Anyone who has walked along the path through Bee Wood below Froggatt Edge must have momentarily paused at the strange tomb like structures on the edge of the path and wondered what they were. I certainly have done, and unable to find any information about them in my Peak District books or on the internet, I contacted the National Trust who manage the woodland, and I am delighted to report that I now have the answer!
Apparently they are part of a water company piping system along the path which is known locally as the ‘pipe track’. The rectangular gritstone structures cover vent and access holes to the ‘cut and cover’ pipe. The pipe was apparently a dug ditch that was covered in an arch of bricks then covered back over.
Chatsworth gardens are famous for their stunning water features, most notably the Emperor Fountain and the Cascade. One of the lesser known features however is The Aqueduct, where water cascades 80 feet from the end of a ‘broken’ aqueduct. As it is located just outside of the walled gardens, you can visit it free of charge by walking up the track into the woodland behind Chatsworth House.
The Aqueduct dates from 1839 at the time when Joseph Paxton designed the pools and fountains at Chatsworth for the 6th Duke of Devonshire. It formed part of the flow of water that supplied the Cascade. It is believed to have been inspired by a similar but much larger structure in a grand garden near Kassel in Germany.
These photographs were taken yesterday on our ‘Charms of Chatsworth’ open group guided walk. Details of all our guided walks can be found at http://www.peakwalking.com
Yesterday our half day guided walk passed along Burbage Edge – one of the high gritstone edges that the Dark Peak area is famous for. The views are stunning and it is a great walk, but years ago it was once the site of several small quarries producing millstones and occasionally other stone objects such as drinking troughs.
This magnificent trough can be found on the path that leads down from Burbage Edge towards the A6187. Due to its size I can quite easily imagine that it might have been destined to be a horse drinking trough at a coaching inn, or maybe in a town centre. It is quite easy to see why it was abandoned before the stone masons had finished it, as there is a massive crack right across it.
It is interesting as being unfinished, you can see the process that was used to produce these stone troughs. The stone was first crafted into a huge rectangle, then a channel was chiseled out inside leaving a stone ‘island’ than would eventually be hacked out leaving the perfect trough.
One of the most distinctive hills in the Peak District with its twin summits, Crook Hill is surrounded on three sides by Ladybower Reservoir and is easily visible from the A57 road. The highest of the summits stands at 382 meters above sea level with the slightly lower one nearer to the farm being 374 meters.
The area surrounding the summits is Access Land and is easily accessible via the bridle path that rises up the hillside from the road on the side of the reservoir and passes Crook Hill Farm
There is the remains of an ancient megalithic stone circle between the summits, but only two of the five original stones remain standing.
A short detour off the main path to visit these two summits makes an interesting addition to our guided walks in the hills surrounding Ladybower Reservoir. See http://www.peakwalking.com/Pages/derwentedge.aspx for the next available dates of this walk.
On our walk today I was asked about a wild flower that was growing at the side of the road that goes down the side of Ladybwer Reservoir. Having had a close look at it I had to admit that I didn’t know what it was. I took these photos and have now looked it up and discovered that it is Great Burnet.
My research has also revealed a few interesting facts about the plant. It is a member of the Rose family and in the past,
Burnet wine has been made from its flower heads. The latin name Sanguis (blood) and sorba (absorb) points to the use of its roots in medicine in years gone by as a cure for bleeding including nose bleeds. Apparently it can also be used to treat burns and insect bites and the leaves can be eaten in salads, tasting a little like cucumber.
This weekend, Ling Heather has been just about at its best on the Peak District moors. It is the most common of 3 types of heather that grows in the Peak District. As well as looking beautiful when in flower, it also provides much needed cover for ground nesting birds in the spring.
I am told that a type of tea can be made from its flowering stems and that mead was once flavoured by its flowers.
These photos were taken this afternoon on Derwent Edge, showing a close up of the Ling Heather flowers and the ‘purple carpet’ effect on the moorlands. Ladybowever reservoir is in the background.