Bakewell - Alport - Winster - Haddon Park - Bakewell

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Apart from the glorious countryside that this walk passes through, it also takes in some very interesting places:

Haddon Hall: an English country house on the River Wye at Bakewell, Derbyshire, one of the seats of the Duke of Rutland.

Bakewell is a small market town in the Derbyshire Dales district of Derbyshire, England, deriving its name from 'Beadeca's Well'. It is well-known for the local confection Bakewell Pudding (often mistaken for the Bakewell Tart). According to the 2001 Census the civil parish of Bakewell had a population of 3,979. The town is close to the tourist attractions of Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall.

Bakewell history: although there is evidence of earlier settlements in the area, Bakewell itself was probably founded in Anglo-Saxon times, when Bakewell was in the Anglian kingdom of Mercia. Bakewell Parish Church, a Grade I-listed building, was founded in 920 and has a 9th-Century cross in the churchyard. The present church was constructed in the 12th and 13th Centuries but was virtually rebuilt in the 1840s by William Flockton. By Norman times Bakewell had gained some importance, the town and its church (having two priests) being mentioned in the Domesday Book. A market was established in 1254 and Bakewell developed as a trading centre. The Grade I-listed, five-arched bridge over the River Wye at Bakewell was constructed in the 13th Century and is one of the few surviving remnants of this earlier period. A chalybeate spring was discovered and a bath-house built in 1697. This led to an 18th-Century bid to develop Bakewell as a spa town, in the manner of Buxton. The construction of the Lumford Mill by Richard Arkwright in 1777 was followed by the rebuilding of much of the town in the 19th Century.

Railway: in 1862, the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway opened Bakewell Railway Station. The line became part of the Midland Railway and later the LMS main line from London to Manchester. John Ruskin objected to what he saw as the desecration of the Derbyshire countryside, all so that "a Buxton fool may be able to find himself in Bakewell in twelve minutes and vice versa." In return for the Duke of Rutland's permission for the line to pass through his estate at Haddon Hall, the Bakewell station buildings, located on the hillside overlooking the town, are more imposing than a small town might be thought to justify and the Duke's coat of arms are carved into the stonework. Such pandering to the nobility and landowners was typical of the time, since their support would be necessary to obtain the Act of Parliament, even though the inconvenient high contour of the railway, which forced the station to be placed out of town, was due to the Duke insisting that the line ran out of sight of Haddon Hall. The station buildings are now used for small businesses, because the line between Matlock and Buxton closed in 1968: most of the trackway has now been designated the Monsal Trail, a quiet, motor-traffic-free track for walking, cycling and horse-riding.
'Normal' trains now run from Derby via Ambergate only as far as Matlock and from Manchester only as far as Buxton. There have been repeated proposals for fully reopening the remaining, Wye Valley, portion of the line, which would run through Bakewell and over the magnificent Monsal Dale Viaduct.
Peak Rail, a local preserved railway venture, has shown the way by reopening the line from Matlock to Rowsley, a village a few miles to the east of Bakewell, near Haddon Hall. Reaching Bakewell is just one of Peak Rail's long-term ambitions and in order to keep alive the intention for a future return of the railway (under one auspice or another), Derbyshire County Council is currently protecting the trackbed from development (in order to see the old railway station fully restored and return to its former glory and use, as it still remains completely intact).

Bakewell Pudding is a jam pastry with an egg- and ground almond-enriched filling. It is not to be confused with Bakewell tart, which is a completely different confection, made with shortcrust pastry, an almond topping and a sponge and jam filling; Mr Kipling also made 'Cherry Bakewells', often also known as Bakewell tarts. The origins of the pudding are not clear; however, the generally accepted story is that it was first made by accident in 1820 when the landlady of the White Horse Inn (now called the Rutland Arms) left instructions for her cook to make a jam tart with an egg and almond paste pastry base. The cook, instead of stirring the eggs and almond paste mixture into the pastry, spread it on top of the jam. When cooked the jam rose through the paste. The result was successful enough for it to become a popular dish at the inn and commercial variations, usually with icing sugar on top, have spread the name. Three shops in Bakewell offer what they each claim is the original recipe. The Bakewell Tart Shop & Coffee House sells four different variations of the confection, including: 'Bakewell Tart', 'Iced Bakewell Tart', 'Moist Bakewell Tart' and 'Traditional Bakewell Pudding'; whilst The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop and Bloomers of Bakewell both sell a 'Bakewell Pudding'.

Mawstone Mine is a disused lead mine. In 1932 five of six miners working on a ventilation fan were killed after an explosion filled the gallery with carbon monoxide. The sixth miner was able to reach the surface and raise the alarm. A rescue party of two workers and the mine manager descended into the mine but were themselves killed by the fumes. Although Mawstone Mine was eventually closed, a water supply for the village of Youlgreave is still obtained from this site.

Winster Market House is now a National Trust property and serving as an unmanned information centre; it is definitely worth a visit. The opening times are a bit irregular but apart from this the display is very informative, giving a brief insight into the history of Winster. It also serves as a very welcome shelter in inclement weather! (Just by the side of this building up East Bank there are public toilets).

Nine Ladies Stone Circle: there are nine upright stones each of local millstone grit each less than a metre high, sat in clearing in a modern wood planted on Stanton Moor. The site is a popular venue for pagan worship particularly around the time of the solstices. Some pagans may leave what they consider offerings in the circle but others may regard it as litter.

Stanton in Peak: the Thornhill family owned Stanton Hall and was responsible for the construction of the majority of buildings in the village, most of which date from the 17th and 18th centuries. William Pole Thornhill and his wife were considerable benefactors to the village, building the parish church in 1833. Many of the houses in the village carry the initials 'WPT'.

England - Central England - Derbyshire - Peak District

Features

Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Moor, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, River, Stately Home, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
05/08/2011 - Catherine Rowlands

We really enjoyed this walk and took the chance to visit Haddon Hall as well.

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