Chelmorton: Tourist Attractions and Places to Visit in the Peak District - Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire
A directory of tourist and visitor attractions near Chelmorton in the Peak District area of Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire and Yorkshire. Historic houses, churches, dams and reservoirs, theme parks, museums, railways and castles
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Visitor Attractions around Chelmorton
|Buxton Museum is housed in the buildings of the former Peak Hotel, almost opposite the Town Hall. It is small but well worth a visit.|
It is an excellent place from which to begin to appreciate the landscape and history of the Peak. Upstairs there is the Peak District display, which deservedly won a 'Museum of the Year' award in 1990 - this is an excellent show which illustrates how the landscape of the Peak District developed, and the animals and people who lived here in ancient times.
Also upstairs is an art gallery used for regular exhibitions of work by local artists, while downstairs there are a range of important geological and historical finds (such as the Boyd-Dawkins material), but displayed in the familiar musty cases of traditional museums.
The museum is opposite the Town Hall in Higher Buxton.
Buxton Museum Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge
How to get there
Buxton lies on the A6 Manchester - Derby road. From Leek take the A53 and from Macclesfield the A537. From Chesterfield, the A623 Chesterfield - Stockport road joins the A6 a few km north of Buxton. From Sheffield, take the A621 and A619 roads to Bakewell, then follow the A6.
By Bus: the Trans-Peak bus runs from Derby to Manchester via Matlock, Bakewell and Buxton.
By Train: trains run from Manchester to Buxton approximately hourly.
When is it open?
Open all year: Tuesdays to Fridays 9.30 am to 5.30 pm and Saturdays 9.00 am - 5.00 pm. From Easter to end September it is also open on Sundays from 10.30 am to 5.00 pm.
What does it cost?
Admission is free. For school parties, telephone: 01298 24658
Prices and opening times are shown as a guideline only and may vary.
|The Magpie Mine, just South of Sheldon, was one of the most famous lead mines in the Peak District and is the only one with a significant part of its building still standing, having been taken into the care of the Peak District Mines Historical Society in 1962. The mine buildings can be seen from the Bakewell - Chelmorton road. |
The mine is at the junction of the Magpie vein, the Bole vein and the Butts vein, and was only one of several mines exploiting these veins - the Red Soil Mine and the Maypitts mine lay within only a few hundred metres of the Magpie. The mine is first recorded in 1795, though the workings are probably much older. It finally ceased operations in 1958, though the working in the 1950s mined little actual lead. The heyday of the mine was in the mid 19th Century.
The proximity of other mines often led to disputes, and the Magpie Mine and the Red Soil mine disputed the working of the Bole Vein on which they both lay. In 1833 this led to the deaths of 3 miners from the Red Soil Mine who were suffocated underground when the Magpie miners lit a fire to try to drive out the men from the opposing mine. Three miners were tried for murder, but acquitted. However, it was said afterwards that the Magpie was cursed and it never really prospered thereafter.
Lead-mining was a speculative business with big profits to be made sometimes and huge losses at others, so the mine changed hands frequently. Though the mine was very profitable in the early 1840s, it closed from 1846 to 1868, and when it was re-opened a large Cornish pumping engine was installed in the engine house which is now the major building on the site. However, water was a problem in this mine as in many others and when the price of lead fell the cost of pumping made the mine unprofitable and led the owners to consider driving a 'sough' or drainage tunnel from the River Wye into the mine workings.
The sough was built between 1873 and 1881 - an epic undertaking since the rock proved to be mostly 'toadstone', a variety of basalt, and very hard. It was the last major sough to be constructed in this area and is now one of the best preserved. The cost was 18000, a very large sum for those days, and far more than the shareholders had budgeted for.
The sough enabled the mineshaft to be deepened to 728 feet, but despite this the mine never became profitable again and closed in 1883. It was worked again at intervals until 1923 and reopened in a limited way in the 1950s but only ever employed a few men and rarely made money.
The buildings still visible are enough to be able to construct a picture of what an 19th century leadmine must have looked like - except for the corrugated iron section which is a relic of the 1950s! Around the buildings there would also have been areas for crushing the ore and washing and dressing it prior to smelting.
The best book is Lead Mining in the Peak District, Edited by Trevor D Ford & J H Rieuwerts, Published by the Peak Park Planning Board.
There are numerous other books on lead mining in this area, of which one is: Peakland Lead Mines and Miners, H M Parker & L M Willies, Moorland Publishing.�
Magpie Mine Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
How to get there
Take the Monyash road out of Bakewell and after about 3 km turn right on a minor road to Chelmorton. The mine buildings can be seen on the right after about 2km.
When is it open?
Entry to the mine area is not a right of way but access is not normally a problem and it is possible to walk up to the buildings and look around.
|The Monsal Trail follows the path of the former Midland Railway from Blackwell Mill cottages to Coombs Viaduct, about 1km past the former Bakewell station - a distance of about 20km. For the most part the trail follows the path of the River Wye, which means it offers some spectacular scenery. |
The Peak District National Park have recently spent £2.5m on re-opening the tunnels so it is possible to walk, cycle or horse-ride right the way along the trail. It was opened in May 2011.
When a railway through this valley was first proposed early conservationists led by John Ruskin voiced vehement opposition, but now it seems part of the landscape.
From the western end, approach the trail from Wyedale car park at Topley Pike. About 1 km along the track you reach a railway bridge - go under it and on your right a path leads up onto the former track. There is a new refreshment stop and cycle hire shop here, opposite Blackwell Mill cottages.
Once on the trail, follow it down a further 2 km in the magnificent surroundings of Cheedale before entering a short tunnel leading to a bridge over the Wye. Notice on your right, a path leads down to a the river and a footbridge taking you back across it. This leads to a riverside path which gives access to Chee Tor and by-passes the Chee Tor tunnel. It includes stepping stones which can be well underwater in flood conditions. (It is not suitable for cycling!)
However, now the tunnels have been re-opened you no longer need to take this path, but can continue straight on through Chee Tor tunnel, which is about 400m long and emerges near the viaduct at the foot of Blackwell Dale, where the riverside path rejoins the trail.
Continue along the railway track to Miller's Dale, where you cross the Wye by the imposing viaducts. The section downstream gives fine views of Ravenstor and leads to Litton Mill, where you enter another tunnel, followed by a short open cutting and a second tunnel - the Cressbrook Tunnel, which at 800m is the longest on the route. You emerge in Monsal Dale.
If you are on foot and wish to see more of the scenery, we recommend dropping off the trail at Litton Mill, cross the river and turn right to go through the yard of Litton Mill and follow the delightful riverside path through Water-cum-Jolly to Cressbrook Millpond. At the far end of the millpond re-cross the river and follow the path to re-join the trail. Note however that this path can also be submerged in places after heavy rain.
Follow the trail down Monsal Dale and across the magnificent Monsal viaduct to another tunnel - the Headstone tunnel. Once through this you emerge amongst fields near Little Longstone. An alternative is to climb up just before the tunnel to Monsal Head (ice creams available!) and follow the small road opposite into Little Longstone, where a path across the fields (just after the Packhorse Inn) allows you to regain the railway track.
The section from Longstone is relatively uneventful. It follows the railway track all the way through Hassop station (where there is a cafe and cycle hire available) to Bakewell, easy cycling if you are on a bike, pleasant walking if you are on foot. Get off at the former Bakewell station and cycle down the hill into the town if you wish to go into the town. The trail continues a short distance beyond Bakewell to terminate at the Coombs viaduct not far from Haddon Hall.
Note - if you cycle this trail in the reverse direction and want to continue to Buxton then this is rather problematic. The obvious route is to follow the A6 alongside the River Wye, but this is narrow, twisting, very busy and positively dangerous for cyclists. The best alternative is to follow the A6 for 800m, going under a viaduct, then take a bridle path which crosses the river via a small bridge. Go right up the dale (Woo Dale) to reach a narrow road (Church Lane) in an area called Green Fairfield. Follow this to a T-junction (turn right) and eventually to a major road (Waterswallows Road). Turn left and follow the road alongside the golf course to reach the A6 on the north side of Buxton. Turn left again and descend into the town. This is only suitable for mountain bikes and is a long way round, but much better than the alternatives.
If you want to walk from Wye Dale to Buxton then we recommend crossing the A6 by Topley Pike Quarry and going up Deep Dale to Thirst House Cave, then ascend the right-hand wall of the dale to reach King Sterndale. Continue from here towards Cowdale and then on to Staden and Buxton (OS map required to find this route).
Monsal Trail Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
How to get there
The western end of the trail is at Wye Dale car park, opposite Topley Pike quarry, on the A6 Buxton - Bakewell road. The eastern end at Bakewell lies at Coombs Viaduct, one mile east of Bakewell, close to the A6 and not far from Haddon Hall. There is no parking here but there is parking at the old Bakewell Station (turn up the hill off the Baslow Road, just over the river from the town centre). Other places to park are Hassop Station and Millers Dale Station.
By Bus: If you are coming from Buxton then there are 3 buses which take you to Wye Dale - the 65, 66 and 218 - all running from the Market Place and from the Eastern end of Spring Gardens. To return to Buxton from Bakewell the Trans-Peak Nottingham to Manchester bus (hourly) or the 218 (4 times per day) will get you back.
If you walk the trail from Bakewell and want to return from Wye Dale then only the 218 (4 times per day) runs to Bakewell along the A6 and past Wye Dale. Similarly, if you park your car at Wye Dale and walk to Bakewell, this is the only direct bus back. The best alternative to this is to take the (hourly) Trans-Peak bus from Bakewell and ask to get off at the Chelmorton turn. From there, walk about 200m along the verge of the road until a bridle path forks off right, leading back down the the trail in Cheedale. Alternatively, you can get off the Trans-Peak at Blackwell and try connecting with the no.65 or no.66 buses which come from Tideswell up Blackwell Dale - these will take you to Wye Dale car park. (See www.travelineeastmidlands.co.uk for details of connections - the stop you want for Wye Dale car park is King Sterndale - Topley Pike).
When is it open?
Open all day all year. No restrictions.
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