19 Jul 2015

A drive to Hathersage, Derbyshire

We pass one end of Ladybower Reservoir every time we spend time visiting the villages in the Hope Valley and I've always wanted to see it from above so recently we decided to take a different route on our way to Hathersage.  This took us up a lane on the slopes of Bamford Edge and then on towards Stanage Moor before making a descent into Hathersage.

On one side was Bamford Edge.

On the other (above) we could see across to Hope Valley (marked by the X), but unfortunately the woods in full leaf obscured Ladybower Reservoir and the River Derwent.  We would have had to find a way up to the rocky escarpment and then we would probably have seen the reservoir.

Nevertheless it was an impressive view (above) and knowing the landmarks we could see Castleton in the distance beyond the distinctive tower of a cement works and even the ruins of Peveril Castle (marked with an X)  and Mam Tor. Below us was the village of Bamford.

Stanage Edge and Moor

After driving some way along the ridge of a hill we were able to stop in the lane and see Hathersage in the valley below.

We could see the spire of St Michael's and All Angels Church, the walled kitchen garden and part of the cemetery.  I've written about this and the Charlotte Bronte connection here.

On Besom Lane is a row of cottages with small windows at the top.  This floor was once a button factory.  Conditions would have been bad for the health as workers breathed in metal dust that would have been present in the air especially in the needle making industry in the village mills.

Down in the village we parked in The Dale near Dale Brook and Mill. The Mill was a small works producing metal buttons, pins and needles in the 18th and early 19th centuries.  Here we sat and had a sandwich and some bottled water to drink before a walk up Church Bank to visit the church.

Views from Church Bank

The shaft of an ancient cross

It's well dressing and gala festival season and we had come to see the decorated pictures made from natural materials that are erected near the brooks and wells in thanksgiving for the abundance of water in the county. Donations go to a good cause. The designs change each year and are chosen to represent a Biblical theme, depict an aspect of that particular village or commemorate a national event.

This year the primary school's theme was the commemoration of Victory in Europe Day (8th May 1945) 70th anniversary.

At the Methodist Church there was another thought-provoking theme.

After our time in Hathersage we drove back through part of Hope Valley, through Bamford, passing Ladybower Reservoir again.