Image: Winster, the Dower House.Winster - the village that boasts a double suicide, escaped murderer, haunted buildings, the first National Trust building, a Morris team and supplied a great deal of the labour for the last lead mine to close down in the Peak District.

Stuffed full of fantastic traditional buildings, the Peak District village of Winster has a colourful history. I will begin with the murder of the local doctor (William Cuddie) in 1821. The murder took place in Bank House which was built in the 16th century. The man accused of the deed was 27 year old William Brittlebank. Despite a large reward, he disappeared as effectively as Lord Lucan! Hmm, am I showing my age with that comment? The Brittlebanks were a rich local family who owned a lot of land and property in Winster.

Another of the oldest buildings in Winster is the Hall, built in 1628 by a local lead mine owner, Francis Moor. The present day Italian look was an 18th century addition. The forecourt is allegedly by a 'White Lady'ghost, reputedly the spectre of the daughter who fell in love with a servant. Oops! Bad move, the relationship could never be allowed and the two leapt to their deaths from the parapet rather than face life without each other.

At the height of lead mining, the population of Winster was around 2000 and the community was served by many ale houses and shops. Few survive now, the Miners Standard pub at the top end of Winster (close to the restored ore house) is a reminder of times past and was first established at about the same time as the mining took off in the area. Millclose Mine near Wensley was one of the main mines in the area. Millclose was opened in the 17th century and finally closed in 1940 when no more ore veins could be located. Near the Miner's Standard, on the road leading to Via Gellia, is the lead ore house. Unique in Derbyshire as it is in such a good state of preservation, it is a solid building in which the smaller mine owners were able to store their ore safely. The ore was deposited through a chute at the back and where you nowadays look through an iron grill, heavy doors once stood. It is worth a quick look if you are in the area especially if you have an interest in industrial Archeaology.

Millclose mine was the largest producer of lead ore in Europe in its hey-day, and until it finally closed in 1939 it provided employment for most of the area's male population for over two centuries. Thanks to the mining entrepreneur Edward Miller Wass, during the mid 19th century, Millclose Mine became the largest in the Peak District and in 1886 the engineering company Davis of Derby brought electricity into the mine. Why is that so notable? It was only the second successful attempt in the UK (not being a mining buff, sorry I can't tell you what the first mine to use electricity was).

Image: The Market House at Winster, Peak District, Derbyshire.Winster Market House was the first building to be acquired by the National Trust, in 1906. The bottom part dates back to the 16th century, the upper part which was originally timber framed was added in the 18th century and the arches were blocked up when the market declined in the 19th century. The building now houses a National Trust information centre. The majority of the oldest buildings are in the vicinity of the Market House.

Church of St John the Baptist is tucked away on the western fringe of the village. It has an 18th century tower but the 2 aisled nave dates from the 19th century. The building has been Grade II listed by English Heritage. The church was difinitely founded before the 18th century, I don't have an exact date. It was part of the Youlgrave Parish up until the early 19th century.

Folk music is alive and well in the Peak District. Winster has its own tune - 'The Winster Galop' and the Winster Morris Men are well known throughout the Peak District and beyond and are numbered amongst the oldest Troupes in the country.

Accommodation in the nearby area.

Thumbnail: Overdale Cottage, self-catering holiday cottage for one or two person occupancy in Youlgrave (Youlgreave), Derbyshire, Peak District accommodation.

Overdale, Self-Catering, Youlgrave - SW of the Peak District sleeps 1,2

Tucked away down a cobbled footpath on the side of Bradford Dale in the picturesque village of Youlgrave ... More information or visit Overdale web site..

Thumbnail: Hotel close to the Peak District, the New Bath Hotel at Matlock Bath, Derbyshire.

New Bath Hotel, B&B, Hotel, Matlock Bath - SE of the Peak District

The hotel boasts an outdoor pool (open May to September) and an indoor heated plunge pool, both fed by natural thermal springs ... More information or visit New Bath Hotel web site..

Thumbnail: The Mews, Derbyshire holiday cottage..

Mews Cottage, Self-Catering, Tansley - SE of the Peak District sleeps 1,2,3

set in a lovely walled garden in the village of Tansley ... More information or visit Mews Cottage web site..

Thumbnail: Church View, farm self catering for family groups, Bonsall, Derbyshire.

Church View, Self-Catering, Bonsall - SE of the Peak District sleeps 2,3,4,5,6,7,8

Family accommodation in expertly converted farm buildings in Bonsall, Derbyshire ... More information or visit Church View web site..

Thumbnail: Bradley Hall, Birchover, Derbyshire Peak District holiday cottage accommodation.

Bradley Hall, Self-Catering, Birchover - SE of the Peak District sleeps 2,3,4,5,6,7,8

Situated in the pretty and popular village of Birchover, this listed, detached, Georgian house boasts super views over the local countryside and provides the perfect base to relax ... More information or visit Bradley Hall web site..

Total number of accommodation listings: 5

Winster is a Peak District Village.

It is situated in the south of the Peak District above Darley Dale north of Matlock.

There is a shop, a couple of pubs and is a great centre for visitors to the Peak District to experience the countryside. It is not far away from WWensley, another fascinating and historic Peak District town or village. Also nearby is the celebrated and popular area of Robin Hoods Stride.

Contact us by email or by phone 0114 360 1004

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