A short watery walk in Derbyshire’s White Peak
Lathkill Dale has its beginnings behind Monyash village, around three hundred metres above sea level. The name Monyash is thought to come from the Anglo-Saxon many and the Celtic word aesc meaning waters.
There is only one big mere (shallow lake) left in the village today, but there were five until they were filled in quite recently to provide the village with local amenities.
The five ponds must have been vital during the sixth century AD, when the Angles were starting to arrive, settle and learn about the area from the native British.
But why were these natural ponds so important? A walk down the upper half of Lathkill Dale reveals the full story of a landscape shaped and governed by the presence, or absence of water.
From the car park, cross the road and through the gate, following the public footpath sign. Head towards the dew pond in the field before you.
This trail was originally developed by Simon Corble for the Royal Geographical Society’s Discovering Britain.
Simon Corble is a theatre director, playwright and actor based in Derbyshire’s Peak District, is passionate about the countryside and discovering the hidden secrets of the natural world.