Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset

Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset
Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset

Monday, 13 May 2013

Another wet day in the Derbyshire Dales

Well, actually, a week - and mostly in the Peaks, rather than the Dales. So what did I discover this  time? (other than the fact that Derbyshire can be very wet and cold in May)


Ashbourne is such a pretty little town, and very well placed to get to from Matlock, Buxton, Bakewell, in fact, anywhere in Derbyshire.

These are the old Alms Houses:

One of the most important buildings is St. Oswald's Church, and one of the most important features is the Boothby Monument. The Boothbys are buried together in one area of the church.

This monument is to Penelope Boothby, who died in 1791 at the age of 5. It was carved in Carrera marble by Thomas Banks, and is so lifelike, she appears to be sleeping. The epitaph reads 'She was in form and intellect most exquisite; The unfortunate parents ventured their all on this frail bark and the wreck was total.'
It is believed that Penelope's parents separated at the child's grave and never spoke again.

There are many other worthwhile monuments in St. Oswald's Church, in particular those to the Cockane and Bradbourne families


Very nice market town, on the main A6 road from Nottingham to Buxton and beyond, Bakewell is, of course, famous for the Bakewell Pudding and Bakewell Tart

There's a very pretty walk along the river, which is crossed on the very edge of the town centre, by a beautiful bridge.


Quite close to the Chatsworth Estate, is Baslow, which suffers a bit from heavy traffic on the main road passing through it, but nevertheless, has a very attractive church, which features this unusual clock:

It was made to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. Just inside the church, is an old whipping stick, which was used to keep dogs under control.
Like Bakewell, Baslow has a very pretty bridge across the River Derwent.

Standing alone on the bridge, is this tiny guard or toll house.

A tiny mining village, lying not far from Cromford, Brassington is small and quaint. The church stands on the highest point of the village

The village has two public houses; the Miner's Arms, which dates from the mid- 18th. Century, and this one, the Gate, built in 1616. It is reputed to be haunted. The interior is remarkably well-preserved with a wealth of period features - and the food is superb!

I featured the Ladybower reservoir in an earlier post, and Derwentwater is a continuation of that. The Derwent dam is renowned as the training ground for 617 Squadron - 'The Dambusters', as it was the twin towers of this fine dam that the squadron used to train and test their innovative bomb-aiming sights before carrying out the raid of the dams of the Ruhr Valley.


pronounced 'Enser' by the locals, is the village that the Duke of Devonshire built for his estate workers in 1839, complete with school and church. The village was laid out by Joseph Paxton, the Duke's Gardener, who was later to design the Crystal Palace. The story goes that he invited an architect, John Robertson, from London to submit plans for the houses and the architect came up with several different designs. The Duke was so impressed he told him to go ahead and build one of each design, which is why the houses are all different. The church dates from 1867 and was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott.


This tiny village lies down a spectacular lane off the main road, that is so deep, it can almost be termed a gorge. The houses are clustered around a tiny green and a beautifully well-kept duckpond

Mam Tor

Not a place, but a mountain, Mam Tor lies at the top of the Winnats Pass. Known locally as 'the Shivering Mountain', the Tor is gradually slipping down into the valley. The powers-that-be decided at one point to build a road around the base of it, to bypass the Winnats Pass and help larger vehicles to get from Castleton to points north and east without having to take the longer route through the Hope Valley and Edale. The outcome was almost predictable, and after spending more to repair the road than it originally cost to build, it was abandoned to its' fate. You can still walk the route, but a large portion of the road has now almost gone.

Riber Castle

Riber Castle is a mid- 19th Century edifice overlooking Matlock. It was built by John Smedley, a local textile manufacturer and founder of the Smedley's Hydro in Matlock itself. Once owned by a group of Zoologists, who set up a wild animal park there in the 1960s, it is now derelict and in a sad state of repair. It has been purchased with a view to turning it into luxury apartments. The views from it will be magnificent.


Tissington is most famous for its' annual Well-Dressing. This ancient Derbyshire custom possibly had its earliest origins in Celtic earth-worship, when votive offerings were made to water spirits. The Romans, too, looked on certain water sources as shrines, decorating them with greenery and flowers. Nowadays, the newly-dressed wells receive a Christian blessing as the basis of this unique floral tradition, which brightens up many villages.
In Tissington, it was revived in 1349 after the village escaped a terrible outbreak of the Black Death that wiped out almost half the population of Britain. Today, it serves as a means to raise money for local charities.

There are several wells in the village, which cluster around the lovely Tissington Hall


The predominant feature of Winster is the old Market Hall, which stands in the middle of the main street of this ancient lead mining village. It was the first property acquired by the National Trust in Derbyshire, back in 1906. The lower arches of stone are thought to be about 500 years old, whilst the upper portion of brick and stone was rebuilt in 1905 using old material. Some of the arches had to be filled in to strengthen the building.

Now, as well as these new features, I've added some more recent pictures to the older posts of Derbyshire. (Mostly because I've got a splendid new camera!), so even if you've read the articles before, please go back and take another look at some of them.

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