A Pictorial and Descriptive
Guide to Buxton, The Peak, Dovedale, Etc.

Ward, Lock & Co.'s

Illustrated Guide Books
Series 1939-40

Transcriptions by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2013

GUIDE TO BUXTON, THE PEAK, DOVEDALE, &c.

WALKS AROUND BUXTON.

SOME of the most beautiful scenery in the vicinity of Buxton can be visited only by walkers. Footpaths afford the only access to many of the Derbyshire dales, and the finest bits of moorland lie off the high-road. Motor-buses carry one to the starting-point of many choice tracks and enable a better use to be made of time that would otherwise be employed in plodding along the metalled highway, and the Railway issue Holiday Contract Tickets (see p. 16) and convenient tickets for special combined Rail and Walking Tours. Limitation of space prevents more than a brief description of a few of the walks taken by visitors.

I. TO SOLOMON'S TEMPLE.

This is the round tower which crowns the summit of Grin Low, the hill containing Poole's Cavern. The name of the hill was originally borne by a barrow which served as the foundation of the temple. The barrow, when opened in 1894. was found to contain the remains of six bodies, flint flakes and fragments of pottery. The tower was erected in 1896 on the site of a former structure built to afford employment to a number of men then out of work, on land occupied by a good-natured and well-to-do farmer, Solomon Mycock by name. Standing as it does about 1,500 feet above sea-level, it commands an extensive view.

The “temple” is approached by a footpath (see our plan of Buxton) which leaves Green Lane almost opposite College Road, a thoroughfare running south from the Broad Walk; another path begins near the entrance to Poole's Cavern; the two combined make a pleasant circular walk.

Visitors who desire to extend their walk may follow the Green Lane westward to Burbage (1 mile), from which the return may be made by motor-bus. Or the walk may be still further prolonged by returning to Buxton viâ Macclesfield Road or St. John's Road.

47

48AXE EDGE 

II. TO COWDALE.

Cowdale is the bourne of a pleasant walk along a bridle-path leading from the Duke's Drive (see p. 46) to Staden, and thence again across fields to Cowdale, about 4½ miles from Buxton. The return may be made by the Bakewell Road, along which the buses run.

III. TO AXE EDGE

From its height and commanding position, Axe Edge provides a favourite excursion from the town. The summit is more than 1,800 feet above sea-level, and the high-road along its southern flank reaches an altitude of nearly 1,600 feet; but as the lowest part of Buxton is about r,000 feet high, the eminence does not seem so lofty as it really is. The Leek buses pass along the southern flank of the Edge; and the Congleton buses may be used as far as the upper end of Burbage.

The road (A53) to Axe Edge lies through Burbage, keeping to the left where the road forks just past the Church, and again to the left half a mile farther on. Opposite the second mile-stone an ill-defined track through heather strikes up to the right and may be followed over the Edge to the Cat and Fiddle road about a mile above Burbage and on the bus route. Motorists will find a rough road, taking approximately the same direction, half a mile or so farther along the Leek road.

Or the walk may be extended to Flash (see p. 113), or alternatively one may search for the sources of the Dove and the Manifold. The former lies to the left of the road about 3¾ miles from Buxton (a stone indicates the direction); the Manifold rises ¼ mile farther on, behind the Traveller's Rest Inn. The lane almost opposite the Inn leads by a somewhat intricate route to Panniers Pool Bridge, Three Shire Head (here Derbyshire, Cheshire and Staffordshire meet), and the source of the Dane, which lies near the Congleton road (buses to and from Buxton).

IV. TO “THE CAT AND FIDDLE”.

Leave Buxton by the Burbage road. At the War Memorial motors keep straight on, turning to the right about half a mile farther. Walkers, however, are recommended to bear to the right at the War Memorial, and to use the old road,

 CAT AND FIDDLE - WILDBOARCLOUGH49

now beyond Burbage little more than a grassy track, but much preferable to the main road for walking. The two roads approach each other just above a reservoir, then they separate until finally they meet just short of the Inn.

The Cat and Fiddle is an inn at the highest point on the Macclesfield Road (A537). According to the Ordnance Survey, the point is 1,690 feet above sea-level, and consequently the house is, next to that at Tan Hill, in the North Riding (1,727 feet), the most loftily situated hostelry in England. The view westward from the inn is remarkably fine. One of the most striking features is the Mersey.

The peculiar sign of the inn has given rise to a good deal of discussion. According to one absurd story, a certain Duke of Devonshire was accustomed to drive up the ascent to the house, and to take with him a favourite cat and fiddle. Dr. Brewer, in his Phrase and Fable, after glancing at another alleged origin - a corruption of “Caton Fidele”, i.e. “Caton, the Faithful”, governor of Calais, adds:- “Without scanning the phrase so nicely, it may simply mean the game of 'cat' (trap-ball) and a fiddle for dancing provided for customers”. Possibly a much simpler origin is in the well-known nursery rhyme.

Buxton may be regained by bus, or by the Old Road; of the various alternatives we will mention two

(a) Follow the main road to just beyond the third mile-stone from Buxton, then take the track on the right over Axe Edge, descending to the Leek Road.

(b) Take the Old Road to the bottom of the hill below the Inn; then turn down to the left for Goyts Bridge (see p. 51). Cross the bridge and climb the long hill to the Manchester road, where turn right for Buxton.

IVa. TO WILDBOARCLOUGH by Congleton Road, returning by Cat and Fiddle.

As the crow flies, Wildboarclough lies about 6 miles south-west of Buxton, but the walk is considerably longer. The Congleton and Macclesfield buses may be used at the beginning and end of the route - Wildboarclough lies between the two highways - and there are buses to and from Wildboarclough itself.

Proceed by the Congleton Road (A54) nearly to sixth mile-stone;

50PANNIERS POOL BRIDGE 

turn to right, dropping down hill between trees into Wildboarclough the soft beauty of which is enhanced by comparison with the bleak scenes around. The mill was John Bright's first venture in silk manufacture. The place is largely derelict, but holds the post office, tenants' hall, and a few residences. The name arose from the tradition that here was killed the last wild boar in England.

The road to the right is obvious, passing up a quietly beautiful valley to the Stanley Arms Inn, about 5 miles forward. Hence we climb to the Cat and Fiddle “and so home”.

This is a splendid motor run.

In East Cheshire there is a paucity of sign-posts even on important roads.

V. TO PANNIERS POOL BRIDGE.

The bridge forms a pivotal point for several good circular walks, which will be readily understood on reference to the map.

From Buxton go by Burbage and the Macclesfield Road as far as the fork about a mile short of the Cat and Fiddle, where take the Congleton road, to the left. Below the road the beginning of the Dane valley soon appears, and between 3 and 4 miles from Buxton there is seen a farm, and beyond it the bridge for which we now make, by the lane down from the main road. Our route passes round to the right of the farm, and the bridge is only a short distance ahead.

Here the Dane is joined by a charming little stream coming down from Axe Edge. The bridge and mountain torrent set against a background of heather, gorse, and bracken, form a charming picture. At the junction of the two streams, the three counties of Derbyshire, Cheshire and Staffordshire meet, and from this circumstance the spot is frequently alluded to as Three Shire Head.

The simplest continuation of the walk is to follow the Dane downstream to the Flash - Allgreave road at Midgleygate, which is quite close to Manor Farm and the lane leading to Gradbach Mill and Ludchurch (see p. 114).

VI. TO THE GOYT VALLEY AND JENKIN CHAPEL.

The Goyt rises about 4 miles south-west of Buxton, and discharges into the Mersey near Stockport. For much of it

 GOYT VALLEY - JENKIN CHAPEL51

course, the valley is distinguished by the richness of it vegetation. The steep banks are clothed to the water's edge with woods of great variety. Recently the Stockport municipality have built a dam across the valley about 1½ miles below Goyt's Bridge, and the valley has been flooded to form a reservoir extending to within a few hundred yards of the bridge.

Climb the ascending Manchester Road, either afoot or by motor-bus, for nearly two miles, to the top of Long Hill, whence a rugged mountain road on the left leads downhill to Goyt's Bridge. From the bridge the Goyt may be followed to its source (i.e. by the road to the left), and Buxton regained by the old Cat and Fiddle Road and Burbage. Or the rout may be reversed. (Distance about 8 miles.)

It is a very pleasant walk northward from the bridge along the western side of the newly-formed lake to Taxal and Whaley Bridge, whence Buxton can be regained by bus; or by crossing the suspension bridge near the southern end of the reservoir a way can be made to the Manchester-Buxton road between Fennilee and Whaley Bridge.

The narrow road climbing to the right (northward) at Goyt's Bridge is known as The Street, being in fact a Roman road. The route is not a motor road in the ordinary sense, though it figures in motor trials, and from time to time one encounters there a car in charge of a driver who is lost, or foolhardy, or both 1 Near the top of the hill the road fork (to the right for Kettleshulme): we go to the left, and in less than a mile reach Jenkin Chapel, a most primitive building in a remarkably lonely spot. A notice over the west door states “St. John the Baptist Free Chapel was June 24/1733 erected”. Stout stone steps outside the chapel lead to a gallery, and inside the chapel retains its “horse box” pews and three-decker pulpit. A further architectural “curiosity” is the shape and size of the windows, which are not at all what one would expect to find in a chapel.

Turn to the left at the chapel, and follow the narrow road as it winds and steeply rises and falls. (The hairpin bend here known as The Winkle is famous in motor trials.) Finally, the Macclesfield road (bus route) is reached just over 7 miles from Buxton and some 2 miles from the Cat and Fiddle.

52CHAPEL-EN-LE-FRITH - KINDER SCOUT 

VII. TO COMBS LAKE.

A delightful walk of 5½ miles. The bus can be used for the first mile or so and also for the return from Chapel-en-le-Frith. The lake, or reservoir, is northward of Buxton. The route lies along the Manchester Road to the vicinity of the first milestone, and then along a lane on the right which passes over the Moor. Near White Hall a path across a field to the right leads into a steep lane that goes down into the pretty hamlet of Combs, a short distance beyond which is the lake, picturesquely situated amongst the hills. The scene is most impressive soon after a storm, while the water, looking like white ribbons on the black rocks, is rushing down the dark gritstone cliffs which form the edge of Combs Moss.

Less than a mile from the lake is-

Chapel-en-le-Frith,

or more correctly Chapel-le-Frith. The derivation of the name is obvious when we remember that of old this district was a royal forest (frith). The Church, dedicated to St. Thomas à Becket, is a plain edifice, much restored, dating in part from 1224. The registers go back to 1620. The parishioners have the privilege of selecting their minister. Curfew is rung every evening, and a more tangible link with the past is furnished by the stocks in the Market Place.

VIII. KINDER SCOUT (2,088 feet).

NOTE.- In this book we cannot do more than indicate the principal routes. For full directions and special maps readers are referred to the Baddeley Guide to the Peak District.

Kinder Scout, which is part of the plateau called the “Peak”, is a strictly preserved grouse moor, north of Buxton. Thanks to the Peak District and Northern Counties Footpaths Preservation Society, a right of way over the western shoulder of the mountain was secured in 1897, but this right applies only to the path and trespassing therefrom is discouraged.

At Upper House, in the Kinder Valley, Mrs. Humphry Ward spent some time as a visitor prior to writing her History of David Grieve, and readers may remember that it was among the wild uplands of this district that the childhood of David Grieve and his untameable sister Louise was passed.

 KINDER SCOUT53

The entire route runs from Jacob's Ladder, a steep track at the western end of Edale, to the Snake Inn between Glossop and Ashopton; but since the whole course is for strong walkers only it is more conveniently regarded as being in two sections. The first is entered from Edale by following the road westward from Barber Booth; thence by Jacob's Ladder or its “bypass” to Edale Cross - scarcely visible behind a wall - and down to the reservoir north-east of Hayfield, with good views of the western flank of Kinder and of the Downfall. Those making for Hayfield will find a more direct track on the left soon after passing Edale Cross - the Coldwell Clough route.

Hayfield, 101 miles from Buxton, 16 from Manchester, is a small town occupying a site 666 feet above sea-level, at the western foot of Kinder Scout. From Buxton it can be reached by rail or by motor-bus. The houses are built of stone, and on the whole the town wears a bleak appearance. Indeed, a proverb tells us that “the neighbourhood of Kinder Scout is the coldest place that's out”.

Hayfield to the Snake Pass.- Leave the main street of Hayfield by the passage on the left (north) side of the Royal Hotel. This leads into a cobbled road in which turn to the right. A short distance up the hill, on the left, will be seen a flight of steps with a footpath plate. Follow this path through a succession of iron gate stiles, passing on the right a mile-post and on the left a small plantation. Those disinclined to overmuch climbing should keep along the cobbled road, instead of taking to the path. This road bears round to the left and brings one with the minimum of exertion to the reservoir at the foot of Williams Clough. The Snake path goes to the left of the reservoir (along the flank of the hillside running down to the water). Those who ascend by the hill path from Hayfield soon have a good view of the valley of the Sett, with New Mills and the hills about Disley. After passing the last of the gates the moorland is uninterrupted. In a little under half a mile another road joins the one we are on, with a footpath plate near the junction. About a quarter of a mile from the junction take a path to the left, leaving the bridle-road at a point where a notice as to dogs will be seen. From this point a distant view is obtained of the Downfall, a cataract which descends from the highest ridge in successive plunges. The water is of no great volume except after heavy rain; although when blown into spray by stormy winds it often extends to a width of quarter of a mile. It is the biggest thing in waterfalls in the neighbourhood of Manchester, and the late H.B. Biden

54KINDER SCOUT 

considered that Kinder Scout itself owes its name to the Fall, the words “Kin-” (or “cin”) “dwr-Scwd”, of which that name is a corruption, meaning “the high-water cataract”. Near the foot of the fall is a lonely tarn known as the Mermaid's Pool, concerning which the natives tell many wonderful stories. Both the fall and the pool are on private ground, and may not be approached. From the point at which the distant view of the Downfall is obtained, proceed along the hillside, with the waterworks reservoir on the right, to Nab Brow, when the path drops down to the sheepfold in Williams Clough, here 1,008 feet above sea-level. The path now follows the brook course, crossing it several times. Still rising, we pass on the right the third mile-post from Hayfield and are shortly at the foot of Mill Hill (1,761 feet), so steep that it has been necessary to make a zigzag path across the face. There is small chance of going astray - except in mist or darkness - for the path is well worn and there are numerous marking posts. From Mill Hill the direction is eastward down the left bank of the Ashop to its confluence with the Lady Clough Brook, over which is a footbridge. The main road is only a few yards distant (buses to Glossop, Ashopton, Sheffield, etc.). From the Snake the approximate distance to Glossop is 7 miles; Bamford Station, 10; Hope Station, viâ the Roman Road, 7; Edale Station, by the same road and Jagger's Clough, 6½; Sheffield, 17 miles. Return to Buxton from stations at Bamford or Hope or Edale, or from Glossop by motor-bus.

Hayfleld to Edale.- Leave by the cobbled road mentioned above. If time permits, follow this to the waterworks, at the entrance to which cross the stream. The lane ascends and bears round to the right, and soon there appears on the right a path which leads behind a small plantation and then turns up to the right and in due course comes to Edale Cross. The shorter but steeper route leaves the cobbled road at a bridge over the river about a mile from Hayfield. The lane follows the Sett stream towards its source for about a mile and then we bear up to the left through Coldwell Clough and so to Edale Cross.

From the Cross descend into Edale by Jacob's Ladder or the easier lane, and follow the lane to the hamlet of Barber Booth. The road to the left here is that, for Edale Station; that to the right climbs to Mam Nick, on the far side of which are Castleton and the bus routes to Buxton and “Chapel”; but good walkers are recommended to take, in preference to the road from Barber Booth, the track striking up on th right a little short of the cross-roads. This climbs to Rushup Edge, along which is a splendid walk to Main Nick.

 EDALE55

VIIIa. THROUGH THE VALE OF EDALE.

The route from Hayfield to Edale has already been described (see p. 54). The following route is a little shorter and is hardly less interesting. The path starts from the highest point of the main road between Chapel-en-le-Frith and Hayfield. (The Buxton - Glossop motor-buses pass this point.) About 150 yards beyond a road up from Chinley a lane strikes off to the right through ground where there is a quarry. This leads into a long lane, the old road from Hayfield to the Castleton road. A few yards up this lane is one of the Peak District Society's guide-plates. Cross the field to the next gate, known locally as Gee's banks, whence a view is gained of the whole of the Kinder valley, with the encircling hills and the Scout. Coldwell Clough and the Edale road are right in front. Up the latter in clear weather may be seen a white speck; this is the Society's plate at Stonyford stile. At the bridge over the Sett the four or five paths which cross the Kinder valley join the Edale road. Turn to the right up the lane, past the farmhouse, opposite which is a sun-dial (17 | E.B. | 06). Beyond this farmyard one of the field-paths from the lower part of the Valley joins our road. A few hundred yards farther, at a gate on the left, the bridle road from the Glossop road over Leygat Moor joins the Edale road. Presently the Stonyford guide-plate is in sight, and shortly the summit of the road is reached, with Edale Cross (p. 53) on the left behind the wall. Shortly, on the left, Edale rocks and the Noe Stool are seen in the distance. Coming to the bottom of a bit of rough path, the road takes a sudden turn to the right across the face of the hill. At this turn, on the left, is a step-stile which leads down what is known as Jacob's Ladder, rejoining the road at the brook below. A few fields farther the road passes through a farmyard, The Lee, and shortly crosses the Crowden Brook to Crowden Lee, or Upper Booth.

There are now three road

(a) Down to the right is the cart-road - rather roundabout.

(b) Turn to left into the farmyard. Behind the house on the right is the beginning of a field-path which rejoins the road at Barber Booth. Either of these may be taken by those wishing to continue by Main Tor and the Winnats to Castleton (see below).

56EDALE 

On restarting from Edale village (p. 66), if it is desired to visit Castleton by way of Mam Tor and the Winnats, go down past the station, turn to the right, and shortly to the left over the bridge. Then follow by the side of a little rift until road is joined and reached by iron steps. If another route be preferred, enter a path before coming to the old church-yard on the left, cross over a bridge, and passing through the first gateway take a field-path which strikes off to the right, and leads down to the Noe bridge. The path crosses the bridge, then rises by the Hollins farm to the crest of the hill, about a mile and a half from Castleton. If it is not desired to visit Castleton, keep along the hill-top and down Lose Hill to Hope, near Kiln Hill bridge.

The road through the Vale of Edale to Hope is quietly pleasant, if lacking something of the excitement of the hilly tracks on either hand. A mile or so east of Edale village, for example, is the beginning of a fine route over to the Ashopton valley by way of Jagger's Clough; or from the summit of the climb above the clough, where is Hope Cross, one may strike along the ridge and gain Ashopton or Bamford by way of Win Hill. The Jagger's Clough route may also be used in conjunction with the Williams Clough route (p. 54) to make the circuit of the High Peak.

IX. RUSHUP EDGE AND MAN TOR.

The finest ridge walk in the district begins about 2½ miles from Chapel-en-le-Frith on the Castleton road. Here a path goes off on the left and shortly comes out on Rushup Edge. When the Edge ends at Mam Nick, cross the road, climb Main Tor and continue along the grassy ridge dividing the Edale and Hope valleys to Lose Hill, whence descend to Hope. Both at the beginning and the end of this route buses are useful.

X. TO CHEE DALE AND MILLER'S DALE.

By road, 6 miles; by rail, 5½ miles. The Bakewell motors run past the entrance to Chee Dale and the Tideswell buses serve Miller's Dale. Miller's Dale station is between the two dales.
It should be noted that much of the path is rough and “scrambly” and even dangerous after rain to all but the moderately sure-footed. At least 1½ hours should be allowed for the walk from Topley Pike to Miller's Dale.

Follow the Bakewell Road along Ashwood Dale (see p. 46) for about 3 miles, and then opposite the buttress'-like cliff of

 CHEE DALE - MILLER'S DALE57

Topley Pike take the path by the riverside. This leads through the lovely Chee Dale, which is of horseshoe shape and forms one of the best bits of limestone scenery in the country. On the south side is Chee Tor, a magnificent crag, almost cylindrical. It is upwards of 300 feet high, but its perpendicular sides cause the altitude to appear greater; they are as straight as if cleft by the hand of man.

Near the Tor the path crosses an interesting little stream at the point where it comes to the surface after travelling underground from Wormhill.

Miller's Dale forms part of the valley of the Wye and extends eastward from Miller's Dale Station, near which are the few white cottages which form the hamlet of Miller's Dale. After passing on the left, first the high-road to Tideswell, and then a by-road, we reach Litton Mill, which gives the dalesmen the means of earning their daily bread. Her the water of the Wye is pent up by a weir. Many visitors turn back at this point, but it is a very delightful walk on to Cressbrook and Monsal Dale Station, from which the return to Buxton can be made if desired. The road from Miller's Dale to Cressbrook is private and a small toll (devoted to charities) is charged. It is a little-used lane running close beside the river with charming views of trees and rocks. The Dale is a haunt of the kingfisher.

On emerging into the road at Cressbrook turn to the right. Monsal Dale Station soon appears on the right. Those who thirst for more of this lovely scenery, however, may extend the walk by following the river down through Monsal Dale (see p. 80) to the main road (bus route) at Taddington. There is a beautiful view of the Dale from the steep road up to the Monsal Head Hotel (see p. 25).

XI. TO DEEPDALE.

The entrance to Deepdale is on the right of the Bakewell Road at the foot of Topley Pike, about 3 miles from Buxton. From the highway it might be mistaken for a quarry, but actually Deepdale is a typical dry limestone valley, a mile and a half long. Rain and frost have splintered off pieces of rock, and these, slipping down the steep sides, have formed immense screes. The limestone cliffs resemble the bastions of an old-world fortress. They are tenanted by flocks of jackdaws, and are pierced by innumerable caves.

58DEEPDALE - CHELMORTON 

Deepdale Cavern, in the upper portion of the valley, is about 100 yards long. It has yielded human bones, tools, skeletons of animals, pottery, wooden weapons, and so forth. The collection of relics of the Romano-British period obtained from it was said by Boyd-Dawkins to be the largest of the kind found in any similar cave. Some of the relics may be seen in the Buxton Museum.

Deepdale and its continuation, Back Dale, communicate with the Ashbourne Road near Brierlow Farm, about A miles south of Buxton. Or Chelmorton can be included in the excursion, and the return made by the Bakewell-Buxton bus or by rail from Miller's Dale station.

If the latter course be adopted, leave Deepdale about z00 yards north of the cavern, cross a stile and a stone bridge and walk up a zigzag, and pass a smaller cave. Then follow the footpath, the grass lane, and the road to Chelmorton.

XII. CHELMORTON,

one of the most lofty villages in England, is about 1,200 feet above sea-level and 5 miles south-east of Buxton. It is most readily reached from Buxton by way of Hindlow, thence walking eastward for about 2 miles from the cross-roads (see map). Chelmorton is watered by a little stream which, rising on the sides of the neighbouring low, runs through the place, then disappears in a water-swallow and runs underground for a considerable distance before again emerging.

The Church is in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles. An unusual feature of the interior is a stone rood screen. There are also a holy-water stoup, a stone font, three piscinae, and two sedilia, the seats formed of an incised slab. In the churchyard are three carved tombstones bearing the date 1541, and the remains of an old stone cross. The church was carefully restored in 1874, fragments of an edifice supposed to have been erected in 1111 being then dug up and built into the floor and walls of the porch.

Above the village rises the flat-topped Chelmorton Low (1,474 feet), whence there is an extensive view of the whole Wye Valley. On the summit is one of the largest barrows in the county. Near by, towards Taddington, on the summit of Five Wells Hill, is a tumulus, with Neolithic cist, which

 OVER HADDON - THE LATHKIL59

has recently been scheduled for protection as an ancient monument.

A mile or so south east of Chelmorton is Flagg, an interesting Derbyshire village which is annually the scene of a popular race-meeting. Buxton can be regained by motor-bus passing along the Bakewell Road, reached by a by-road from the village.

XIII. TO OVER HADDON AND THE LATHKIL VALLEY.

This region is most conveniently explored from Bakewell, easily reached from Buxton by train or motor. Leave Bakewell by the road up the hill on the left of the church. At the end of about a mile a sign-post indicates the rest of the way. The backward view over the Wye from the summit of the hill out of Bakewell is very fine. The graceful outline of the church, the distant lofty hills of the Peak, the grey walls of Haddon Hall among the trees by, the river meadows combine to form a beautiful prospect. On reaching Over Haddon diverge for a short distance to the left, in the direction of the aptly-named Lathkil View Inn, for the splendid prospects over the valley of the Lathkil: a deep, wooded glen, down which wanders a shallow, crystal-clear trout stream broken here and there by waterfalls. Mountain ash and silver birch form a beautiful feature of the woodland.

Over Haddon is a small village standing in a lofty position overlooking the middle of the dale, about 2½ miles from Bakewell.

A steep winding road from the far end of the village leads to the bottom of the glen, and along the north side of the stream a track can be followed to the source of the Lathkil, about 3 miles from the village. The river rises in a cavern opposite Parson's Tor, as Fox Tor has been called since the Rev. R. Lomas, Vicar of Monyash, missing his way from Bakewell on a stormy night, in 1776, fell over the precipice and was killed. The incident is fully recorded in an old Derbyshire ballad.

The for overlooks the village of-

Monyash,

to which there is a track about 2 miles long. Monyash is miles from Bakewell by the high-road (a continuation

60MONYASH - ALPORT 

of that forming the first mile to Over Haddon), and about 1½ miles from the Ashbourne to Buxton highway (at the Hurdlow station turning).

Monyash Church (St. Leonard's) is a twelfth-century building. In the chancel are three sedilia and a piscina beneath a Norman arcade, and the church also has a very old chest.

There is an ancient market cross; but an object of even greater interest to many is One Ash Grange, which down to the reign of Henry VIII was the penal settlement for such of the monks of Roche Abbey as had incurred the displeasure of their ecclesiastical superiors. The Grange has long been tenanted by a Quaker family with whom John Bright was connected. One Ash was the name he gave to his Rochdale residence. It was in Lathkil Dale, too, that he met the lady who became his wife.

The best part of Lathkil Dale ends at a ruined mill from which a winding lane ascends to the road, and the return to Over Haddon can be made by that (unless the visitor has gone on to Monyash), the distance along the road being about a mile and a half.

By following the path down the Lathkil from Over Haddon we come in about 3 miles to-

Alport,

a cluster of tree-embowered farmhouses and cottages at the confluence of the rivers Bradford and Lathkil. It is the very picture of an English hamlet, and is a charming place for a quiet holiday. Half a mile to the west may be seen the tower of Youlgreave Church.

XIIIa. STANTON MOOR.

This excursion may be made in continuation of the Lathkil Valley trip, but as it is a mistake to hurry over either it is preferable to make Stanton Moor and the adjacent rocks the object of a separate excursion. Motorists will have less difficulty, though it is essential to walk through the Lathkil valley to appreciate its beauty, and only a small part of Stanton Moor can be enjoyed from the road.

From Buxton to Bakewell by train and then on towards Alport by bus; or by Matlock bus all the way. A mile east of Alport a picturesque bridge carries over the river the road

 CRATCLIFF - ROW TOR ROCKS61

to Winster, and this road we follow for rather more than a miles, when we have on the right the rocks known as Robin Hood's Stride, the space between certain rocks which, according to local folklore, were set up to mark a stride which bold Robin Hood took on one occasion. The stones are some fifteen yards apart! They are sometimes called Mock Beggars Hall, from the resemblance the group bears to a ruined castle. Two of the largest pieces at the opposite ends of the group represent the chimneys and mark the “stride”.

About a stone's throw from the “stride” is Cratcliff, or Curcliff, formed of huge masses of gritstone. At the foot is a little cave called the Hermit's Cell, sentinelled by two yew trees. Within is a rude carving of a crucifix, the work of some recluse, probably in the early part of the fourteenth century. Half a mile from the “stride” are the Bradley Rocks. The largest, Bradley Tor, has on its summit a rocking-stone 32 feet in circumference.

Across the Winster road from Robin Hood's Stride, is the turning for the village of Birchover, at the beginning of which is the Druid Inn, where we gain access to-

The Row Tor Rocks,

masses of millstone grit, worn by the weather into curious shapes, with rocking stones on their summits and caves in their sides.

“A remarkable assemblage of rocks, which extends in length between 70 and 80 yards and rises to the height of about 40 or 50 yards. Near the east end is a large block of an irregular shape, which several writers have noticed as a rocking-stone which could be shaken by the hand. Now, however, it requires the whole strength to put it in motion through having been forced from its equilibrium by the mischievous efforts of fourteen young men, who assembled for that purpose on Whit-Sunday, in the year 1799. It has been restored to its former situation, but the exact balance it once possessed is entirely destroyed. At a little distance northward is a second rocking-stone, not very dissimilar to an egg laid on one side, which may be moved by the strength of single finger, though it is 12 feet in length and 14 in girth. More directly north is another rocking-stone, resembling the latter both in figure and facility of motion, and at the west end are seven stones piled one over another, various in size and form, but two or three very large, all of which may be shaken by the pressure of the hand; the effect being produced by the application of the hand to various parts”. (Bateman.)

62STANTON MOOR 

From the Druid Inn walk up the hill, through Birchover village to Stanton Moor, a plateau 900 feet above the sea, which commands lovely views over the Wye and Derwent valleys. In 1934 Stanton Moor Edge was given by Mr. F.A. Holmes to the National Trust.

In the words of a writer in the Manchester Guardian: “The beauty of the country is only one of the reasons why it has been given to the Trust: it is also of considerable archaeological interest, and for over a century archaeologists have worked on the many stone circles, round barrows, rocking-stones, altars, rock idols, and sacrificial basins which surround the new property. Most of these have been attributed to the culture of the Bronze Age, between 1500 and 500 B.c., but there is also evidence of later Celtic habitation. In the nineteenth century, when archaeologists were inclined to attribute anything they could not quite understand to the Druids, there arose theories of Stanton as a Druid centre, but modern methods and knowledge have. thrown suspicion on many of these theories. However, some of the monumental rock structures are still generally considered to have some connection with this mysterious cult”.

On the new property itself there are four of these huge rocks which have aroused curiosity - the Cat Stone, the Gorse Stone, the Druid Stone, and the Heart Stone. It is now accepted that all of them may have been made and raised to their positions by natural forces, but many bear inscriptions and the marks of human work of an early date. Nearby are other more famous rocks such as the Nine Ladies, the Castle Ring, the Nine Stones, Six Stones, and Andle Stone, and many cinerary ums and other grave goods have also been found on the moor.

At the northern end of the ridge is the picturesque little village of Stanton, which in addition to the charm of its situation on the slope of a densely wooded hill, boasts a Gothic church with a spire, a hall and a small inn, named after the celebrated racehorse of a few generations ago, Flying Childers. From Stanton we drop steeply to the Alport - Winster road, where turning right we regain the Matlock - Bakewell - Buxton main road and bus route.

Motorists desiring to vary the return route should make for Rowsley and there turn sharp to left immediately after crossing the river. Hence the way is through Chatsworth Park (see p. 20).

XIV. TO YOULGREAVE.

This is a pleasant walk starting from Bakewell, especially if advantage be taken of footpaths. Bakewell is left by the

 YOULGREAVE63

lane past the church. In about 100 yards take the street on the left. This leads into a shady lane. On reaching the cemetery turn to the left along the wall and take a footpath which in about three-quarters of a mile leads into the road again. Beyond this are other obvious footpaths by which comers may be cut. A mile short of the village there is a steep descent to the Lathkil.

The chief feature of Youlgreave (anciently Giolgrave) is the Church, restored at the cost of Squire Thornhill, of Stanton Hall, in 1870. It contains some interesting monuments. Note the glass of the cast window - the work of William Morris, from designs by Burne-Jones. The tower is considered the finest in the county, with the exception of that of All Saints', Derby.

In the neighbourhood of Youlgreave, to the southward, is lovely Bradford Dale, one of the prettiest features of the county.

Instead of returning from Youlgreave to Buxton viâ Bakewell, one may continue westward along the road through Youlgreave and so, in about 5 miles, reach the Ashbourne - Buxton highway at Parsley Hay station. Rather more than midway between Youlgreave and the main road one passes just northward of Arbor Low (see p. 121), that famous stone-circle which has been dubbed “the Stonehenge of the Midlands”.

OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in November 2013.

This is a Genealogy Website
URL of this page: http://texts.wishful-thinking.org.uk/BuxtonGuide/Walks.html
Logo by courtesy of the Open Clip Art Library