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Walk Derbyshire – A Walk Between Monyash & Flagg

Walk Derbyshire – A Walk Between Monyash & Flagg

If you were living in the Peak District countryside around a hundred years ago, the chances are that you would be following a dual working schedule.  Part of your working day would be tending the needs of a dairy herd and maybe carrying out a little ploughing and growing feed crops for those valuable cattle.  The other and entirely unrelated occupation could be spent underground, frequently working alone with nothing to help see what was in nearby rocks, other than by candle power. Tools would be a simple pick and shovel.  The last independent Peak District lead miner was the late C.H. Millington who lived in Monyash.

The name Monyash frequently leads to much argument with pros and cons on two sides.  There are those who say the name means ‘Many ash trees’, but the more widely read side disagree, saying the name should be based on Maneas, a title that seems to have been popular as far back as early records indicate.  Apparently Maneas means ‘wet lands’ in Saxon, a fitting title for a village built on an ancient clay bed 5million years old. This clay deposit has allowed five ponds to provide drinking water for cattle, (plus one now in-filled as a car park).  All those currently in use, are to the south of the village green, with Jack Mere to the north used for parking cars.

Monyash is built around a small clusters  of cottages and a network of popular footpaths leading into Lathkill Dale form a linked network of field paths where lead miners would plod their weary way home after working underground after a day, still having to tend their cattle, or mow hay for their winter feed.  Monyash was an important centre covering a section of the underground riches.  The village even had its own Barmote court, an ancient system governing lead mining disputes and transfers of mine ownership.

The village church is dedicated to St Leonard and was probably founded on the site of outdoor meetings around a simple wooden cross in the twelfth century.  Adjacent to it is the village school and a stone preaching cross stands in the centre of the village green.  The village has a small, but well-designed public hall that stands beside the Bakewell road on the east side of the village.  

The Golden Lion Inn closed in the early part of the 20th century, leaving the Bull’s Head to offer food and drink, together with a café in the converted blacksmith’s smithy next door making a popular venue for walkers, motorcyclists and non-powered cyclists.  The pub has always been known as the Bull’s Head, apart from a brief interlude when the landlord decided to change its name to The Hobbit.  The change caused such an outrage that it had to revert to its old and trusted Bull’s Head title.  The plinth for the village cross is marked by many small holes left by the blacksmith when he tested newly sharpened stone drills.

The walk turns for home at Flagg a couple of miles to the North West, unfortunately it no longer has a pub, it closed a few years ago due to lack of custom in this comparatively sparsely populated district.  Not enjoying the same size of water deposit, it does have sufficient issuing from underground which provides a supply for each house in the linear village, but little or none beyond.  This is a linear village with its own manorial hall, but no longer can it manage to run a pub.  While there are abandoned lead mines scattered around nearby fields, the village only supports two or three dairy farms.  Many of the remaining dwellings have been modernised, giving the village a look of prosperity.

As mentioned earlier, many of the surrounding fields were criss-crossed by farmers-come lead miners on their way to delve far below the surface. 

These paths are used on this walk, together with a couple of quiet back roads in order to follow this little used circular walk out to Flagg and back to Monyash.  It should be easy to follow and makes an ideal walk when the spring flowers are coming into full bloom.  Only a little over five miles of gentle meadow walking, it has the choice of two places of refreshment at the end of the walk.


A five mile (8km) easy walk, using well-made stiles to cross stone walls.

Ordnance Survey

Outdoor Leisure Sheet 24; 1:25000 Scale. The White Peak Area

Bakewell to Monyash bus services

Jack Mere off road parking beside the Flagg road,

Bull’s Head

The Old Smithy Café


1. The walk starts at Jack Mere Car Park (free parking) at the Monyash end of the Taddington and Flagg road.  Walk northwards, away from Monyash village, to a road junction and then turn right at a signpost for about 30yds (46m).  Cross over the stile on the left near the road junction (signposted to Taddington).  Cross a series of meadows, using gates or stiles where necessary, closing all gates unless asked to do otherwise.

Viewpoint.  Look back towards the village.  The church steeple is the focal point, but narrow strip fields, fossilised in their medieval plan, are all around.

2. Go to the right of a short belt of trees.  Continue to cross boundary walls by their stiles.  Reaching stiles to the left, cross a boundary wall as indicated by yellow arrows. Walk on as far as a track junction with the road. Start to walk gently uphill.

Strips of mature woodland in the Peak District have a dual purpose.  Not only do they provide windbreaks on the exposed upland, but their main purpose was to keep cattle away from poisonous lead waste left by mining activity

3. Cross the road and walk down the cart track.  Ignore a waymarked path marked by numbers eight, diverging to the right, and continue uphill along the lane.

Notice the heather growing on either side of the lane.  It is a rarity in this normally alkaline, limestone region.

Turn left at the track crossroads.

There is an excellent viewpoint near the crossroads. The upper reaches of Lathkill Dale can be seen, far below, gently winding in sylvan beauty eastwards. This makes an excellent viewpoint on fine summer days. A scattered group of houses indicate the position of Flagg

4. Cross a grassy strip to reach the road.  Turn left through a gate near the ‘T’ junction.  There is no path, so follow a diagonal line across the field.  Line up gates and stiles in order to cross a series of narrow fields as far as Rockfield House.  Flagg is famous for its Point to Point racing after Easter Monday when anyone, old or young can take part.

5. Keep to the right of Rockfield House farm.  Turn right on reaching the road where a footpath sign indicates a left turn.  Follow this direction across a small field in order to reach Flagg, entering the village by way of Hall Farm’s stockyard.

Flagg is a fine example of a linear village which developed along a springline – a rarity on dry limestone uplands. Follow the road, away from the village.

6. Leave the road on the southern outskirts of Flagg in order to walk along the farm lane.

7.Keep to the right of Knotlow Farm, aiming for two prominent trees growing at the top of the field. At this point there is a good view of Monyash church across the ‘home’ fields.

8. Go past a stone barn on the right of an open grassy area in order to follow a walled lane.

9. Turn left near the lane-end and go through a squeezer stile.  Cross the narrow fields by using a series of stiles.  Enter Monyash village by going past a series of attractive stone cottages. 


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