excellent fishing on the Ladybower Reservoir at the Eastern end of the A57, Snake Pass.
At Hathersage the Derwent makes a sharp right turn to flow southwards. This appears to make the Hope Valley appear apart from the rest of the Derwent Valley and from the surrounding uplands - hemmed in by the slopes of Mam Tor to the west and by the gritstone edges to the east.
Hope Valley Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
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