|Biggin is a farming community located in the highest parts of the limestone plateau of the white peak close to the A515; the old Roman road from Derventio (Derby) to Aqua Arnemetiae (Buxton), near Newhaven. It sprawls gently along a straight minor road that links the A515 to Hartington and is well situated for walks around Wolfscote Dale, Beresford Dale as well as the excellent cycling available on the Tissington Trail so becomes surprisingly busy at summer weekends. Biggin Dale, which leads down to Wolfscote Dale and the River Dove, is a National Nature Reserve and contains a fine range of flowers in spring. Biggin's remote nature means that in times past it has been cut off for long periods during harsh winters and sustained only by the now redundant railway line, which passes close by.|
The village was founded in the 13th century and was centred around a Grange attached to Garendon Abbey, near Loughborough but there is nothing now visible from this period. Even the church dates from the reign of Queen Victoria and there is little older than this with the exception of the Grade II* listed Biggin Hall, which is a lovely 16th century building. Biggin's only visible ancient link is at nearby Liffs Low where there is a Stone Age barrow just off the side of the road. On excavation a burial cist was found with a range of flint implements, which are now in Buxton Museum. Even up until recent times Biggin was an important farming centre for local sheep sales. Following the consolidation of all animal sales to centres such as Bakewell and Derby its role has significantly diminished and it now has a much heavier reliance on the tourist trade.
The village has a pub, The Waterloo, with its own caravan park behind. Next door lies Biggin Hall, which is now Biggin Hall Country House Hotel.
Two other farming hamlets lie nearby - Heathcote, just north of Biggin, and Newhaven a couple of kilometres to the east, around the junction of the A515 and A5012 roads.
Biggin Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
0 - Biggin View
1 - Biggin Dale - Entrance to Nature Reserve
2 - Biggin Dale - Lower part of the dale
3 - Biggin Dale view
4 - Hartington signal box on the Tissington Trail
5 - Wolfscote Hill view of Hartinton and the Upper Dove
|Crowdecote is a lovely little hamlet in the Upper Dove. Clustered around the bridge that carries the road from Longnor to Monyash across the river, from Staffordshire into Derbyshire. There is a very nice pub, The Pack Horse Inn, and a very interesting pottery. Just down the river is the ancient site of the Norman Pilsbury Castle, whose Motte and bailey can still be clearly seen. A recent Heritage project researched and documented the castle, whose history is somewhat obscure.|
Crowdecote Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
0 - Longnor market place
1 - Crowdecote
2 - Pilsbury Castle
|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
0 - Deepdale (Sheldon)
|Hartington is the major village on the central section of the valley of the Dove and is therefore an important tourist centre, which means it can get busy at summer weekends. An old village which was granted a market charter in 1203, it has a long history and and some very nice buildings arranged around a large marketplace/common/green at its centre.|
The entrance to Nuttall's creamery, once a source of Stilton and Buxton Blue cheese, lies just off the green and cheese was produced here from 1900 to 2009. Sadly, in 2008 the creamery was sold by Dairy Crest to Long Cleaton Dairy, a rival Stilton maker (Leicestershire is one of the two other areas permitted to make Stilton cheese) and within a month they took steps to close the creamery down - with the loss of 190 jobs. Until then Hartington was the supplier of 25% of the world output of Stilton cheese.
There is still a cheese shop outside selling a range of local cheeses but of course none now from Hartington.
The church lies on a rise to the east of the green and is built of a attractively coloured local sandstone. It was mostly constructed in the 14th and 15th centuries and has a fine tower in Perpendicular style. In the street below the church is the Old School House, dated 1758. The 17th century Hartington Hall is a fine building which stands on the hill opposite the church, on the road to Biggin and is now a Youth Hostel. The hostel restaurant has a licensed bar and offers competitively evening meals.
Hartington has several pubs and shops and there is a public car park along the Warslow Road with public toilets opposite, next to Rooke's Pottery.
Hartington Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
0 - Beresford Dale - Left Celestial Twin
1 - Beresford Dale - the Ceslestial Twins
2 - Beresford Dale view
3 - Biggin Dale view
4 - Hartington pub
5 - Hartington church
6 - Hartington Youth Hostel
7 - Hartington village pond
8 - Hulme End railway station on Manifold light railway
9 - Hulme End
10 - Wolfscote Dale
11 - Hartington - the cheese shop
12 - Hartington - the old Town Hall
13 - Hartington Market Place and village pump
14 - Wolfscote Hill view of Hartinton and the Upper Dove
15 - Wolfscote Dale
16 - Heron in Wolfscote Dale
|Hulme End is a small hamlet situated where the Hartington to Warslow road crosses the River Manifold. It was once the terminus of the Leek and Manifold Light Railway and the old station building at the western end of the hamlet has been beautifully restored and is now a visitor centre, with public toilets and a car park. The cycle track down the path of the former railway starts from here.|
By the bridge over the Manifold there is a pub, once called the Light Railway, but now named the Manifold Inn. There are also two campsites here.
Ecton lies a couple of kilometres downstream, overshadowed by the conical shape of Ecton Hill. Spoil heaps on the hillside betray the former importance of this tiny hamlet for Ecton Hill contained a massive vertical pipe-vein rich in copper ore and in their heyday in the late 18th century the mines were the richest in the country. Even what little now remains can still make a walk around Ecton an interesting excursion, and the view from the top of the hill is excellent.
Hulme End & Ecton Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
0 - Manifold Valley near Swainsley
1 - Ecton Hill
2 - Ecton Hill adit entrance
3 - Hulme End railway station on Manifold light railway
4 - Hulme End
|Longnor is a former market town which lies close to the upper section of the River Manifold. The village clusters around the cobbled market place with its pubs and former market hall, now a craft centre. The front of the market hall lists the tolls charged for making sales here - four pence to sell a sheep, for instance. |
The church lies on higher ground just above and is notable for the interesting epitaphs on its tombstones, which include that of William Billinge who was born in a cornfield in 1679 and died at Longnor in 1791, aged 112. The headstone is not the original one, for this crumbled and had to be replaced.
The former market place is surrounded by pubs and hotels of which the largest is the Crewe and Harpur Arms, named after the family of local landowners. There is also a village store.
In recent years the village has gained a certain fame through being the location for the filming of much of the TV series 'Peak Practice'. Afficionados can readily identify Dr Tom's House, The Beeches Surgery, The Black Swan and other landmarks of the series around Longnor village.
Longnor Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
0 - Longnor market place
1 - Crowdecote
2 - Parkhouse Hill
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
0 - Youlgrave church - exterior view
1 - Youlgrave Church - tomb of Thomas Cokayne
2 - Youlgrave Church - medieval pilgrim figure
3 - Youlgrave Church - Roger Rooe tomb
4 - Youlgrave Church - memorial to Robert Gilbert
5 - Bradford Dale
6 - Middleton by Youlgrave - Thomas Bateman\'s tomb
7 - Fluorspar workings on Long Rake
8 - Middleton by Youlgrave
9 - Over Haddon stile
10 - Youlgrave YHA
11 - Youlgrave water cistern
12 - Youlgrave public house
|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.
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
0 - Magpie Mine
1 - Magpie Mine
2 - Magpie Mine
3 - Lathkill Dale - view from Haddon Grove with spring flowers
4 - Monyash
5 - Lathkill Dale
6 - Lathkill Dale - upper section under snow
7 - Monyash well dressing, 2004
8 - Lathkill House Cave
|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
0 - Lathkill Dale - the remains of the aqueduct from Mandale Mine
1 - Lathkill River
2 - Conksbury Bridge
3 - Over Haddon village
4 - Over Haddon stile
5 - Mandale Mine engine house
6 - Mandale Mine buildings
|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
0 - High Peak Trail near Minninglow
1 - High Peak Trail - old limekiln at the side of the trail
2 - Minninglow cist
3 - Minninglow barrow
4 - High Peak Trail - on the trail near Gotham
|Sheen is a small village strung out along a gritstone ridge between the Dove and Manifold valleys. It is a quiet place, far removed from the bustle of nearby Hartington. Most of the village exists on farming, but there is also a small engineering works here.|
The village is built of local stone and has a church of unusual design, and a pub called the Staffordshire Knot. To the north of the village Sheen Hill is a fine viewpoint from which to survey the upper Dove and Manifold valleys.
For many years Sheen has had the peculiar distinction of producing both mens and womens world class tug-of-war teams.
Sheen Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
0 - Hulme End railway station on Manifold light railway
1 - Hulme End
2 - Hartington - the cheese shop
3 - Hartington - the old Town Hall
4 - Hartington Market Place and village pump
5 - Pilsbury Castle
|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
0 - Magpie Mine
1 - Magpie Mine
2 - Magpie Mine
3 - Sheldon Cottages
4 - Monsal Dale view from Sheldon
|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.|
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.
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
0 - Youlgrave church - exterior view
1 - Harthill Moor - The Nine Stones
2 - Youlgrave Church - tomb of Thomas Cokayne
3 - Youlgrave Church - medieval pilgrim figure
4 - Youlgrave Church - Roger Rooe tomb
5 - Youlgrave Church - memorial to Robert Gilbert
6 - Lathkill Dale - the remains of the aqueduct from Mandale Mine
7 - Bradford Dale
8 - Conksbury Bridge
9 - Middleton by Youlgrave - Thomas Bateman\'s tomb
10 - Cratcliffe Tor
11 - Fluorspar workings on Long Rake
12 - Middleton by Youlgrave
13 - Over Haddon village
14 - Over Haddon stile
15 - Youlgrave YHA
16 - Youlgrave water cistern
17 - Youlgrave public house
18 - Mandale Mine engine house
19 - Mandale Mine buildings