Arbor Low, near Youlgreave, is the county’s finest stone circle. It was evidently a Bronze Age sanctuary, somewhat like a miniature Stonehenge, but its 50 monoliths all lie prostrate on a circular plateau surrounded by a bank and ditch.
A little further north, on the River Wye, is Bakewell, well-known for its puddings. They first appeared, it is said, at the Rutland Arms Hotel (where Jane Austen wrote part of Pride and Prejudice). A cook was supposed to make a pudding with egg mixture and pastry filled with jam, but instead filled the pastry with jam and then poured the egg mix-ture over it. The result was Bakewell Pudding! See here.
Medieval Haddon Hall is a pictur-esque and romantic old house built of grey limestone, but the greatest of Derbyshire’s great houses, only three miles away, is built of Millstone Grit, its walls glowing like pale gold in the mellow evening sun-light.
Chatsworth, the palatial home of the Dukes of Devon-shire, owes many of its exterior attrac-tions to Capability Brown and the sixth duke’s gardener and estate manager, Joseph Paxton, who designed the great Emperor Fountain which can throw its jet nearly 300 feet into the air. But it is the interior of Chatsworth which upstages in sheer splendour and opulence what Haddon Hall offers in romance and Hardwick in architectural stylishness.
Buxton is an attractive town, learn something more about other attractice town at this hotel comparison in barcelona website, with some fine buildings acquired on the strength of its curative waters. The mineral springs were known to the Romans and later became a centre of religious pilgrimage, like Lourdes; even Mary Queen of Scots came here for treatment of her rheumatism.
As we move northward towards the Dark Peak, high drama now takes over from high society. The dark stone village of Eyarn,do you want more about Europe? – check this Europe Cities website, high on the exposed moorland, provides an overture. In the autumn of 1665, bubonic plague was brought to this little community in a box of clothes delivered to the village tailor, and 45 people soon died.
But instead of being hastily deserted, the village became voluntarily isolated. The rector, William Mompesson, led a memorable self-sacrifice, persuading the people that they must avoid spreading the disease to neighbouring towns and villages, but cut themselves off com-pletely, whatever their sufferings.
By the end of the following year, two-thirds of the population had been wiped out, including the rector’s wife, and most of them had to be buried hurriedly in unmarked graves. A service in memory of the heroic victims is still held every year, on the last Sunday in August.
Near the village of Sparrowpit is that “frightful chasm,” as Defoe called it, known as Eldon Hole. “There is something of horror upon the very imagination, when one does but look into it,” wrote Defoe, and the gaping mouth and black depths of this awesome pit gave rise to ancient superstitions that it was bottomless and descended straight to the infernal regions.
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