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Around Errwood and the Goyt Valley

When the A5004 Buxton/Whaley Bridge road reaches the top of Long Hill, a minor side road on the left, runs steeply downhill across the moors to reach Errwood Reservoir dam. Beyond the reservoir, the road forks, one climbing to the right, steeply uphill towards Rainow following the line of a possible Roman road, but certainly […]

Brodsworth Hall

When Brian Spencer recently visited this Victorian Mansion near Doncaster his first impressions were that everything was boxed up and ready for the removal men. But when he looked again and saw the explanation plaques, he realised that what he was looking at was part of an ongoing battle against the ravages of time. When […]

Along Stanage Edge

The eastern escarpment of the Derwent Valley is lined along most of its length almost from its birth and as far as Chatsworth.  Broken into sections where natural weaknesses allow roads or trackways to cross the heights, this abrupt rise from the valley has always determined the route taken by travellers from as far back […]

Images of Wessex

Brian Spencer takes a look at the towns and monuments of the ancient kingdom of Wessex During the fine weather in late summer we took a trip into an area I haven’t visited for decades and this is a brief rundown of my impressions.  Basically the route we took was by way of Bristol, Bath, […]

Anson Engine Musuem

The village of Poynton stands just over the western border of the Peak District. Today it is a popular residential part of the Manchester commuter belt, but at one time it was a busy mining village, exploiting the profitable reserves beneath its green fields.  Apart from converted miners’ cottages dotted in groups along the village […]

Walk Around Froggatt Edge

This is a walk full of contrasts and interest.  Starting near the mouth of the longest and still used railway tunnel in the Peak District, it passes some of the most natural woodland in the region and also the one-time home of two priests martyred for their beliefs. Partly wooded valley strolling then follows, and […]

Cragside – Where Modern Living Began

William George Armstrong, Lord Armstrong of Cragside the Victorian scientist and engineer made his fortune from hydraulic engineering, ship building and armaments.  When he retired he made his home by developing what was once a hunting lodge into a house where comfort and innovation was far ahead of its time. Brian Spencer visited Cragside, high […]

Babington House Derby

If you go into Waterstone’s in Derby, you will be entering a late 19th century edifice called Babington Buildings. High above your head, you will see a carved device – a visual pun called in heraldry a rebus – of two baboons either side of a barrel or tun: ‘baboon-tun’ thus Babington. The building, now […]

Up the Nottingham & Down the Erewash

There is industry, old and new along the Erewash Valley, but strange as it may seem, parts of the valley are so free of industrial overtones, that they have become a series of nature reserves. Safe from the noise and bustle of traffic along the cross-valley roads, water fowl and semi-rare plants have made their […]

The Battle of Chesterfield 1266

Town centre violence at weekends when the pubs close in Chesterfield and the drunks spill out, is no different to most other towns and cities up and down the land.  Usually it is put down easily by the police, but had they been around 750 years ago on May 15th 1266, the situation would have […]