Hartington: Tourist Attractions and Places to Visit in the Peak District - Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire

A directory of tourist and visitor attractions near Hartington in the Peak District area of Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire and Yorkshire. Historic houses, churches, dams and reservoirs, theme parks, museums, railways and castles

Visitor Attractions around Hartington

historic interestgood for exercisegood scenery

 Arbor Low

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Stones at Arbor Low
Stones at Arbor Low
Arbor Low is the finest Stone Age 'henge' monument in the North of England, a site of unique archaeological and cultural interest. The site is situated on a high point 375 metres above sea level and, though it this not an impressive hill, the view on a fine day is stunning. It can be a bleak place in bad weather and a gorgeous spot on a fine spring morning, so the monument and its situation can hardly fail to impress the visitor.

No-one knows why this henge or its sister henge at Dove Holes (the Bull Ring) were constructed or what they were used for, but they must have been important focal points for the people of the time. The henge was constructed about 2500 BC and consists of a circular bank, 76 metres in diameter and 2 metres high, with inside it a ditch about 1.5 metres deep enclosing a circular central 'sanctuary' area. There are entrances at the north-west and south-east of the bank.

View of Arbor Low
View of Arbor Low
The central area contains 46 large and 13 smaller stones, arranged in a circle with a group in the centre. The surprise is that all the stones are lying flat and no-one now knows for certain whether this was how they were originally or whether they were once upright and have been toppled. One theory is that early Christians laid them flat in order to 'de-sanctify' the site, but no archaeological evidence exists to support this. In any event, the stones may well have been added after the construction of the original henge, which probably had wooden posts initially.

Near the south-east entrance a Bronze Age tumulus has been added, just within the bank - this is a much later feature and was found to contain several burials when excavated by Thomas Bateman in 1845.

Gib Hill Tumulus
Gib Hill Tumulus
Two hundred metres away to the south-west lies Gib Hill, a Bronze Age burial mound which may have once been connected with Arbor Low by an earth bank. This is an impressively large tumulus, 5 metres high and 10 metres in diameter, and was also excavated by Bateman who found a large burial cist here in 1848.

Though the current tumulus at Gib Hill is much later than Arbor Low, it was built on top of a Stone Age long barrow which was contemporary with or perhaps older than the henge.

The monument is in the care of English Heritage and access is via the farm below, where there is a small car park and a tin in which you are requested to place your admission fee.

Further reading: The Peak National Park published an excellent guide to the monument: ISBN 0-907543-74-X - it is now out of print, but second-hand copies can be found.
 
Arbor Low Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Arbor Low from south entrance
0 - Arbor Low from south entrance
Arbor Low from south entrance
1 - Arbor Low from south entrance
Arbor Low stones
2 - Arbor Low stones
Arbor Low
3 - Arbor Low
Arbor Low
4 - Arbor Low
Gib Hill tumulus
5 - Gib Hill tumulus

Ordnance Survey Grid Reference: SK161636


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How to get there

By Road:
Arbor Low is just off the minor road which leads from Parsley Hey to Youlgrave. Parsley Hey lies on the A515 Buxton-Ashbourne road, about 12km south of Buxton. There is parking along the side of the lane leading to the farm which lies below Arbor Low.

By Bus: The 181 bus from Hartington to Sheffield passes along the road below Arbor Low. The 202 bus between Ashbourne and Buxton connects with this at Hartington and also goes through Parsley Hey - from whence it is a 2km walk to the henge.
When is it open?

Open all year.
What does it cost?

There is an 'honesty' box at the farm in which you are requested to pay 1 per visitor.

Prices and opening times are shown as a guideline only and may vary.

Website: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/arbor-low-stone-circle-and-gib-hill-barrow

historic interest

 Ashbourne Church

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Ashbourne church
Ashbourne church
St Oswald's Church, Ashbourne, is one of the grandest churches in Derbyshire. The most noticable feature is its very tall spire - 212 feet (65 metres) - which dominates the area even though the church lies in the bottom of the valley.

There was certainly a church here in Saxon times and the current church has a Norman crypt, but the present building was constructed in the 13th and early 14th centuries and is the finest local example of the Early English style. The Chancel was complete by 1241 and the Nave and transepts were added in the later part of the century, with the tower added in the early 14th century. Various other small additions were made over the ages and the church was restored by Gilbert Scott in 1837-40.

TheEast window
TheEast window
Notable features are the fine East window of the Chancel and the slight curve of the Nave (probably not an intended feature), a small 13th century window in the North Transept, and the Boothby Chapel, also in the North Transept, which houses the finest local collection of tombs and alabaster or marble monuments.

The tomb of Penelope Boothby
The tomb of Penelope Boothby
These include the tombs of the Cokayne family and their successors, the Boothbys, plus those of the Bradbourne family, and they stretch from that of John Cokayne (died 1372) to Lady Boothby in 1838. The most famous is that of young Penelope Boothby, who died in 1791 at the age of five. The monument was Thomas Bank's most famous work and is carved in Carrera marble - it carries the inscription: ''She was in form and intellect most exquisite. The unfortunate Parents ventured their all on the frail Bark. And the wreck was total."
 
Ashbourne Church Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Ashbourne - St Oswalds Church
0 - Ashbourne - St Oswalds Church
Ashbourne - view of church
1 - Ashbourne - view of church
Ashbourne Church - East window
2 - Ashbourne Church - East window
Ashbourne Church - stonework detail
3 - Ashbourne Church - stonework detail
Ashbourne Church - Bradbourne tomb
4 - Ashbourne Church - Bradbourne tomb
Ashbourne Church - Tomb of Penelope Boothby
5 - Ashbourne Church - Tomb of Penelope Boothby

Ordnance Survey Grid Reference: SK160636


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How to get there

By Road:
From the centre of Ashbourne follow the A52 Leek road to the church about 500m from the town centre.

By Bus: the 108 Leek to Ashbourne bus, 107 and 109 buses from Derby - Ashbourne, 411 bus from Matlock and the 422 Buxton - Ashbourne service all take you to the centre of Ashbourne.
When is it open?

Normally open in daytime.
What does it cost?

No charge.

Prices and opening times are shown as a guideline only and may vary.

historic interest

 Magpie Mine

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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.

Magpie Mine buildings
Magpie Mine buildings
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.

Reconstruction of machinery at Magpie Mine
Reconstruction of machinery at Magpie Mine
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 18,000, 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.

Further Reading:

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
Magpie Mine
0 - Magpie Mine
Magpie Mine
1 - Magpie Mine
Magpie Mine
2 - Magpie Mine

Ordnance Survey Grid Reference: SK172682


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How to get there

By Road:
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.


Website: http://www.pdmhs.org.uk

good for exercisegood scenery

 Manifold and Hamps Trail

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The Visitor Centre at Hulme End
The Visitor Centre at Hulme End
In 1904 a narrow gauge railway opened along the Manifold and Hamps valleys, plying between Waterhouses and Hulme End, a distance of 8.5 miles or 14 kilometres.

This was the Leek and Manifold Light Railway, opened with the idea that it would be used by tourists and carry some local freight - much of the latter provided by the creamery which operated at Ecton until 1933. The track ran close to the river side in both the Manifold and Hamps valleys, and certainly would have provided a very picturesque trip - with some spice added by the tunnel beneath Swainsley Hall, built to spare the owners the intrusion of the sound of trains!

Thors Cave from the Trail
Thors Cave from the Trail
Sadly, the railway lasted only 30 years, and the closure of the Ecton creamery was its death knell, for it closed soon after, in 1934. It was too late to catch the heyday of the railways and too early to catch the modern nostalgia for steam railways. However the track has been reopened as a cycle track, with just a short section between Swainsley Hall and Wetton Mill shared with motor traffic. There is a Visitor Centre in the old station at Hulme End. Most of the track belongs to the National Trust.

From Hulme End the track passes Ecton and then on to Wetton Mill. It then passes beneath Thor's Cave and on almost to Beeston, before turning up the Hamps valley and uphill steadily to Waterhouses. It's a very enjoyable cycle ride with superb views which is not too strenuous!
 
Manifold and Hamps Trail Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Hulme End railway station on Manifold light railway
0 - Hulme End railway station on Manifold light railway
Ecton Hill
1 - Ecton Hill
Manifold Valley near Swainsley
2 - Manifold Valley near Swainsley
Manifold Valley near Wetton
3 - Manifold Valley near Wetton
Manifold Valley near Grindon
4 - Manifold Valley near Grindon
Hamps Valley near Grindon
5 - Hamps Valley near Grindon
Manifold Trail below Thors Cave
6 - Manifold Trail below Thors Cave

Ordnance Survey Grid Reference: SK103593


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How to get there

By Road:
Waterhouses lies on the A523 Leek to Ashbourne road. There is car parking at the old station. Hulme End can be reached by taking the B5054 road from the A515 Buxton-Ashbourne road and following it through Hartington to Hulme End. Car parking is available next to the Visitor Centre.

By Bus: the 442 Buxton to Ashbourne bus goes to the visitor centre at Hulme End.
When is it open?

Open all day, all year. No restrictions.
What does it cost?

No charge for the visitor centre at Hulme End. Some of the car parks are pay and display. Cycle hire is available at the old station at Waterhouses (tel: 01538 308609).

Prices and opening times are shown as a guideline only and may vary. See this link for more information on prices and opening

historic interestgood for exercisegood scenery

 Thor's Cave


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Thors Cave
Thors Cave
Thor's Cave is the most spectacular sight of the Manifold valley, dominating the central section of the valley. The rock in which it is set rears up out of the hillside like a giant fang with the cave entrance forming a hole in it ten metres in diameter, a sight which is clearly visible for several miles.

Excavations have shown that the cave was occupied as long as 10,000 years ago and this occupation probably continued until Roman or Saxon times, making it one of the oldest sites of human activity in the Peak. Stone tools and the remains of a range now extinct animals were found within the cave.

The cave can be reached quite easily from Wetton and is well worth a visit for a scramble inside or to climb onto the prow above the cave itself and admire the excellent view of the Manifold valley.
 

Ordnance Survey Grid Reference: SK098550


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How to get there

By Road:
take the A515 Buxton road out of Ashbourne about 10km from Ashbourne and turn left to Alstonefield. Cross the River Dove and continue to Alstonefield and follow the single track road to Wetton. Car park with pay and display parking.

By Bus: the 443 or 441 buses from Ashbourne will take you to Wetton. From Buxton, take the 442 bus to Hulme End and change to the 441 bus.
When is it open?

National Trust access land. No restrictions.


historic interest

 Tissington Hall

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Tissington Hall is the 17th century home of the FitzHerbert family in Tissington Village, a few miles north of Ashbourne. Wonderful furniture, paintings and porcelain collection.
 
Tissington Hall Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Tissington Hall
0 - Tissington Hall
Tissington Church
1 - Tissington Church
Tissington Church - Fitzherbert memorial
2 - Tissington Church - Fitzherbert memorial
Tissington Cottages
3 - Tissington Cottages

Ordnance Survey Grid Reference: SK176523


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How to get there

By Road:
from Ashbourne or Buxton, Tissington lies just off the A515 road between these towns, about 5 miles north of Ashbourne.

By Bus: the 441 Ashbourne to Hartington bus goes to Tissington.
When is it open?

Open for guided tour only - parties by arrangement - from 12.00 3.00pm. No pre-booking necessary, on the following dates:

Easter Week: 17 - 20th April

May Bank Holiday: 1st May

During 3 Days of the Well Dressing Festival: 29th - 31st May

Summer Opening MONDAY - THURSDAY ONLY: 31st July - 24th August


What does it cost?

Hall & Gardens - Adult £10.00/ Children (10-16yrs) £5.00/ Concessions £9.00

Gardens Only - Adult £5.00 / Children £2.50 / Concessions £4.00

Check the Tissington Hall web site for prices for special events.



Prices and opening times are shown as a guideline only and may vary.

Website: http://www.tissington-hall.com

good for exercisegood scenery

 Tissington Trail

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The London and North-Western railway opened its line between Buxton and Ashbourne in 1899 and closed it in 1966. The line was purchased by the Peak National Park and Derbyshire County Council in 1971 and reopened as the Tissington Trail, for cyclists and walkers.

Visitor Centre at the Hartington signal box
Visitor Centre at the Hartington signal box
The southern end of the trail starts just out of Ashbourne, on the Mapledon road, and the northern end is at Pomeroy cottages, just south of Sterndale Moor - the rest of the line to Buxton is still in use as a freight line for the quarries. The track north of Parsley Hay was shared with the Cromford and High Peak Railway, which branches off eastwards just south of Parsley Hay station - this is now the High Peak Trail.

Cyclists on the Tissington Trail
Cyclists on the Tissington Trail
The trail makes for a very pleasant day out and is not too strenuous to cycle along, with mostly very gentle gradients. (You might be entitled to expect this on a former railway line, but it is not true of the nearby High Peak Trail!)

Though there is little of immediate interest to see along the Trail itself, it passes very close to Dovedale, Tissington, Hartington and other attractive places, so it is easy to devise an enjoyable tour - provided you can avoid cycling back along the busy A515 road.
 
Tissington Trail Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Hartington signal box on the Tissington Trail
0 - Hartington signal box on the Tissington Trail
Biggin - Liffs Low from the Tissington Trail
1 - Biggin - Liffs Low from the Tissington Trail
Tissington Trail
2 - Tissington Trail
Tissington Trail - Parsley Hey
3 - Tissington Trail - Parsley Hey

Ordnance Survey Grid Reference: SK148637


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How to get there

By Road:
the former stations along the way have been converted into car parks - these are at Sparklow (between Monyash and Crowdecote), Parsley Hay, Hartington, Alsop en le Dale, Tissington, Thorpe and on the northern outskirts of Ashbourne. Parsley Hey, Alsop en la Dale, Tissington and Sparklow both lie just off the A515 road between Buxton and Ashbourne, and the former Hartington station lies off the B5054 road which branches off the A515 to Hartington. The Ashbourne end of the trail is about 1km fro the Market Place in Ashbourne and is signposted from there.
When is it open?

There is a National Park information centre at Tissington and cycle hire is available at Parsley Hay (tel: 01298 84493) and Mappleton (near Ashbourne - tel: 01335 343156), and this is also to be found in many of the nearby villages (eg Thorpe and Tissington). The former signal box at Hartington has been converted into a Visitor Centre and is well worth a look (open weekends and Bank Holidays from Easter to end of October and Sundays only the rest of the year).
What does it cost?

No charge for the visitor centre. Some of the car parks are pay and display.

Prices and opening times are shown as a guideline only and may vary. See this link for more information on prices and opening

historic interest

 Youlgrave Church

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Youlgrave church
Youlgrave church
There are many fine churches in the Peak, but there are four that stand out from the rest. These are Tideswell, Bakewell, Hathersage and Youlgreave.

Youlgreave was in the Domesday Book, and the first mention of the church was in 1150, when it was given to St Mary's Abbey in Leicester. However, it is quite likely that there was a church here in Saxon times. The Nave and North Aisle of the church are Norman and date from 1150-1170, but the arches above are early Gothic and it seems likely that the church was altered and added to over a period of years, with several changes in style. It is possible to see this by viewing the wall of the North Aisle from the churchyard.

The chancel and South Aisle were added in the 14th century and the tower with its set of bells in the 15th century. The church was restored by Norman Shaw about 1870.

Inside the church there are two fine mediaeval tombs in the chancel. The first is that of Sir John Rossington, dating from the 13th century. He lies, cross-legged holding a heart in his hands with his feet resting on a dog. It is a simple and moving monument.

12th century pilgrim
12th century pilgrim
In the centre of the chancel is a later and more elaborate monument to Thomas Cockayne, a local man who was killed in brawl in 1488. He is represented in plate armour of the period, but the effigy is relatively small because he died before his father.

In the North Aisle there is an altar with a beautiful alabaster reredos which is a memorial to Robert Gilbert and his wife Joan, who died in 1492. This was originally part of a tomb in the South Aisle and has been moved at some time. The aisle is dominated by a Jacobean memorial to Roger Rooe of Alport, who died in 1613 and is shown facing his wife with their eight children below.

Just by the door as you enter is the font, which is Norman and very well-preserved. In the wall of the Nave, facing the door when you come in, there is a small carved figure which has been dated to the 12th century and which may represent a pilgrim. This is not its original position, and exactly what it represents is unclear, but it is very pretty.

There is a fine East window, made by William Morris to a design by Edward Burne-Jones, one of the Pre-Raphaelites. The roof of the Nave is well worth a look. It dates mainly from the 15th century, but was restored in the 19th century. It is a good example of a roof of the period and has roof bosses in the form of coats of arms and fantastic creatures.
 
Youlgrave Church 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 - medieval pilgrim figure
1 - Youlgrave Church - medieval pilgrim figure
Youlgrave Church - tomb of Thomas Cokayne
2 - Youlgrave Church - tomb of Thomas Cokayne
Youlgrave Church - Roger Rooe tomb
3 - Youlgrave Church - Roger Rooe tomb
Youlgrave Church - memorial to Robert Gilbert
4 - Youlgrave Church - memorial to Robert Gilbert

Ordnance Survey Grid Reference: SK212643


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How to get there

By Road:
from the A6 between Bakewell and Rowsley, take the B5056 signposted to Ashbourne, and when this forks left to cross the River Lathkill, continue straight on to Youlgrave. From the A515 Ashbourne - Buxton road, either take the minor road which branches off at Parsley Hey or the minor road which branches off the A5012 close to its junction with the A515.

By Bus: the 172 Bakewell - Matlock bus goes via Youlgrave, as well as the 171 Bakewell - Youlgrave service.
When is it open?

Normally open in day time.
What does it cost?

No charge.

Prices and opening times are shown as a guideline only and may vary.

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