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Peak District Towns and Villages: Ilam Church and Hall

Villages around Ilam Church and Hall

Alsop-en-le-Dale


Slideshow
Alsop-en-le-Dale is a small farming hamlet, which nestles in a side valley below the main Ashbourne to Buxton road not too far from Parwich. The main road once passed through Alsop but was diverted to save stagecoaches the climb down into the valley and then back up again. As a result Alsop now enjoys quiet seclusion and only sees traffic en-route to or from Parwich.

Alsop Church
Alsop Church
The village is very pretty, with a fine Norman church which was built in the early 12th century and renovated and extended in the 1883. Fortunately the Victorian renovators did a sensitive job and the church is very beautiful, indeed it is hard to see which is their work and which is original and it is a surprise to discover that the tower is actually not original! Opposite the church is a fine old hall, of which parts date from the 17th century.

Above the village, the former railway station has been converted into a car park for the Tissington Trail, which passes through here. It's also a convenient place to start a walk into Wolfscote Dale, which comes close to the trail here.

Dovedale - Ilam Rock
0 - Dovedale - Ilam Rock
Alsop-en-le-Dale church
1 - Alsop-en-le-Dale church
Alsop-en-le-Dale hall
2 - Alsop-en-le-Dale hall
Alstonefield
3 - Alstonefield
Biggin - Liffs Low from the Tissington Trail
4 - Biggin - Liffs Low from the Tissington Trail
Wolfscote Dale - Lode Mill
5 - Wolfscote Dale - Lode Mill
Tissington Trail
6 - Tissington Trail

Alstonefield


Slideshow
Alstonefield is the major village of the region which lies between the lower Dove and Manifold valleys. It is a pretty village which has not been spoilt by the large number of tourists it receives each weekend.

Alstonefield village green
Alstonefield village green
The village is centred around the village green with the George Inn on one side, the church is down a cul-de-sac to the south and the newer part of the village to the north and west.

The village was once a busy junction of packhorse routes and was granted a market charter in 1308. It is not known how long markets continued, but livestock markets were held up until Victorian times. Alstonefield's situation between the steep-sided Dove and Manifold valleys have meant that the major modern transport routes have passed it by, leaving it as a backwater apart from tourism.

The church is mostly 16th century, built in 1590, though there are some Norman bits and there was a Saxon church on the site as a pastoral visit of the Archbishop of York is recorded from 892 AD. Like many other local churches it was heavily restored in Victorian times.

An interesting internal feature is the unusual box pew (painted a rather garish colour) of the Cotton family, owners of nearby Beresford Hall, whose famous scion Charles Cotton featured in 'The Compleat Angler', written by his friend Izaak Walton. This box pew contrasts sharply with much simpler seats available for the rest of the congregation.

From the church it is a fine walk to Milldale and the Dove. In the direction of the village green there lies the Manor House, dated 1587, which used to be the rectory, and a fine old tithe barn.

Around the green there was once a workhouse (built in 1790 and now private dwellings), a reading room, a village pump (which can still be seen), and a tea shop cum post office which has recently closed.

Hopedale and Stanshope are two hamlets situated just to the south of Alstonefield. Hopedale lies in a valley leading down to Milldale and has a very nice pub, the Watts Russell Arms, and once had a cheese factory. Stanshope is a farming hamlet centred around Stanshope Hall Farm, a fine 18th century building.

Dovedale - Ilam Rock
0 - Dovedale - Ilam Rock
Manifold Valley - Beeston Tor
1 - Manifold Valley - Beeston Tor
Biggin Dale - Lower part of the dale
2 - Biggin Dale - Lower part of the dale
Throwley Old Hall
3 - Throwley Old Hall
Alstonefield
4 - Alstonefield
Wolfscote Dale - Drabber Tor
5 - Wolfscote Dale - Drabber Tor
Wolfscote Dale - Lode Mill
6 - Wolfscote Dale - Lode Mill
Milldale
7 - Milldale
Dovedale - Raven's Tor
8 - Dovedale - Raven's Tor
Wetton Church
9 - Wetton Church
Wetton- Royal Oak Inn
10 - Wetton- Royal Oak Inn

Ashbourne


Slideshow
Ashbourne - view of the church
Ashbourne - view of the church
Ashbourne is the southern gateway to the Peak and lies on the boundary of the Old Red Sandstone of southern Derbyshire and the Limestone which surrounds Dovedale and the White Peak. Although the town lies a short distance away from the River Dove, it commands the approach to Dovedale.

Old Grammar School building
Old Grammar School building
It is a colourful and historic town, well established in Saxon times and listed in the Domesday survey, in which it is called `Esseburne' . It was granted a charter for a market in 1257 and made a royal borough in 1276. There is still a market on Thursdays and Saturdays, but at one time there also were regular livestock markets, several annual horse fairs, and even cheese fairs.

Church Street, which leads out west from the town centre, has many fine buildings, including of course St Oswald's church, the former Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School (founded 1585), Owfield's Almshouses (1614-30), Peggies Almshouses (1669) and The Mansion, which was the home of the Rev John Taylor from 1740 to 1787. A colourful character, Taylor was one of Dr Johnson's closest friends, and Johnson was a frequent visitor here.

The Grammer School, named after Queen Elizabeth and known locally as 'QEG', was founded in 1585 by Sir Thomas Cockayne and is a fine example of an Elizabethan public building. The Cockayne family were a notable local Derbyshire family with estates in the area from around 1200 onwards. Their alabaster tombs can be seen in St Oswald's church.

The town can also boast of visits by Charles I and Bonny Prince Charlie, who stayed here on his march south to Derby in 1745.

The streets in the centre of the town are quite narrow and the are overhung by the inn sign of the Green Man and Black's Head - a famous Georgian coaching inn once frequented by Dr Johnson and Boswell. To the left are the former Shambles (now called Victoria Square), which lead up to the Market Square, the hub of the modern town. The town has a fairly wide range of shops and of course numerous pubs.

Blacks Head sign
Blacks Head sign
Ashbourne - The Shambles
Ashbourne - The Shambles
Probably the most famous feature of Ashbourne is its Shrove-Tide football match - an annual game of 'traditional' football, played between the 'Uppards' and 'Downards' with a leather ball stuffed with sawdust. The only rule is that the ball has to be grounded at either of the two goals, which are 3 miles apart along the valley where Ashbourne lies. Play starts at 2pm and continues until 10pm unless a goal is scored after 5pm. There are hundreds of participants and to describe it as rough would be an understatement - it is a moving brawl which continues through the roads of the town, across fields and even along the bed of the local stream. The violence involved has led to intermittent attempts to ban it, but the game has been played here for hundreds of years and fortunately it still continues.

The Tourist Information Centre is in the market square - telephone 01335 343666

Ashbourne - view of church
0 - Ashbourne - view of church
Ashbourne Church - stonework detail
1 - Ashbourne Church - stonework detail
Ashbourne - St Oswalds Church
2 - Ashbourne - St Oswalds Church
Ashbourne Church - East window
3 - Ashbourne Church - East window
Ashbourne Church - Bradbourne tomb
4 - Ashbourne Church - Bradbourne tomb
Ashbourne Church - Tomb of Penelope Boothby
5 - Ashbourne Church - Tomb of Penelope Boothby
Ashbourne - The Shambles
6 - Ashbourne - The Shambles
Ashbourne - Green Man and Blacks Head sign
7 - Ashbourne - Green Man and Blacks Head sign
Ashbourne - The market place
8 - Ashbourne - The market place
Ashbourne - The market place
9 - Ashbourne - The market place
Ashbourne - Plaque on Dr Taylors house
10 - Ashbourne - Plaque on Dr Taylors house
Ashbourne - the old Grammar School building
11 - Ashbourne - the old Grammar School building
Ashbourne - view of the Grammar School building
12 - Ashbourne - view of the Grammar School building

Blore


Slideshow
Blore is a secluded village just south of Ilam and the entrance to Dovedale, with a fine hall and a beautiful old church. The church was founded in the early 12th century and much of it dates from about then, though with many later additions. It is notable for not having been restored by the usual over-zealous Victorians. The result is that the church is almost as it was when the last additions were made in the early 17th century - an absolute gem.

Blore Church
Blore Church
The village was the home of the Bassett family from the mid 15th century until 1652 when the family line died out. They were responsible for the hall and much of the church and its contents. The chief glory of the church is the magnificent alabaster tomb of William Bassett V (d 1601), the last of the male line. The carvings on the tomb depict him in the centre with his wife Judith on his left and his son-in-law Henry Howard on his right. At the head of Henry is his wife, Elizabeth Bassett, and at the head of Judith is her grand-daughter, Elizabeth Howard. The family are buried in a vault beneath the tomb, though unfortunately this was robbed in the early 19th century and the lead coffins stolen, so the vault is now sealed.

This is not the only interesting monument in the church - beneath the North Aisle is a 15th century brass commemorating William Bassett II and his wife Joan, and there is some notable old stained glass.

The situation of Blore, overlooking the lower end of the Manifold and facing the end of Dovedale, is very pretty and at Blore Pastures on the road between Ilam and Blore there is a car park which has a particularly beautiful view of the area and is well worth visiting.

Ilam Church
0 - Ilam Church
Ilam Church - the Saxon font
1 - Ilam Church - the Saxon font
Ilam Church - Pike Watts tomb
2 - Ilam Church - Pike Watts tomb
Ilam Hall - Saxon cross
3 - Ilam Hall - Saxon cross
Ilam Hall
4 - Ilam Hall
Blore Church
5 - Blore Church
Dovedale view from Blore Pastures
6 - Dovedale view from Blore Pastures
Ilam - the cross
7 - Ilam - the cross
Ilam - houses
8 - Ilam - houses
Blore Church - Bassett tomb
9 - Blore Church - Bassett tomb
Ilam - St Bertrand's Bridge
10 - Ilam - St Bertrand's Bridge
Ilam Church - Tomb of St Bertram
11 - Ilam Church - Tomb of St Bertram
Ilam Hall
12 - Ilam Hall
Ilam Cross
13 - Ilam Cross

Fenny Bentley


Slideshow
Fenny Bentley is likely to be the first village the visitor encounters on entering the Peak from the South. To the tourist passing through its main feature appears to be the steep hill which exits the village and carries the A515 road up into the Peak District, crossed half-way up by the bridge of former Buxton-Ashbourne railway, now the Tissington Trail.

Cherry Orchard farm
Cherry Orchard farm
The centre of the village is off the main road and contains a nice church, much restored in the 19th century, whose main interest is the tomb of Thomas Beresford (d 1473), a veteran of Agincourt, and his wife. The tomb was built 100 years after Beresford's death and has unusual shrouded effigies of him and his wife, with the shrouded figures of their 21(!) children on the side of the tomb.

Across the road from the church is another remnant of Thomas Beresford - the fortified manor house which he built for himself and which still stands. Known as Cherry Orchard Farm, the house has a fortified square tower which is unique in the Peak. It is still a working farm.

Fenny Bentley - Cherry Orchard farm
0 - Fenny Bentley - Cherry Orchard farm
Fenny Bentley Church - Beresford tomb
1 - Fenny Bentley Church - Beresford tomb
Tissington Hall
2 - Tissington Hall
Tissington Cottages
3 - Tissington Cottages
Tissington Cottage
4 - Tissington Cottage
Tissington Church
5 - Tissington Church
Tissington Church - Norman font
6 - Tissington Church - Norman font
Tissington Church - Fitzherbert memorial
7 - Tissington Church - Fitzherbert memorial
Tissington duckpond
8 - Tissington duckpond
Tissington Well Dressing
9 - Tissington Well Dressing

Grindon


Slideshow
Grindon is a delightful village strategically situated above the most interesting and exciting section of the Manifold valley, close to its junction with the Hamps. The village has a long history and was mentioned in the Domesday Book as Grendon, meaning green hill. It was a staging post along the packhorse route from Ecton Hill, once the most productive copper mine in the country, and in its heyday many of the local people would have been miners or worked in associated trades.

Grindon Church
Grindon Church
The current church dates only from 1848 and has a soaring spire similar to that at Butterton nearby, but there has been a church here since at least the 11th century. The modern church replaced a 16th century building which was burnt down in the early 19th century. Outside the church entrance there is an unusual sight - a 'Rindle' stone. This records that: 'The Lord of the Manor of Grindon Established his right to this rindle at Stafford Assizes on March 17th 1872'. A rindle is a brook which runs only in wet weather - quite why the lord of the manor should want to assert his right to the rindle is unclear, but the stone is unique.

Inside the church there is a memorial to the crew of a Halifax bomber which crashed on the moors near Grindon in the harsh winter of 1947. The bomber was dropping relief supplies to the villages of the area, which were completely cut off by snowdrifts.

There is a car park and picnic spot beside the church and not far distant is The Cavalier, the village pub - one of the quainter ones in the area. There are fine walks from Grindon down into both the River Manifold and the River Hamps, to Thors Cave and the Wetton and Alstonefield.

Manifold Valley - Thors Cave
0 - Manifold Valley - Thors Cave
Manifold Valley - Beeston Tor
1 - Manifold Valley - Beeston Tor
Manifold Valley from Thor's Cave
2 - Manifold Valley from Thor's Cave
Manifold Valley near Grindon
3 - Manifold Valley near Grindon
Manifold Valley near Wetton
4 - Manifold Valley near Wetton
Throwley Old Hall
5 - Throwley Old Hall
Butterton
6 - Butterton
Grindon Church and Rindle Stone
7 - Grindon Church and Rindle Stone
Grindon Cottage
8 - Grindon Cottage
Hamps Valley near Grindon
9 - Hamps Valley near Grindon
Wetton Church
10 - Wetton Church
Wetton- Royal Oak Inn
11 - Wetton- Royal Oak Inn
Manifold Trail below Thors Cave
12 - Manifold Trail below Thors Cave
Thors Cave - looking out up the Manifold Valley
13 - Thors Cave - looking out up the Manifold Valley

Ilam


Slideshow
Ilam lies at the lower end of the River Manifold and is one of the prettiest villages in this area of the Peak, with one of the longest histories. The current village was moved in the 1820s by Jesse Watts-Russell from its position near Ilam Hall and rebuilt in its current location in what Watts-Russell considered to be 'Alpine style'. This explains both the unusual style of the buildings and the surprising distance between them and the village church. The centre of the village is dominated by a memorial cross similar to Charing Cross, erected by Jesse Watts-Russell in 1840 to commemorate his wife, Mary.

The village was inhabited in Saxon times and the church incorporates some Saxon stonework as well as the tomb of the Saxon saint, Bertram, who lived as a hermit in this area. In 1004 the village was given to Burton on Trent Abbey and a small monastic settlement was established here - after the dissolution of the monasteries this was purchased by the Port family who owned the estate for the next 300 years and established the first Ilam Hall, which was torn down and rebuilt in grand style by Jesse Watts-Russell in the 1820s. The main part of his hall was demolished in the 1930s, but the remaining section is a Youth Hostel and the whole estate now belongs to the National Trust.

At the hall there are tea rooms and a National Trust Information centre, plus a very well-appointed National Trust caravan site.

Throwley Hall
Throwley Hall
Three kilometres to the north-west, up the Manifold Valley, lies Throwley Hall, where the ruins of a fine Elizabethan manor house stand next to its less charismatic 18th century replacement. The manor house was built in 1603 for Simon Meverell, a scion of the Meverell family to whom Throwley belonged from 1203 to the mid 17th century. The house passed to Charles Cotton on his marriage to the widow of the last of the Meverells, but was later allowed to go to ruin. What remains is currently being made safe and restored by English Heritage.

Like Castern on the hillside opposite, Throwley was once a small agricultural village but rural depopulation has left just the hall, which is actually a large farm specialising in raising beef cattle.

Ilam Church
0 - Ilam Church
Ilam Church - the Saxon font
1 - Ilam Church - the Saxon font
Ilam Church - Pike Watts tomb
2 - Ilam Church - Pike Watts tomb
Ilam Hall - Saxon cross
3 - Ilam Hall - Saxon cross
Ilam Hall
4 - Ilam Hall
Dovedale from below Thorpe Cloud
5 - Dovedale from below Thorpe Cloud
Dovedale - The Stepping Stones
6 - Dovedale - The Stepping Stones
Dovedale - The Stepping Stones on a busy day
7 - Dovedale - The Stepping Stones on a busy day
Dovedale - The Twelve Apostles
8 - Dovedale - The Twelve Apostles
Thorpe Cloud from the river Dove
9 - Thorpe Cloud from the river Dove
Thorpe Cloud - The view up Dovedale
10 - Thorpe Cloud - The view up Dovedale
Thorpe Cloud - Descending towards Lindale
11 - Thorpe Cloud - Descending towards Lindale
Dovedale - Tissington Spires
12 - Dovedale - Tissington Spires
Dovedale - Reynards Cave
13 - Dovedale - Reynards Cave
Dovedale - Ilam Rock
14 - Dovedale - Ilam Rock
Blore Church
15 - Blore Church
Dovedale view from Blore Pastures
16 - Dovedale view from Blore Pastures
Ilam - the cross
17 - Ilam - the cross
Ilam - houses
18 - Ilam - houses
Blore Church - Bassett tomb
19 - Blore Church - Bassett tomb
Manifold Valley from Throwley
20 - Manifold Valley from Throwley
Manifold Valley - dried up river
21 - Manifold Valley - dried up river
Throwley Old Hall
22 - Throwley Old Hall
Ilam - St Bertrand's Bridge
23 - Ilam - St Bertrand's Bridge
Ilam Church - Tomb of St Bertram
24 - Ilam Church - Tomb of St Bertram
Ilam Hall
25 - Ilam Hall
Ilam Cross
26 - Ilam Cross

Mayfield


Mayfield is a large, sprawling village on the Staffordshire side of the River Dove, close to Ashbourne. Upper Mayfield has some lovely 17th and 18th century houses. Lower Mayfield, down by the river and the oldest part of the village, has the church and an old yarn mill. The main part of the modern village is situated between Upper and Lower Mayfield.

It is an old village with a lovely church and since the end of the 18th century it has mostly made a living through the cotton mills situated along the River Dove. One is still active - a rarity nowadays.

Another point of interest is that Mayfield was the home of the Irish poet Thomas Moore - a close friend of the poet Byron, who visited regularly. One of Byron's young daughters is buried in the churchyard as she died while on a visit here.

Mayfield has a well-dressing in mid-June and is one of the few places outside Derbyshire to hold one.

Milldale


Slideshow
Viators Bridge at Milldale
Viators Bridge at Milldale
Milldale is a tiny hamlet on the River Dove, and is the chief northerly access point for Dovedale. There is a large, very handy carpark half a kilometer outside it on the road toward Alstonefield.

The hamlet derives its name from an old corn mill situated here but demolished in the mid 19th century. The foundations can still be seen and so can the pool where local farmers washed their sheep in the river prior to shearing - this practice was only abandoned here in the 1960s.

Milldale is famous for the role it plays in 'The Compleat Angler', the book published by Isaak Walton in 1653 which detailed his conversations with his friend Charles Cotton about fishing on the River Dove. The book is written as a conversation between 'Viator' and 'Pescator', and the packhorse bridge leading out of Milldale across the river is known as Viator's bridge.

There is a very informative National Trust Information Barn by the bridge, and public toilets nearby. As you would expect in a popular tourist spot. Drinks, ice-creams, postcards and tea are usually available hereabouts.

Dovedale - Reynards Cave
0 - Dovedale - Reynards Cave
Dovedale - Ilam Rock
1 - Dovedale - Ilam Rock
Alstonefield
2 - Alstonefield
Wolfscote Dale - Lode Mill
3 - Wolfscote Dale - Lode Mill
Milldale
4 - Milldale
Dovedale - Raven's Tor
5 - Dovedale - Raven's Tor

Thorpe


Slideshow
Thorpe is strategically situated at the end of Dovedale and is therefore a busy place on summer weekends. However, the main part of the village lies in a cul-de-sac off the through road and is a surprisingly peaceful spot. At the end of this cul-de-sac a track leads down to Coldwall Bridge across the River Dove south of the present access to Dove Dale - this is the old route south from here.

Thorpe Church
Thorpe Church
The village is one of the few in the Peak with a name which clearly betrays Norse origins, for the Danish settlers did not generally penetrate far into this area. The village was mentioned in Domesday, as was nearby Broadlow Ash Farm. Other historical connections of the area include the local farms of Newton Grange, which was a farming settlement belonging to Combermere Abbey of Cheshire, and Hanson Grange which belonged to Burton-on-Trent monastery.

The village clusters around a beautiful little church with a Norman tower, built about 1100 AD, and with suggestions of Saxon work here and there. The nave was added in the 14th century, possibly replacing a Saxon construction, and a vestry in the 19th century. There is a fine tomb of the Millward family (1632) by the altar.

The road down to Dovedale first passes the three star hotel, Peveril of the Peak, and then the distinctive cone of Thorpe Cloud, the hill which guards the entrance to Dovedale. (Cloud is a corruption of the Old English word 'clud', meaning hill.) The summit is a short but stiff climb from any direction, though the approach from Thorpe village is probably easier than that from Dovedale, and certainly involves less gain in height. Whichever way you ascend it the climb is well worthwhile, for the panoramic view is really splendid, including Dovedale all the way to Alstonefield as well as Ilam and lower Manifold valley.

Dovedale from below Thorpe Cloud
0 - Dovedale from below Thorpe Cloud
Dovedale - The Stepping Stones
1 - Dovedale - The Stepping Stones
Dovedale - The Stepping Stones on a busy day
2 - Dovedale - The Stepping Stones on a busy day
Dovedale - The Twelve Apostles
3 - Dovedale - The Twelve Apostles
Thorpe Cloud from the river Dove
4 - Thorpe Cloud from the river Dove
Thorpe Cloud - The view up Dovedale
5 - Thorpe Cloud - The view up Dovedale
Thorpe Cloud - Descending towards Lindale
6 - Thorpe Cloud - Descending towards Lindale
Dovedale - Tissington Spires
7 - Dovedale - Tissington Spires
Blore Church
8 - Blore Church
Ilam - the cross
9 - Ilam - the cross
Ilam - houses
10 - Ilam - houses
Thorpe church
11 - Thorpe church
Blore Church - Bassett tomb
12 - Blore Church - Bassett tomb

Tissington


Slideshow
Tissington is one of the prettiest villages in this area of the Peak and is also a convenient point of access to the Tissington Trail. It is therefore a popular place on a summer weekend.

Tissington
Tissington
The village lies just off the main Buxton-Ashbourne road and has been since the 1460s the estate village of the FitzHerbert family, whose hall, erected in 1609, stands in the centre of the village. The village is delightfully laid out with plenty of space and buildings which were mostly erected in the early 19th century. It has an imposing southern approach via a grand gateway and an avenue of lime trees while the access to the east necessitates negotiating a ford in the Bradbourne, a very popular spot with local kids on hot summer days who will gladly offer to wash any cars that pass through, irrespective of whether the drivers window is closed or otherwise!.

The village church sits on a mound almost opposite the hall and has a Norman doorway and font, but was heavily restored in Victorian times. However it contains the monumental 17th century memorial to Francis and Thomas FitzHerbert, which is well worth a look.

Tissington Hall
Tissington Hall
The village is largely arranged along a single street, with the old school at the southern end and the hall and church halfway up. Just to the east of the old school there is a picturesque village pond and a road leading onwards to the former railway station, now a car park for the Tissington Trail.

The village has no less than five wells and is now mainly notable for its well-dressing, which takes place each year on Ascension Day, making it the first Peak District well dressing of the year, and usually one of the best.

The fields along the A515 road outside the village are significant for their clear remains of the old medieval strip field system.

Fenny Bentley - Cherry Orchard farm
0 - Fenny Bentley - Cherry Orchard farm
Fenny Bentley Church - Beresford tomb
1 - Fenny Bentley Church - Beresford tomb
Parwich house
2 - Parwich house
Parwich house
3 - Parwich house
Parwich duckpond
4 - Parwich duckpond
Parwich public house
5 - Parwich public house
Parwich house
6 - Parwich house
Tissington Hall
7 - Tissington Hall
Tissington Cottages
8 - Tissington Cottages
Tissington Cottage
9 - Tissington Cottage
Tissington Church
10 - Tissington Church
Tissington Church - Norman font
11 - Tissington Church - Norman font
Tissington Church - Fitzherbert memorial
12 - Tissington Church - Fitzherbert memorial
Tissington duckpond
13 - Tissington duckpond
Tissington Well Dressing
14 - Tissington Well Dressing

Waterhouses


Slideshow
Waterhouses is the largest village on the south-western edge of the Pea, and the most substantial settlement in the Hamps valley. The large limestone quarry complex at nearby Cauldon provides much of the local employment but does not impose on the village.

The village centre is where the Leek to Ashbourne road, the A523, crosses the Hamps and the road to Cauldon turns off south. There are rows of cottages clustered around this junction and a pub, Ye Olde Crown Hotel (open for real ale and home-cooked food), on the corner. Just above here is the old station, once the terminus of the Manifold and Hamps Light Railway. The remaining station buildings have been restored by the Peak Park and converted into an information and cycle hire centre. There is a substantial car park and public toilets here too so it is a good base from which to explore this interesting part of the Peak District.

The village has two pubs (though recently one was boarded up), a school, a couple of shops and a fish and chip shop.

The small farming hamlet of Waterfall lies a kilometre and a half away to the north. This is a pretty little village with a quaint inn, the Red Lion, and a fine late Georgian church. It gains its name from the fact that the Hamps disappears underground not far away.

Calton is a another nearby small farming hamlet situated between the lower Hamps and Manifold rivers. Calton has an excellent network of paths and lanes around it and provides good walking access to the Manifold and Hamps valleys. Musden Wood in particular is well worth a visit.

Manifold Valley from Throwley
0 - Manifold Valley from Throwley
Throwley Old Hall
1 - Throwley Old Hall

Wetton


Slideshow
Wetton is a delightful little village situated above the Manifold valley near Thor's cave. It is a good centre for exploring this area of the Limestone uplands. In the centre of the village the church and the local pub, the Royal Oak, lie side-by-side. The church dates at least in part from the 14th century and is notable for having 6 bells, which seems rather a lot for a small village church. The pub is an excellent one, with a small field at the rear that is used as a camp site.

Wetton Church
Wetton Church
To the north, Wetton Hill is a 'reef knoll', formed from the ancient remains of a coral reef. The area around here has been farmed since Neolithic times, and there is a Long Barrow at Long Low (towards Castern) which is at least 4,500 years old, and slightly more recent barrows on Wetton Low.

Royal Oak
Royal Oak
Wetton is essentially a farming village, relying on a mixture of dairy and sheep farming though at one time there must have been some arable farming because in the Manifold Valley below the village lies Wetton Mill, which was once a corn mill and is now in the care of the National Trust. The area to the east of the village is marked out with long narrow fields, whose origin probably dates back to medieval strips.

With its position close to Thor's Cave and the other attractions of the Manifold Valley, Wetton is a popular tourist location and a good place to start a walk or a cycle ride. There is a car park and public toilets just along the road towards Grindon.

Manifold Valley - Thors Cave
0 - Manifold Valley - Thors Cave
Manifold Valley - Beeston Tor
1 - Manifold Valley - Beeston Tor
Manifold Valley near Swainsley
2 - Manifold Valley near Swainsley
Manifold Valley from Thor's Cave
3 - Manifold Valley from Thor's Cave
Manifold Valley near Grindon
4 - Manifold Valley near Grindon
Manifold Valley near Wetton
5 - Manifold Valley near Wetton
Throwley Old Hall
6 - Throwley Old Hall
Grindon Cottage
7 - Grindon Cottage
Hamps Valley near Grindon
8 - Hamps Valley near Grindon
Wetton Church
9 - Wetton Church
Wetton- Royal Oak Inn
10 - Wetton- Royal Oak Inn
Manifold Trail below Thors Cave
11 - Manifold Trail below Thors Cave
Thors Cave - looking out up the Manifold Valley
12 - Thors Cave - looking out up the Manifold Valley

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