The trackways of prehistory and the Industrial Revolution are both behind us now as we descend toward Minninglow Grange, the farm directly ahead. But this rough track is no less a significant marker in the history of White Peak crossings.
The word ‘grange’ usually means that a farm was worked in the Middle Ages by monks from a great monastery, often many miles distant. This lane is thought to mark the boundary of the monastic farmland, as well as being an important route carrying away its produce.
These days, besides providing local farmers with access to their fields either side, the primary use of this lane is as a leisure route. It’s used by walkers and off-road cyclists but also trail bikers and four-by-four enthusiasts.
A quick internet search for “Minninglow Grange” will bring up a Peak District National Park report on this green lane’s use, condition and management. A fairly dry read, but it does illustrate how carefully such minor routes are being thought about. The interests of different types of users are being weighed against each other, along with the need to preserve the character of the environment as we see it today.
As one might expect with a medieval lane, we are going to go around a few bends next. As we do so, see if you notice anything unusual about the changing road surface…
Continue a short way along the lane, round some bends and past some ponds to where the farm track to Minninglow Grange leaves the lane.
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.
Thanks are also due to Ben Brooksbank and David A Hull for photographs reproduced under Creative Commons Licenses