This is a spot to soak up a sense of history. Semi-derelict buildings abound, many dating back to the twelfth century when this was a farm worked by monks from Roche Abbey in South Yorkshire.
Tradition has it that brothers who misbehaved were sent here to do penance. The life-size, contemporary stone statue of a Buddhist monk in the farmhouse garden is a reminder of those former days, as is the medieval ice-house (a small, adapted cave to the right) and the old run of pigsties, with their clever system of feed chutes and troughs. Ice may have been collected by the monks from the Lathkill River during the winter and used to help keep dairy produce cool and fresh.
A well would also have been a necessity here, sunk deep enough to reach the natural water table, or water may have been collected from the spring back in Cales Dale. It is not difficult to imagine the monks carrying buckets of water, or ice, up and down the slippery stone stairs, perhaps cursing the day they were sent here.
This text was originally developed by Simon Corble for Discovering Britain. Created by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), the Discovering Britain website features over 350 walks and viewpoints which explore the stories of Britain’s landscapes.
Simon Corble is a theatre director, playwright and actor based in Derbyshire’s Peak District. He is passionate about the countryside and discovering the hidden secrets of the natural world.