Hathersage is a popular Peak District town in the Dark Peak area.

It is very popular with outdoor enthusiasts, particularly climbers and walkers.

Walkers like it because it is close to a lot of great paths and bridleways across the moorland of the Dark Peak. Climbers like it because it is close to the climbing areas of Stanage Edge, Lawrencefield, Millstone, Burbage Valley plus several good bouldering areas and lesser crags - it is quick and easy to retire to the pub or caff when it rains or at the end of a great day out on Derbyshire Grit! There are also a couple of outdoor shops in Hathersage itself and less than 10 minutes drive is Bamford, where there is yet another outdoor shop. Other facilities include a bank with cash dispenser outside, restaurants, a deli, food shops, a bakery that does magnificent breakfast butties (the largest last us all day even on a long mountain bike ride!), small supermarket and public toilets.

As you can therefore imagine, Hathersage in Peak season can be a bit busy but that gives the place a real buzz. If you want a bit of a walk in the town that gets you away from the crowds for a while, walk along the main road in the direction of Sheffield and then turn left onto the road that leads up to Stanage Edge. Just after the Scotsman's Pack pub, take the steep road uphill towards the church. Branch off left part way up and you arrive at the Church itself. Here you can take a look at 'Little John's' grave, get fabulous views over the Peak District, including the ancient hollow ways (prehistoric trackways developed during the Bronze age and the Iron age) on the flanks of Win Hill and over the rooftops of Hathersage. The interior of the church is worth a look before you head back down into the hustle and bustle of Hathersage.

Guides to walking in the Peak - see the 'booksales' section of this site or try Pub walks, or classic walks (in association with Amazon).

Accommodation in the nearby area.

Thumbnail: cottage sleeping 4 in the Peak District.

Cherry Tree Cottage, Self-Catering, Castleton - NW of the Peak District sleeps 2,3,4

Cherry Tree Cottage in Castleton is a cosy 18th century cottage situated at the heart of Castleton giving easy access to ... More information or visit Cherry Tree Cottage web site..


Thumbnail: Self catering holiday cottage for up to 6 in Grindleford, Derbshire..

Bank Cottage, Self-Catering, Grindleford - NE of the Peak District sleeps 1,2,3,4,5.6

This delightful holiday cottage, one of a row, has been totally refurbished, yet retains the original character. Situated in an elevated position ... More information or visit Bank Cottage web site..


Thumbnail: Hope self-catering, Winhill View Cottage.

The Old Hall Barn Cottages - Winhill View Cottage, Self-Catering, Hope - NE of the Peak District sleeps 1,2,3,4

Barn conversion conveniently situated in the heart of the Peak District in the village of Hope ... More information or visit The Old Hall Barn Cottages - Winhill View Cottage web site..


Thumbnail: Hope self-catering.

The Old Hall Barn Cottages - The Old Hall Barn, Self-Catering, Hope - NE of the Peak District sleeps 1,2,3,4

Barn conversion conveniently situated in the heart of the Peak District in the village of Hope ... More information or visit The Old Hall Barn Cottages - The Old Hall Barn web site..


Thumbnail: Self catering holiday cottage for 2.

Glider View Cottage, Self-Catering, Little Hucklow - NW of the Peak District sleeps 1 or 2

Rural tranquility for two in the heart of the Peak District National Park ... More information or visit Glider View Cottage web site..


Peak District B&B, hathersage, Derbyshire

Cannon Croft, B&B, Hathersage - NE of the Peak District

Situated in the village of Hathersage, close to some of the wildest and picturesque areas of the Peak District ... More information or visit Cannon Croft web site..


Thumbnail: Pioneer House 4 star B&B accommodation, Peak District.

Pioneer House, B&B, Bamford - NE of the Peak District

Pioneer House offers luxury B&B for sightseers and outdoors enthusiasts at the heart of the Dark Peak in the village of Bamford, Hope Valley ... More information or visit Pioneer House web site..


Image: Bed and Breakfast in Derbyshire's Hope Valley, near to Castleton or Edale.

Old Hall Hotel, B and B Hope - NW of the Peak District

The Old Hall Hotel offers good pub food and a comfortable night's sleep in the heart of the Peak District ... More information or visit Old Hall Hotel web site..
Special Offer: 55 for a room when booking 2 nights or more (Sun to Thur only).


Peak District Farmhouse style B&B, Parson House Outdoor Centre.

Parson House Outdoor Pursuit Centre, B&B, Nr Hathersage - NE of the Peak District

Bed and breakfast and/or a safe environment for outdoor activities for children and adults. Our instructors are fully qualified and experienced in a wide range of disciplines ... More information or visit Parson House Outdoor Pursuit Centre web site..


Thumbnail: Hathersage luxury bed and breakfast, self-catering for Large groups - Sladen Lodge.

Sladen Lodge, Self-Catering, Hathersage - NE of the Peak District sleeps 7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16

Spacious, contemporary accommodation in a superb location. More information or visit Sladen Lodge web site..


Thumbnail: Self catering cottage, Derbyshire Peak District.

The Coach House, Self-Catering, Chapel-en-le-Frith - NE of the Peak District sleeps 1,2,3,4,

3 star graded character coach house conversion in a fabulous setting, close to Buxton and Castleton ... More information or visit The Coach House web site..


Thumbnail: Bank Top Hathersage cottage, Derbyshire Peak District holiday cottage to let.

Bank Top Cottage, Self-Catering, Hathersage - NE of the Peak District Sleeps 2,3,4

This pretty, detached holiday cottage stands in the oldest part of Hathersage with lovely views over gently undulating hills ... More information or visit Bank Top Cottage web site..


Thumbnail: Callow Barn, self-catering luxury with view of the Hope Valley.

Callow Barn, Self-Catering, Hathersage - NE of the Peak District sleeps 4,5,6,7,8

Converted barn with views of the superb Hope Valley from virtually all rooms ... More information or visit Callow Barn web site..


Total number of accommodation listings: 13

I let Tom Bates, Derbyshire writer and author take over now.

Hathersage appears in the Domesday Book as the Manor of 'Hereseige', meaning 'ridge settlement', was held by 'Lavenot and Levric with two carucates of land' and was built around an ancient stronghold and sacred pagan site on the hill now occupied by St. Michael's Church. The commanding views from the superbly kept churchyard add a natural majesty and a magical peace and tranquillity to an atmosphere redolent with age and romance.

The church itself is a beautiful example of the 'Decorated' period of architecture from the mid-fourteenth century. The earliest mention of a church here occurs in the reign of Henry 1 in the year 1130 when Richard Basset and his wife Maud founded the Priory of Launde in Leicestershire and endowed it with seventeen churches, including one at Hathersage. The list of parish priests begins in 1281 but much of the present church dates from 1381 and it was extensively re-built by Sir Robert Eyre following his return from the Battle of Agincourt where he and his father Sir Nicholas Eyre and a company of local men had distinguished themselves on the famous field of St. Crispin's Day in 1415. The porch was added around 1500 by Robert Eyre's son and there are some excellent memorial brasses to the Eyre family inside the church. Robert Eyre is said to have built seven houses in and around Hathersage, one for each of his seven sons and all within sight of each other, and all within sight of his own home, North Lees Hall, which Charlotte Brontë used as her model for 'Thornfield' in her 'Jane Eyre' novel.

Hathersage was named 'Morton' in Charlotte Brontë's classic 19th century novel 'Jane Eyre'. Charlotte Brontë knew Hathersage well, for the 30 year old Yorkshire lass from Haworth had stayed with her former school friend Ellen Nussey at the Vicarage for three weeks in the summer of 1845.

Charlotte Brontë wrote 'Jane Eyre' the year after her visit and it was published in 1847 to great acclaim. It is widely accepted that Miss Brontë based the setting of her novel in and around Hathersage - where the prominent Eyre family had been Lords of the Manor for 800 years - and the village has become a place of literary pilgrimage for Brontë lovers the world over. It is thought that Thornfield Hall in the novel was based on North Lees Hall, built by Robert Eyre. Charlotte Brontë also visited other places in the Peak District, including Bakewell and perhaps the nearby Thornbridge Hall inspired the name. There are various other links to the Peak District that can be spotted too.

Hathersage is also one of the various places that lay claim to being the true home of Robin Hood, who was reputedly born eight miles away at Loxley, and his faithful lieutenant Little John, for Hathersage is said to be Little John's home village. His giant-sized grave measuring ten feet in length lies between two yew trees opposite the church porch in the graveyard on the hill overlooking the village, and in the very shadow of St. Michael's octagonal spire. Local squire Captain James Shuttleworth of Hathersage Hall, together with his cousin Walter Spencer Stanhope of Cannon Hall, Barnsley opened the grave in 1784 and at a depth of two metres discovered a human thigh bone thirty two inches long! Spencer Stanhope had earlier removed the longbow, ancient green forester's cap and a portion of chain mail, all of which had been hanging for centuries in Hathersage church and which had reputedly belonged to Little John, to Cannon Hall. There is also a Robin Hood's cave at Stanage Edge.

Agriculture has been the main employment here down the centuries but major changes occurred during the 18th and 19th centuries when Hathersage became a flourishing industrial centre for the manufacture of buttons, needles, pins and metal drawn wire. Manchester industrialist Henry Crocker converted the two water powered mills that already existed and built three more so that by the early nineteenth century five steam powered mills dominated the economy and changed the sleepy country village into an industrial suburb of Sheffield, with black smoke polluting the atmosphere. Thankfully the industry declined and by the end of the nineteenth century the mills stood idle. Today they exist as a reminder of a bygone age, now converted into either workshops or luxury flats. Hathersage was also a centre for the production of millstones, and a number of them, long since abandoned, can be found amongst the surrounding hills.

The railway came to Hathersage in 1894 when the Midland opened the Manchester to Sheffield line through the Hope Valley, and new bridges and a station were built some distance to the south. In the intervening years of the twentieth century both housing and modern industry have eaten up the space between the station and the old village.

Condensed in part from Tom Bates Villages leaflets, thanks Tom.

 


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