14 Dec 2014

Castleton, Derbyshire

Yesterday we spent most of the day in and around Castleton, Derbyshire which is an area that we often go to as it's a fairly short distance from where we live.  It was a cold, bright day when we started out, but we took it slowly as we knew that we would find ice and some snow as we drove towards Castleton.

Castleton, Derbyshire

This weekend was the last opportunity to visit St. Edmund's Church
for the Festival of Christmas Trees organised by the Friends of St. Edmund's,
a group dedicated to preserving this old church.
 There were 50 trees, many of them real and these had been given by the National Trust.
Each tree had been decorated by a local organisation and it was obvious from
those that were represented that each one enriches the life of the village
and surrounding area.

St Boniface, an English monk who was sent to Germany as a missionary in the 7th century chose a fir tree to explain the everlasting love of God.  Speaking to the people he indicated a small fir tree and said,

"This little tree, a 'young child' of the forest, shall be your holy tree tonight. It is the wood of peace, for your houses are built of the fir.  It is a sign of an endless life, for its leaves are ever green.  See how it points upward to heaven.  Let this be called the tree of the Christ-child; gather about it, not in the wild wood, but in your own homes; there it will shelter no deeds of blood, but loving gifts and rites of kindness."

In medieval times in Germany the tree was decorated with apples and referred to as 'The Christmas Tree'.  The tradition spread and when Prince Albert came to be married to Queen Victoria he introduced the Christmas Tree and it has become a popular feature of Christmas ever since.

Here are some of the trees on display that caught my eye.

The Girl Guiding Movement

The local primary school

The Mothers' Union

The Women's Institute

Hope Valley Medical Aid Fund

The Samaritans

The Blue John Mines and artisan workshop

Treak Cliff Cavern

The needlecraft group

The local geological society

Local choir groups

St Edmund's flower arrangement group

The Castleton Historical Society
The theme for this year
'Christmas Cards of WW1'

Box pews with date 1676

The Advent Wreath

stained glass window dedicated to Dorcas
 and St. Edmund 

When we came out of the church the weather had changed to sleety rain so we went into the visitors' centre and museum, a gift shop and then it was time for a welcome hot drink and a teacake in one of family-run restaurants in the village.

   Roast chestnuts and a hot drink anyone?

'An old-fashioned Christmas' display in the Museum

Winnat's Pass

Treak Cliff and Mam Tor (Mother Hill or
 Shivering Mountain)

Treak Cliff Cavern entrance

I walked up Treak Cliff to take a look at the view over
towards Edale before we drove home.

Treak Cliff in September when we visited the caverns with
 our grandson who enjoys hill walking.


  1. You do realise you've given me itchy feet now to go and visit!! Unfortunately it's quite a way up for us to travel.....I wonder if I could sweet talk DH!
    I have to say that tree festival knocks spots off the Lichfield Cathedral one we went to on Wednesday (sorry Lichfield), this one is more the kind of display I wanted to see. Fabulous photos. Suzy xo

  2. the Christmas trees are all beautiful and sometimes i wish we were still using fruit and things from nature to decorate. you know i love your village shots and that last one is beautiful... the first photo reached out and grabbed me and i had to sit and stare at each layer starting with the red berries and going up and out into infinity... that is a super shot for me

  3. There's a fair covering of snow on the hills.. I bet it felt really festive! Jx

  4. Wonderful views of the English countryside, especially the ones with a powdery layer of snow. I admired all the different decorated trees in the church, so pretty!

  5. People put an enormous amount of thought and imagination into making their christmas trees so individual and distinctive for these church christmas tree festivals - I love the photo of Winnat's Pass, it looks very cold and bleak but it is a stunning image.

  6. All of these are fascinating. I appreciate the different sights and views you share with us.

  7. How wonderful! Great photos. Castleton is always so festive at this time of year and those trees look lovely. It sounds as if you have a great time:)

  8. What a lovely post, I really enjoyed all those Christmas trees, a marvelous idea! The mountains are breathtakingly rugged, how stunning. I see the brooks are high, you must have had a lot of rain!xxx

  9. What wonderful trees!! It looks as if there are lots of lovely Christmassy happenings going on in your part of the world and the weather is certainly looking the part isn't it! xx

  10. Hi Linda, such lovely countryside and the town looks amazing. So many pretty Christmas to trees to take in. I wish I was there to take it all in. Thanks for sharing...xo

  11. And a nice sprinkling of the festive white stuff too! Castleton is always so lovely at any time of year xx

  12. It is a very picturesque area Linda. So much to see in all these marvelous photos. I thoroughly enjoyed this latest tour you took us on. Thank you :)

  13. Hello There, I enjoyed your post today. Love the Christmas Tree Festival --and especially the idea that different groups decorate a tree... So special!!!!! Sorry I haven’t been around much lately. I do try to read blogs—but just haven’t commented very much lately like I usually try to do. Please don’t give up on me. Hopefully my life will be back to ‘normal’— whatever that is (ha), sometime in January.

    I did get a cortisone shot in my knee —which has helped with the pain somewhat. In January, I will most likely have meniscus tear surgery…. BUT—in the meantime, I plan to have a fantastic Christmas —and hopefully get to see my kids/grands… God is Good.


  14. Thank you so much for stopping by today and leaving a comment. I wouldn't have know about your blog and I am so thankful. I loved all of your photos and to see them just made me so happy. What a beautiful place and how I love the trees and the church and all of the beautiful places and those Tors are wonderful. I felt like I have journeyed to the places I read about.
    I enjoyed this so much this morning,

  15. Your pictures of all the different tree decorations are lovely. Love the story of St Boniface. Have a special joy filled Christmas

  16. Brrr, your outdoor photos are lovely, but very wintry, Linda. The Christmas tree festival looks wonderful. A local chapel held one a couple of years ago and it was a huge success.

  17. The last photo reminds me so much of our travels in the Cotswolds some years ago.
    Love all the little Christmas trees and the sprinkling of white on the hillsides.