The Aqueduct

The Aqueduct at Chatsworth

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 … Continue reading The Aqueduct at Chatsworth

Bullet holes in the rocks below Burbage Edge

During the 2nd World War the Burbage Basin, below Burbage Edge was used as a military training area and there is still plenty of evidence of that today.  You don’t have to look very hard to find huge boulders covered in bullet holes and marks from mortar shells.  Usually the holes in the rocks are just one one side as they were used as targets whilst practicing attacking uphill positions. This gritstone boulder is just off the main ‘Sheffield Country Way’ path through the valley, but there are lots more spread over a wide area.       Continue reading Bullet holes in the rocks below Burbage Edge

The Hanging Stone

Yesterday I went for a walk with a friend and was fascinated by The Hanging Stone – a gritstone rock outcrop on Back Forest Ridge on the western side of the Peak District, just to the north of The Roaches.  It overlooks Swythamley Hall, which was the home of the Brocklehurst family who owned the Roaches Estate until the death of the last in line in 1978. As far as I am aware, there haven’t been any hangings that took place there, so the rock probably took its name from the fact that the upper layers of rock overhang slightly, … Continue reading The Hanging Stone

A Victorian Post Box

There are several Victorian post boxes remaining around the Peak District.  We found this one in the tiny hamlet of Hollinsclough set into the side of a barn.  We don’t know exactly how old it is, but roadside wall boxes first appeared in England in 1857 as a cheaper alternative to pillar boxes, especially in rural districts. Hollinsclough is a conservation village in the upper Dove valley, about eight miles south of Buxton.  The entire hamlet comprises just eleven houses, a Methodist chapel, the village hall, and the school. We pass through Hollins Clough occasionally on our open group guided walks in the Peak District. Continue reading A Victorian Post Box

An industrial site in a place of beauty!

A cement factory might be an unexpected thing to write about in a countryside blog, but if you have ever been walking in the Hope Valley area of the Peak District, you will have seen the Lafarge cement works which forms a dominant feature in the landscape. The factory is visible from the whole of ‘The Great Ridge’ – one of the most popular walks in the Dark Peak. The initial reaction that most people have when seeing it for the first time is ‘what an eyesore in a beautiful valley’. Admittedly it is a bit ugly, but there is a lot … Continue reading An industrial site in a place of beauty!

High Tor, Matlock Bath

High Tor is a great limestone outcrop which towers almost 400 feet about the river Derwent between Matlock and Matlock Bath.  The limestone was formed about 325 – 350 million years ago when the area was at the bottom of a shallow tropical sea. Over millions of years, limey muds and the shells and skeletons of tiny sea creatures settled on the bottom and formed a thick layer of limestone.  Large areas of limestone such as High Tor have been pushed upwards by land movements and further shaped by glacial meltwaters at the end of the last ice age. You can walk up … Continue reading High Tor, Matlock Bath

Millstones on the Moors

Autumn and winter are great times to see the many abandoned millstones that are scattered beneath the famous gritstone edges of the eastern Dark Peak.  During the summer months these iconic features tend to be hidden from view by bracken which grows prolifically in the area. Millstone production, along with lead mining was one of the main medieval industries of the Peak District and the two main centres of production were above Hathersage and Baslow.  Production is believed to have started as early as the 14th century, reaching its peak in the late 16th and 17th centuries.  It was a huge … Continue reading Millstones on the Moors

The wonders of Stanton Moor

Yesterday we enjoyed a short walk onto Stanton Moor from the village of Birchover.  As well as being carpeted in beautiful purple ling heather, there are also a wealth of interesting features on the moor to marvel over.  Stanton Moor is believed to have once been a very special place to our ancestors.  In Bronze age times the landscape would have been very different with fertile farmland, and timber roundhouses scattered over the area.  Evidence has been found all over the moor of field boundaries, burial mounds, and stone circles.  The best known stone circle is the Nine Ladies.  Local legend … Continue reading The wonders of Stanton Moor

The village stocks

As you can see, we had a bit of fun recently on one of our group guided walks!  The village of Litton is one of several in the Peak District that has retained its village stocks.  Whilst there was great hilarity over our antics on the recent walk, in years gone by the stocks were a serious form of punishment.  The types of crime that might result in a day or two in the stocks included:  swearing; drinking in the pub during the hours of a church service; gambling on a Sunday; or even refusing to help out with the harvest.  … Continue reading The village stocks