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Monday, 28 July 2014

Peter Dale, Hay Dale and Wheston Cross

Back to full strength this week with all 4 of us and starting on time at 06:00. We set off up the A6 into the Peak District and parked up an hour later at the junction of Monks Dale and Peters Dale. We did Monks Dale a few weeks ago and parked in the same spot. Peters Dale started OK then we encountered some uneven limestone rocks and had to watch where your feet landed. We had to negotiate a large number of cattle to get through to Hay Dale, it made me slightly nervous and i was glad to get past them. Hay Dale is lovely and lush and quite wide in places. It was a steady climb through these dales until we got to the tarmac farm track where the signpost was. Walking along this track we saw a quad bike coming up the road followed by a huge herd of cows. We couldn't get past them so we thought wait till they get past and have breakfast. I get nervous around beasts like this but at the back of the herd was 2 kids driving them on!!
From there it was into the hamlet of Wheston with a hall and an ancient cross. then just a mile or so back to the car.
This weeks route through Peters Dale and Hay Dale
Ike was watching a Raven high up in a tree

Limestone crag in Peters Dale

Rob & Ike


Hay Dale

Me and Geoff

A couple of hares chasing each other

Ike and Rob

Geoff Rob & Ike

A herd of cows blocking the road

2 kids driving on the herd.



Wheston Cross
Wheston Cross dates back to medieval times and stands in a little sheltered copse of trees. It was moved here earlier this century from a position close to the manor house. The cross which stands on four steps is 12 feet tall and is carved to the east with the Crucifixion of Christ. On the west are the Virgin and Child. Wheston Cross probably dates from the 14th century when it marked the way leading from Tideswell to Buxton on the Forest road. This route lead down Wheston Bank and was known as Kirkgate or Crossgate. This era of the middle ages is referred to as the ‘Age of Faith’ because no traveller would have passed a cross without offering a prayer for their safe journey.

Wheston Hall
Wheston Hall was originally built in the late 16th century. At that time the property consisted of a tower three storeys in height but ungabled. For many years Wheston Hall was held in the Alleyne family who were staunch Catholics. In 1592 Edward Alleyne and his brother Henry were arrested for being Roman Catholics and holding secret mass and were heavily fined. 
The family seat was eventually lost due to debt and passed to Thomas Freeman who in 1727 added a new 3-storey, 9-bay range to the north, giving Wheston Hall a Georgian fa├žade. Two further gables were created to the east, and the land around was transformed into a country estate with an avenue of trees, ending in a fine pair of gate piers with pineapple finials. In the next century Wheston Hall passed through several families but fell into disrepair, and the west wing became disused. In 1952 the west wing and north front collapsed in a gale and parts of n Hall were then demolished to reduce it to a more manageable size. Over the years the beautifully set out estate with lawns and trees has returned to farmland where sheep and cattle once again graze. 
Wheston Hall is more often referred to for its ghosts. One is known as the ‘Old Woman of Wheston’ who is said to appear dressed in poke bonnet and crinoline dress. She passes around the house barefoot, shrieking and tearing out her golden hair. Apparently The Old Woman of Wheston had once been married to a man she hated, but in typical ghostly tradition, was parted from the real man that she loved. Murder was said to have been committed by her husband, and her lover’s grave reputedly lies in the former orchard. The lady died at Wheston Hall of a broken heart and was buried at Tideswell. 
The other ghost at Wheston Hall is of ‘Soldier Dick’, apparently being a life-size military figure that once stood in the entrance hall. It was reputed that if he was moved from this place, bad luck fell on the residents of the Hall. It is said that he was finally laid to rest in the cellar of Wheston Hall. 

You don't see many fields full of cows these days

A cracking walk just over 4 1/2 miles and ascent of over 400 feet through some great scenery. Finding the cross was a real bonus and that's another 2 dales crossed off the list.
See you next week.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Foolow, The Hidden Waterfall and Silly Dale

Just 3 of us as Geoff was off to his sisters down south.We would have set off at 06:00 am as usual but brother Rob decided to sleep in so we set set of a bit late. Not sure where to go so we just went north and decided on a visit to Foolow and the waterfall then onto Silly Dale.Foolow is a beautiful little village with a pond, a village cross and a pub. We parked a short walk up the road from Waterfall Farm which is opposite the entrance to the waterfall. The waterfall is actually in a large hole in the ground which is surrounded by trees. The whole area has its own Eco climate and is almost surreal. The water tumbles about 25 feet from the surface and ends up going below ground into a swallet. It was a bit tricky negotiating our way down to the floor of the waterfall with route being covered with loose rocks and mud.

This weeks route around Foolow


Rob and Ike

Derbyshires hidden waterfall

Rob & Ike

Part of the route down to the floor of the waterfall. You can just see Rob & Ike at the top of the pic.

This is the way in to the waterfall

St. Hugh's Church was originally a smithy and had its first service in 1888.

The Bulls Head, a lovely English country inn

Must be a cyclist that lives here.

This is Peters Stone taken from quite a distance over the valley.

A lovely old bridal way going through the bottom of Silly Dale

Silly Dale

We had our breakfast here at the junction of 3 bridal ways.

Lovely old barn

An old barn on the horizon

I just liked the look of this in black and white.

A house sign in the guise of a Stoop

Back to the village of Foolow

We used the cross steps to de-boot

Rob at his car

Foolow village cross, C15 is a grade 11 listed monument and was restored in 1868.
This was another really nice walk, although we've been to the waterfall and Foolow before we've not been on some of these footpaths and not been through Silly Dale. What is it with this area, got Fool in the village name and Silly in the dale.
See you next week