Situated in a beautiful setting with wooded hillsides rising up above the River Derwent, the village of Grindleford occupies a desirable spot. It is a busy place where several roads converge and, before the bridge, a ford crossed the river that for centuries had been an important crossing point.
Grindleford is a ‘modern’ parish, formed as recently as 1987, out of the parishes of Eyam Woodlands, Stoke, Nether Padley and Upper Padley. This ended a lot of confusion as since the 14th century the road bridge had been known as Grindleford Bridge, though ‘ Bridge’ was dropped after the Second World War. The railway station, although in Nether Padley, was named Grindleford in the 1890s.
Totley Tunnel, opened in 1893, but it was a year later before passenger services started. It is Britain’s second longest inland railway tunnel, three miles and 950 yards in length and took over four years to complete. When it opened, it caused considerable excitement in the Sheffield area opening up, as it did, the rather isolated Hope Valley. Grindleford was the first stop on the line and the cheapest after the tunnel and tourists flocked there to see for themselves the glorious land locked valley. Some liked it so much that they stayed and built their own houses in the area.
The arrival of the railway benefited the mineral extraction industry at Grindleford Quarry. The railway company used stone, but it most importantly provided an easy means of distribution to more distant places. Over a million tons of gritstone from Grindleford was transported by train, for use in the construction of the Howden and Derwent Dams. All this activity brought prosperity to an area where the population was growing rapidly.
The ruins of Padley Hall lie along a track a short distance from Grindleford Station, passed Padley Mill, now converted into a private house. All that remains of the hall are part of the foundations and the original gatehouse. Padley Chapel hidden away on the upper floor of the gatehouse survives today. It was used as a barn for over 100 years, before being restored in 1933.
On July 12th 1588, Padley Hall was raided and the two catholic priests, Nicholas Garlick, Robert Ludlam and several members of the Fitzherbert family were arrested. It was not illegal to be a Catholic, but training abroad to be a priest was against the law. Harbouring a priest was a treasonable offence.
Nicholas Garlick, the son of a Yeoman from Glossop who had trained to be a priest in France, and Robert Ludlam, the son of a farmer from Radbourne, who had also trained in France were both taken to Derby and hung, drawn and quartered. John Fitzherbert of Padley and his brother both died in prison. A pilgrimage now takes place every year in July when a special service is held, in the chapel, in memory of the Padley Martyrs.
Facing Padley Chapel is Brunt’s Barn, a volunteer conservation centre opened in 1981, in memory of Harry Brunt for his ‘pioneering work for the National Park 1951-80’. A wild flower nursery that propagates an amazing variety of flowers is close by.
The increase in the population after the railway came to Grindleford resulted in the enlargement of the Commercial Hotel, later re-named the Sir William. The Maynard Arms built in 1908, near to the railway station, helped to cope with the extra inflow of visitors.
On the western side of the bridge over the River Derwent is the Toll Bar Cottage, with the projecting window providing a good view in both directions for the toll keeper to keep a watch out for business? The lovely light and spacious St Helens Church, consecrated in 1910, five years after the expansion of the Methodist Chapel, is on the opposite side of the road.
The 1977 Jubilee Gardens, by the bridge, is a pleasant place to sit and relax. Across the road, activity that is more strenuous takes place on Bridgefields sports ground. The large well-equipped Bishop Pavilion, apart from providing sporting facilities, acts as the centre of community life in the village. The 54th Annual Grindleford Show takes place on the 21 August 2004.
A faded old sign ‘Shoeing and General Smith’ indicates where the village blacksmith practised. Further up the street, on the site of the former Red Lion pub are a group of cottages that carries its name. Over the road are the village post office and shop and the Derwent Gallery, selling pictures of the Peak District.
On the beautifully wooded road to Calver, near the impressive Stoke Hall a Grade II * listed building, is a stone quarry. The stone from this quarry is of a pleasing pale buff colour and has been used in the construction of a number of prominent buildings. Locally, St Helens Church is built of stone from the quarry.
www.derbyshire-peakdistrict.co.uk is an independent, not for profit website.
No recommendation of any establishment is implied by inclusion on this website.
PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE LOCALITY
Longshaw Visitor Centre (Tel. 01433 631708)situated in the out-buildings of Longshaw House it is a popular place to stop and have something to eat, or to purchase a gift from the National Trust shop. For further information website: www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Padley Chapel, an early 14th century gatehouse is all that remains of Padley Manor House, the home of two Roman Catholic families who were persecuted. In 1588, two priests from here were executed for their beliefs.
The Derbyshire Craft Centre (Tel. 01433 631231) at Calver has on display a large selection of local and national crafts, plus a wide range of gifts, books and other items. There is also a popular café. Open every day.
Sir William Hotel (Tel. 01433 630303) standing at a height of 1,200 feet above sea level, it is an imposing building with fine views over the Derwent Valley. Open every day for bar meals. There is seating outside. Restaurant. Accommodation.
Grindleford Station Café an excellent walker’s café where groups can book early morning breakfasts at the weekend. There are various amusing notices dotted around so be warned do not use your mobile phone here – this is the place people come to get away from them! There are plenty of tables both inside and out. The café is the home of Grindleford National Spring Water. Open daily except Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
THE DISCOVER DERBYSHIRE AND THE PEAK DISTRICT GUIDE
Provides a wide range of features with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.
1. To return to the main site click the link below.
2. To return to the contents page of the main website click the link below.
A special new sub-section has been added to this website, based on the Discover Derby Supplement, published by the Derby Evening Telegraph during March 2005. The most recent additions are:
Click below for details.
Bookmark this site so as not to miss other town/ village features, heritage trails and countryside walks to be published shortly. Plus many more interesting features.
There can be no doubt that this is one of the most attractive walks in the Peak District through beautiful Padley Gorge and Longshaw Estate.
Padley Gorge, a place of great beauty, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its plant and wildlife. The woods are one of the best surviving examples of ancient oak woodland in the South Pennines.
After crossing a stretch of open moorland by the side of the Burbage Brook, Longshaw Lodge is soon reached. Originally built as a shooting lodge for the Duke of Rutland, it has been converted into private flats and is not open to the public.
All details on this page were correct at the time of publication, but changes may be made without notification.