Tideswell: Tourist Attractions and Places to Visit in the Peak District - Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire
A directory of tourist and visitor attractions near Tideswell 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 Tideswell
|Bagshawe Cavern is a largely natural cave system which was discovered by lead miners in 1806. It is open by arrangement for instructor-led 'Adventure caving for beginners', which gives access to a greater part of the cave for those who are prepared to get themselves dirty. A helmet, lamp and suitable clothing are necessary, for to see much of the cave system involves a certain amount of ladder-climbing and crawling, but some of the equipment can be hired at the cave. |
The show cave descends 102 steps to a chamber and a horizontal passage, giving features called the Elephant's Throat and the Chandler's Shop. Beyond this is a passage of decorated flowstone called the Grotto of Paradise and a decorated chimney called Niagara Falls. There are some good stalagmites. The cave then divides into two parts - the lower section goes down a passage called the Dungeon and extends down close to a resurgence in Bradwell Dale, while the upper part leads to a chamber known as the Hippodrome.
References: Caves of Derbyshire by Trevor D Ford and David W Gill, Dalesman Books. Also: Underground Britain by Bruce Bedford, Collins/Willow.
How to get there
the cave is situated up the hillside above the centre of Bradwell, on a small lane which leads to Bradwell Dale. Bradwell can be reached along the B6049 road from the A6013 road, which runs from Castleton to Sheffield. Approaching from the south, take the B6049 road from the A623 Chapel-en-le-frith to Chesterfield road, turning off near Tideswell.
By Bus: the 272 and 51A buses from Sheffield to Castleton pass through Bradwell. The 173 bus from Bakewell to Castleton also passes through Bradwell, and connects in Litton or Tideswell with the 66 bus from Buxton.
When is it open?
Details of opening times are obtainable from: Amanda Revell, email: email@example.com
|Eldon Hole is one of the seven wonders of the Peak. It is the deepest local pothole; an alarming, evil-looking chasm in the side of Eldon Hill to the north of the village of Peak Forest. |
The hole was the source of many local legends, including a story about an old woman's goose which fell down the hole and emerged from Peak Cavern in Castleton! However, recent exploration has demonstrated that the Hole has no obvious connection with any of the other local systems, and quite how it came to be created high on the side of a hill is not clear.
The hole is approximately 60 metres deep, but was once much deeper, having been part-filled by stones and rubble over the years. It was first descended in 1780 by a Mr Lloyd, who published an account of his adventure. In 'On foot through the Peak', written by James Croston in the 1870s, there is an account of an early descent by Messrs Pennington and Tym of Castleton in 1783. They were lowered by a hemp rope from a windlass which was placed on a crude wooden platform constructed across the top of the Hole, and they landed on a steep slope 180 feet below the surface. This slope led another 60 feet lower, into a large chamber with fine stalactites and flowstone deposits. After looking around they were winched up to the surface again to tell their tale. This sounds an exceedingly dangerous way to descend a pothole!
Access from Peak Forest village is via Eldon Lane, and is a half-hour walk. Follow the lane up past the farm until the tarmac ends, and then up the green road above onto the moor. When the wall on the left side of the lane finishes, then traverse horizontally across the hillside for approximately 500 metres to reach the Hole, which can be clearly seen and is fenced off, with a gate for access.
Nowadays the Hole is quite regularly descended by potholers, but it is still fairly dangerous even with modern equipment. Over the years it has claimed many sheep and is therefore fenced, but it still claims victims. A few years ago a young woman slipped in and was killed whilst trying to control her dog on the edge of the Hole.
Eldon Hole Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge
How to get there
Peak Forest lies on the A623 Stockport to Chesterfield road. Turn off this road into the village, past the shop and park near the end.
By Bus: the 190 bus from Buxton to Whaley Bridge stops at Peak Forest. It goes via Chapel-en-le-Frith and connects with the Buxton - Manchester train service at Whaley Bridge.
When is it open?
The Hole is not on access land, but access is not normally a problem.
|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.
|The church of St John the Baptist in Tideswell is rightly known as the 'Cathedral of the Peak', for it is one of the largest and certainly the most perfect church in the area.|
Tideswell was recorded in the Domesday book and the first known priest for the village was appointed in 1193. The present church probably replaced a much smaller Norman one, and faint traces of this may be seen in the Chancel. The beauty of the current church is that it was all built about the same period, with few alterations or additions - being started about 1320 and completed soon after 1400. The Nave, Aisles and Transepts were begun about 1340 in the Late Gothic style, and the Chancel and Tower were added at the end of the century in a Perpendicular style. Between the two it is thought that church-building was interrupted by the Black Death, which is thought to have killed nearly a third of the population of England. The church was restored in 1875, but this was a proper restoration rather than a rebuilding, as at Bakewell.
There are many interesting items in the church. Notice the wooded screen which separates the Nave from the Chancel - it is the original - and the beautiful Sedilla by the altar. In the centre of the Chancel lies the altar tomb of Sir Samson Meverill, a local knight and land-owner (1388 -1462). He probably fought at Agincourt and certainly served in France later with the Duke of Bedford, struggling to retain English control of France against Joan of Arc. By all accounts he was a colourful character who was not above abducting jurors brought to try him over a land dispute! His tomb (which was restored in 1875) has a marble slab with brasses in it. In the centre is a Trinity plate which is original, but some of the other brasses were replaced after a theft in 1688. Beneath the slab is a stone cadaver surrounded by an alabaster frieze.
In the floor of the chancel nearby there is an even older tomb - that of John Foljambe, who died in 1358. The Foljambes are though to have come to the area with the Conquerer and were local landowners. The brass on the grave was placed there by a descendant in 1875, for the original was stolen, probably in the 17th century.
Next to this is an original brass, this time to Bishop Robert Purseglove, who was born in the village about 1510 and died here in 1579. Purseglove was a distinguished clergyman who became Bishop of Hull in 1538. He was an agent of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's chancellor, and was involved in the dissolution of the monasteries, becoming rich in the process. Though he was created a bishop by Henry and served the Protestant Edward VI, taking the oath renouncing the authority of the Pope, he also served as bishop under the Catholic Mary I. However, when Elizabeth became queen and in 1559 required all the clergy to swear an oath of supremacy to her, Purseglove refused and lost his bishopric. He retired to Tideswell and lived quietly there until his death, giving money to charities and founding the local Grammar School in 1560.
The South transept of the church contain the Lytton chapel and the Bower chapel. One of the original bells, removed in 1928, sits on the floor of the Lytton chapel. In the floor of the Aisle nearby, under a carpet, is the tomb of Robert Lytton (died 1483) and his wife Isabel (died 1458). The purpose of the carpet is to protect the fine brasses of Robert and Isabel on their tombstone. Robert was the squire of Litton and Under-Treasurer of England in the reign of Henry VI, so he was a man of some importance. The Bower chapel contains perhaps the most impressive tomb, thought to be that of Sir Thurstan de Bower and his wife Margaret (about 1395). The recumbent alabaster figures of the couple on the tomb are worn by the ravages of time, but still give a strong impression of the couple.
In the North transept (the Lady Chapel) there are two stone gravestones of women, dating from 1300 and 1375, while the pews have some exquisite carvings by Advent Hunstone, a local man.
Tideswell Church Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
How to get there
Tideswell lies just off the A623 Chapel-en-le-Frith to Chesterfield road, just south of the junction with the B6049, which comes from Hope Valley. The B6049 continues through the village to meet the A6 between Buxton and Bakewell.
By Bus: the 65 Buxton - Sheffield bus and the 66 Buxton - Chesterfield bus both pass through Tideswell. The 173 bus from Bakewell also goes to the village.
When is it open?
Normally open in day time.
What does it cost?
Prices and opening times are shown as a guideline only and may vary.
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