Villages around Manifold and Hamps 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.

- Click Here for a slide show
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

Biggin


Slideshow
Biggin is a farming community located in the highest parts of the limestone plateau of the white peak close to the A515; the old Roman road from Derventio (Derby) to Aqua Arnemetiae (Buxton), near Newhaven. It sprawls gently along a straight minor road that links the A515 to Hartington and is well situated for walks around Wolfscote Dale, Beresford Dale as well as the excellent cycling available on the Tissington Trail so becomes surprisingly busy at summer weekends. Biggin Dale, which leads down to Wolfscote Dale and the River Dove, is a National Nature Reserve and contains a fine range of flowers in spring. Biggin's remote nature means that in times past it has been cut off for long periods during harsh winters and sustained only by the now redundant railway line, which passes close by.

Biggin Dale
Biggin Dale
The village was founded in the 13th century and was centred around a Grange attached to Garendon Abbey, near Loughborough but there is nothing now visible from this period. Even the church dates from the reign of Queen Victoria and there is little older than this with the exception of the Grade II* listed Biggin Hall, which is a lovely 16th century building. Biggin's only visible ancient link is at nearby Liffs Low where there is a Stone Age barrow just off the side of the road. On excavation a burial cist was found with a range of flint implements, which are now in Buxton Museum. Even up until recent times Biggin was an important farming centre for local sheep sales. Following the consolidation of all animal sales to centres such as Bakewell and Derby its role has significantly diminished and it now has a much heavier reliance on the tourist trade.

The village has a pub, The Waterloo, with its own caravan park behind. Next door lies Biggin Hall, which is now Biggin Hall Country House Hotel.

Two other farming hamlets lie nearby - Heathcote, just north of Biggin, and Newhaven a couple of kilometres to the east, around the junction of the A515 and A5012 roads.

- Click Here for a slide show
Biggin View
0 - Biggin View
Biggin Dale - Entrance to Nature Reserve
1 - Biggin Dale - Entrance to Nature Reserve
Biggin Dale - Lower part of the dale
2 - Biggin Dale - Lower part of the dale
Biggin Dale view
3 - Biggin Dale view
Hartington signal box on the Tissington Trail
4 - Hartington signal box on the Tissington Trail
Wolfscote Hill view of Hartinton and the Upper Dove
5 - Wolfscote Hill view of Hartinton and the Upper Dove

Butterton


Slideshow
Butterton
Butterton
Butterton is a lovely, quiet, strung-out village just off the Manifold Valley, in an area known as the Staffordshire Moorlands. It is a good centre from which to explore the central section of the Manfold Valley, there being an excellent network of footpaths from here and also to Wetton Mill and Ecton. The village is built of local sandstone and its outlook is dominated by the soaring steeple of the local church, constructed in 1879, a few years after the main part of the church. Previous churches on this site can be traced back to the 13th century.

The village is primarily a farming community and is clustered around the pub, the Black Lion Inn, built in 1782. The part from here down to the ford across Hoo Brook is very picturesque.

- Click Here for a slide show
Manifold Valley - Thors Cave
0 - Manifold Valley - Thors Cave
Manifold Valley near Swainsley
1 - Manifold Valley near Swainsley
Manifold Valley from Thor's Cave
2 - Manifold Valley from Thor's Cave
Manifold Valley near Wetton
3 - Manifold Valley near Wetton
Butterton
4 - Butterton
Ecton Hill
5 - Ecton Hill
Ecton Hill adit entrance
6 - Ecton Hill adit entrance
Grindon Church and Rindle Stone
7 - Grindon Church and Rindle Stone
Grindon Cottage
8 - Grindon Cottage
Manifold Trail below Thors Cave
9 - Manifold Trail below Thors Cave
Thors Cave - looking out up the Manifold Valley
10 - Thors Cave - looking out up the Manifold Valley

Crowdecote


Slideshow
Crowdecote is a lovely little hamlet in the Upper Dove. Clustered around the bridge that carries the road from Longnor to Monyash across the river, from Staffordshire into Derbyshire. There is a very nice pub, The Pack Horse Inn, and a very interesting pottery. Just down the river is the ancient site of the Norman Pilsbury Castle, whose Motte and bailey can still be clearly seen. A recent Heritage project researched and documented the castle, whose history is somewhat obscure.

- Click Here for a slide show
Longnor market place
0 - Longnor market place
Crowdecote
1 - Crowdecote
Pilsbury Castle
2 - Pilsbury Castle

Elkstone


Slideshow
Elkstone comprises two farming hamlets, Upper and Lower Elkstone, which nestle into the hillside above Warslow Brook, sheltered to the west by the moorland ridge of Morridge, on which the Mermaid Inn stands.

The settlements are centred on the church in Upper Elkstone. This was built in 1788 and has been hardly altered since, so it is a perfect example of a Georgian country church. It is a gem.

There are some pretty cottages with lovely gardens and little else in Elkstone. Making it a beautifully quiet and hidden corder of the Peaks. Access from here to the Morridge uplands is very straightforward and on the ridge some two miles above the village there is the Mermaid Inn. This old coaching inn has magnificent views across to the Roaches and Ramshaw Rocks which are well worth the trip to see.

- Click Here for a slide show
Butterton
0 - Butterton
Elkstone Church
1 - Elkstone Church
Elkstone Cottage
2 - Elkstone Cottage

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.

- Click Here for a slide show
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

Hartington


Slideshow
Hartington is the major village on the central section of the valley of the Dove and is therefore an important tourist centre, which means it can get busy at summer weekends. An old village which was granted a market charter in 1203, it has a long history and and some very nice buildings arranged around a large marketplace/common/green at its centre.

Hartington Duckpond
Hartington Duckpond
The entrance to Nuttall's creamery, once a source of Stilton and Buxton Blue cheese, lies just off the green and cheese was produced here from 1900 to 2009. Sadly, in 2008 the creamery was sold by Dairy Crest to Long Cleaton Dairy, a rival Stilton maker (Leicestershire is one of the two other areas permitted to make Stilton cheese) and within a month they took steps to close the creamery down - with the loss of 190 jobs. Until then Hartington was the supplier of 25% of the world output of Stilton cheese.

There is still a cheese shop outside selling a range of local cheeses but of course none now from Hartington.

Hartington Church
Hartington Church
The church lies on a rise to the east of the green and is built of a attractively coloured local sandstone. It was mostly constructed in the 14th and 15th centuries and has a fine tower in Perpendicular style. In the street below the church is the Old School House, dated 1758. The 17th century Hartington Hall is a fine building which stands on the hill opposite the church, on the road to Biggin and is now a Youth Hostel. The hostel restaurant has a licensed bar and offers competitively evening meals.

Hartington has several pubs and shops and there is a public car park along the Warslow Road with public toilets opposite, next to Rooke's Pottery.

- Click Here for a slide show
Beresford Dale - Left Celestial Twin
0 - Beresford Dale - Left Celestial Twin
Beresford Dale - the Ceslestial Twins
1 - Beresford Dale - the Ceslestial Twins
Beresford Dale view
2 - Beresford Dale view
Biggin Dale view
3 - Biggin Dale view
Hartington pub
4 - Hartington pub
Hartington church
5 - Hartington church
Hartington Youth Hostel
6 - Hartington Youth Hostel
Hartington village pond
7 - Hartington village pond
Hulme End railway station on Manifold light railway
8 - Hulme End railway station on Manifold light railway
Hulme End
9 - Hulme End
Wolfscote Dale
10 - Wolfscote Dale
Hartington - the cheese shop
11 - Hartington - the cheese shop
Hartington - the old Town Hall
12 - Hartington - the old Town Hall
Hartington Market Place and village pump
13 - Hartington Market Place and village pump
Wolfscote Hill view of Hartinton and the Upper Dove
14 - Wolfscote Hill view of Hartinton and the Upper Dove
Wolfscote Dale
15 - Wolfscote Dale
Heron in Wolfscote Dale
16 - Heron in Wolfscote Dale

Hulme End & Ecton


Slideshow
Hulme End is a small hamlet situated where the Hartington to Warslow road crosses the River Manifold. It was once the terminus of the Leek and Manifold Light Railway and the old station building at the western end of the hamlet has been beautifully restored and is now a visitor centre, with public toilets and a car park. The cycle track down the path of the former railway starts from here.

By the bridge over the Manifold there is a pub, once called the Light Railway, but now named the Manifold Inn. There are also two campsites here.

Ecton lies a couple of kilometres downstream, overshadowed by the conical shape of Ecton Hill. Spoil heaps on the hillside betray the former importance of this tiny hamlet for Ecton Hill contained a massive vertical pipe-vein rich in copper ore and in their heyday in the late 18th century the mines were the richest in the country. Even what little now remains can still make a walk around Ecton an interesting excursion, and the view from the top of the hill is excellent.

- Click Here for a slide show
Manifold Valley near Swainsley
0 - Manifold Valley near Swainsley
Ecton Hill
1 - Ecton Hill
Ecton Hill adit entrance
2 - Ecton Hill adit entrance
Hulme End railway station on Manifold light railway
3 - Hulme End railway station on Manifold light railway
Hulme End
4 - Hulme End

Longnor


Slideshow
Longnor is a former market town which lies close to the upper section of the River Manifold. The village clusters around the cobbled market place with its pubs and former market hall, now a craft centre. The front of the market hall lists the tolls charged for making sales here - four pence to sell a sheep, for instance.

Market Hall
Market Hall
The church lies on higher ground just above and is notable for the interesting epitaphs on its tombstones, which include that of William Billinge who was born in a cornfield in 1679 and died at Longnor in 1791, aged 112. The headstone is not the original one, for this crumbled and had to be replaced.

The former market place is surrounded by pubs and hotels of which the largest is the Crewe and Harpur Arms, named after the family of local landowners. There is also a village store.

In recent years the village has gained a certain fame through being the location for the filming of much of the TV series 'Peak Practice'. Afficionados can readily identify Dr Tom's House, The Beeches Surgery, The Black Swan and other landmarks of the series around Longnor village.

- Click Here for a slide show
Longnor market place
0 - Longnor market place
Crowdecote
1 - Crowdecote
Parkhouse Hill
2 - Parkhouse Hill

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.

- Click Here for a slide show
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

Onecote


Slideshow
Onecote is a small village which serves as a centre for a farming community scattered around and above the upper valley of the River Hamps in the south west of the Peak District.

The houses are attractively built in the local sandstone, with the Georgian style church at the centre and a pub, the Jervis Arms on the main road. The walk up the upper Hamps to the Mermaid Inn is a fine outing and takes you past Mixon, the site of a disused copper mine which was exploited about the same period as the Ecton Hill mines. There is also good access onto the uplands of Morridge, which offer superb views across the to the south west of the Peaks, particularly The Roaches, Ramshsawe Rocks and Tittesworth and sunsets from up here can be spectacular.

- Click Here for a slide show
Butterton
0 - Butterton
Onecote church
1 - Onecote church

Sheen


Slideshow
Sheen is a small village strung out along a gritstone ridge between the Dove and Manifold valleys. It is a quiet place, far removed from the bustle of nearby Hartington. Most of the village exists on farming, but there is also a small engineering works here.

The village is built of local stone and has a church of unusual design, and a pub called the Staffordshire Knot. To the north of the village Sheen Hill is a fine viewpoint from which to survey the upper Dove and Manifold valleys.

For many years Sheen has had the peculiar distinction of producing both mens and womens world class tug-of-war teams.

- Click Here for a slide show
Hulme End railway station on Manifold light railway
0 - Hulme End railway station on Manifold light railway
Hulme End
1 - Hulme End
Hartington - the cheese shop
2 - Hartington - the cheese shop
Hartington - the old Town Hall
3 - Hartington - the old Town Hall
Hartington Market Place and village pump
4 - Hartington Market Place and village pump
Pilsbury Castle
5 - Pilsbury Castle

Warslow


Slideshow
Warslow featured in the Domesday book and was probably relatively more important then than it is now, having been been eclipsed as a local centre by Hartington.

Situated on the edge of the Revidge Moors along the road south from Longnor, it has a fine view of the Manifold valley (Thor's Cave can be seen from the top of the village). There are some pretty cottages made of the local sandstone, and a pub called the Waterloo.

The church is a mixture of Georgian and Victorian and contains relics of the local notables - a box pew belonging to the Harpur-Crewe family who had estates here (and around Longnor) and who used Warslow Hall for grouse shooting sessions; and a window which commemorates Sir Thomas Wardle, a silk mill owner from Leek who built Swainsley Hall, which is below the village in the Manifold valley.

- Click Here for a slide show
Manifold Valley near Swainsley
0 - Manifold Valley near Swainsley
Butterton
1 - Butterton
Ecton Hill
2 - Ecton Hill
Ecton Hill adit entrance
3 - Ecton Hill adit entrance
Hulme End railway station on Manifold light railway
4 - Hulme End railway station on Manifold light railway
Hulme End
5 - Hulme End

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.

- Click Here for a slide show
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

All material © Cressbrook Multimedia 1997-2017