...one of the Peak's jewels
Tucked away in the steep-sided and winding valley of the River Wye just upstream from Monsal Head and midway between Bakewell and Buxton, Cressbrook is a little gem of a village.
It was to a large extent founded by William Newton, the so-called “Minstrel of the Peak,” who was the manager of the magnificent Cressbrook Mill, which stands at the junction of the Wye with Ravensdale and gives a good impression of a Georgian country mansion. It is one of the Peak District’s finest industrial archaeology monuments.
The present mill, with its classical pediment and central cupula and the bell which summoned Newton’s apprentices to work, was built in 1815. After suffering many years of neglect, the 12-bayed building now offers high-class residential accommodation.
The lattice-windowed cottages built by Newton for his workers are a feature of the village, which is also famous for its fine silver band.
WHERE IS IT?
Seven miles (11 km) east of Buxton, just off the B6465 Ashford-Wardlow road at Monsal Head.
Newton, a self-educated carpenter born at Abney, became a partner in Cressbrook Mill after the original mill built by Richard Arkwright had burned down in 1785. Newton later became a shining example of the humane treatment of the child apprentices who worked in the mill, in sharp contrast to the deprivations suffered by those employed by Ellis Needham at Litton Mill, just upstream.
Newton built the village school and the charming row of lattice-windowed cottages which face the mill and look down on it from above. The Victorian mock-Gothic Cressbrook Hallis now a hotel. The water supply of the village was once spring water, pumped up from the valley of the River Wye.
Mining and quarrying
There are many remains of lead mine workings within the parish of Cressbrook, and small quarries provided the village with its building stone.
THINGS TO DO
Walking and Cycling
The Monsal Trail, which follows the line of the former Midland Railway, is very convenient for both walkers and cyclists and offers fine views of the village and easy, level walking back towards Bakewell or through Wye Dale towards Buxton.
There are climbs of varying difficulty on the limestone buttresses of Ravensdale, in the valley of the River Wye near Cressbrook.
FOOD AND DRINK
The Anglers Rest at nearby Millers Dale (01298 871323), has welcoming coal fires and a good range of cask ales and draught lagers, plus a pool table and dart board. Much of the home-prepared food is locally-sourced, and visitors with hearty appetites will appreciate ‘Pie Night’ each Thursday.
The residential Monsal Head hotel and Stables bar (01629 640 250) are just along the dale above the famous Monsal Head and viaduct.
SELECTED CRESSBROOK ACCOMMODATION
Cressbrook has a good choice of places to stay – see the full list of Cressbrook accommodation.
Beehive Cottage is one of your options - a pet-friendly holiday home which sleeps up to seven guests.
Tourist Information Centres
Bakewell TIC, The Old Market Hall, Bridge Street, Bakewell, DE45 1DS; Tel: 01629 816558; www.peakdistrict.gov.uk, open daily.
Buxton Tourist Information Centre, The Crescent, Buxton SK17 6BQ; 01298 25106; www.highpeak.gov.uk; open daily
Tideswell Surgery, Parke Road, Tideswell, SK17 8NS, 01298 871292
Editor, Let's Stay Peak District
© 2010 - Let's Stay Peak District
Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015