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Sunday, 26 February 2017

Monyash and Mysterious Stone Circle

The usual 07:00 start from our Rob's and it was Ikes turn to drive. After all the mud last week we thought we would try and keep out of it and headed up to Monyash. When there is no traffic at this time of day it only takes 30 minutes to get there. We parked up close to the village pond, Fere Mere to give its proper name. Monyash is in an area popular with walkers exploring the network of footpaths around the hills and dales. Centered on a traditional village green, the village, with just over 300 inhabitants living in around 145 houses, lies about 900 feet above sea level at the head of Lathkill Dale. Tourism and farming (milk, beef and lamb) are the predominant activities of the village. The area has a reputation for beautiful scenery, pleasant walks and a peaceful environment. This tranquillity contrasts with the village’s vibrant past as an important meeting place around 2000 BC, later as a watering point for drovers’ animals at the intersection of several trade routes, and, for over 700 years, as a busy industrial centre supporting the local lead mining industry
We left the car and walked past the pond along Rakes Road then onto Derby road which is little more than a track but in the past it was a very busy drovers road. We encountered a couple of flooded area's to get through but other than that it was largely a very nice walk. We went past a garden with a very nice set of standing stones formed into a circle, We thought this is just a folly and I'd love something like that in my garden. A bit further on we came to an old friend, one of the Derbyshire Guide Stoops on Derby Road. A local farmer has incorporated it into a gatepost but its markings can still be clearly seen.On one face the word looks like Chedel other faces had Buxton, Bakewell and Derby marked on them.We were about to leave when Ike spotted something resting in the space between the stoop and a bush, when he pulled it out it was a Geocache so we wrote a note in the small log book contained in the tin. We carried on walking up the track and met a chap called Bill Gee, now he gave us some great info about the area relating to the old drover routes and trackways. We came across his name later in the Church. From there we checked the map and we weren't prepared to get all muddied up crossing fields so instead of a circular route we headed back the way we had come. We stopped at the pond for our breakfast then had a little wander around the village past the  village green to St Leonard's Church. When we got inside the church there was a group of people singing and praying, very nice it was too. We saw an object in the church that Bill Gee had worked on, so he's a craftsman as well as being knowledgeable. We had a wander around the churchyard and its covered in snowdrops then back towards the car. Rob and myself had a quick walk up to a cottage where the garden was awash with snowdrops. Monyash is a beautiful village and will be returning in the spring.

This weeks route around Monyash

The Fere Mere Monyash

Ike, Geoff & Rob

Once a very fierce lion

Didn't bring the swimming gear

Guide Stoop,now a gatepost

The geocache that Ike spotted.

This shot is to show how deep the ruts were

Lathkill Dale in the background

Rob, Ike, Geoff and Bill Gee

Ike, Bill, Geoff & Rob

Going past the stoop on the way back

Stunning green walls

Back through the floods

One of the local farms

Rob spotted this on the horizon, its Magpie mine

A lovely stone circle in someones back garden.

I think remnants of an old gas lamp ?

Snowdrops throughout the village.

Back to the pond for breakfast

Loved these little things growing on top of a wall

Village green with the iconic red phone box and letter box

Memorial on the village green

Inside St. Leonard's Church, founded between 1100 and 1192

St Leonard's Wheeled Bier

St. Leonard's Wheeled Bier

This particular gravestone mentions a lady that died in 1890 aged 84. Who said they all died young in those days.

Fantastic display of snowdrops

I'm assuming the white doors were once outside loo's for the 3 cottages.
 This was another cracking little walk around an iconic Derbyshire village, it was cool and windy but at least the rain kept off.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

174 steps down to Cales Dale

4 of us this week and my turn to drive. Geoff had planned a trip to Cales Dale and Lathkill Dale. We parked up about 07:40 on a lay by and set off towards the dreaded steps of Cales Dale. It was a very dull morning so the pics aren't great having to up the ISO. A couple of fields in i had an unfortunate slip, muddy boots and damp limestone don't mix so i had a tumble and it bloody hurt but the main thin g is my camera didn't get damaged. After getting my composure back we carried on through part of low Moor Plantation then past Calling Low farm and onto those steps. On the way down i could here Geoff counting them and i think he got up to 174 this lead us into Cales Dale and then it was a short walk into Lathkill Dale. The river Lathkill was in full flow as we walked along side it. We saw 4 Dippers and 2 Herons on our way to Mr. Batemans House where we stopped for breakfast. We met a couple there with their dog and it tuned out to be a fellow photographer Martin Draper. We carried on through Lathkill Dale to the old mill where we crossed the river and headed up the hill on the other side, this was quite a slog climbing over 160 ft in a short distance. Once at the top of this Dale the footpath carried to a Victorian farm, Meadow Place Grange, quite a busy and spectacular farm. We had to go through the farmyard which was littered with mud mixed with cow manure spilling over our boots. From there it was a steady incline towards the road and back to the car.

Route around Cales dale and Lathkill Dale.


Geoff & Rob

Geoff, Rob & Ike

Geoff on a rope swing

Looking down into Lathkill Dale

From the top of the steps

174 of limestone steps

Geoff coming down the steps

Rob at the Cales Dale signpost


This chap came running along the track and carried on up the steps

Geoff in Cales Dale

Everywhere is just so green

Footbridge over the river Lathkill

River Lathkill

The Tuft Weir on the river Lathkill

Old millstone

All that remains of the old Caters Mill

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Footbridge leading up to Mr. Batemans house

Remains of Mr, Batemans house originally built in the 1840’s for Thomas Bateman who was agent of the Lathkill Mine.

Geoff, Ike, Rob & me

These were once much taller and carried an aqueduct where water which was taken from the main river close to Carters Mill and used to operate a giant waterwheel at Mandale Mine.

Another fine old mill on the Lathkill, the wheel is still intact in the building.

Crossing the Lathkill for the last time

The start of the slog uphill

Part of Meadow Place Grange

Part of Meadow Place Grange

Part of Meadow Place Grange

Part of Meadow Place Grange

Part of Meadow Place Grange, its a proper working farm

Meadow Place Grange

Martin Draper on the other side of the wall

Cattle having their food

Back at the car.
 Despite the fall at the start, fortunately nothing broken just a very sore thigh and expecting a big bruise tomorrow this was a lovely walk just over 5 miles. A dull day with lots of hills to negotiate and a fair bit of mud, but hey its winter what do yo expect.
See you next week.