Monyash village guide
Unspoilt, popular Peak village
This small, attractive village at the head of beautiful Lathkill Dale, which is part of the Derbyshire Dales National Nature Reserve, was granted its charter to hold a weekly market as long ago as 1340. The stump of the ancient Market Cross remains on the spacious village green opposite the 17th century Bull’s Head public house, but the market disappeared long ago.
PLACE OF MANY ASHES
Monyash was founded on the high and dry White Peak limestone plateau because of the presence of its “meres” – ponds which owe their existence to a bed of impervious clay which held the precious water. Only Fere Mere, on the road towards Buxton, now remains, and the site of Jack Mere has been converted to a car park.
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WHERE IS IT?
Four miles (6 km) west of Bakewell, on the B5055 minor road towards the A515.
The Old English name of Monyash means exactly what it says: “many ash trees.” It was recorded as “Maneis” in the Doomsday Book in 1086, and “Moniasse” in 1200. Ash trees, such as those found in Lathkill Dale, thrive on the shallow limestone soil around the village.
One Ash Grange (obviously denoting a single ash) above the deep ravine of Lathkill Dale, was originally a penitentiary for recalcitrant monks and later the home of John Gratton, a prominent Quaker preacher when Monyash was a centre for the movement. The farm boasts some beautifully-preserved pig sties in its farmyard, and was formerly the site of a Peak District National Park camping barn.
Mining and quarrying
In the late 18th century, when Monyash’s importance as a centre for the lead mining industry was at its height, the village was the site of a governing Barmote Court. Many of the local fields are still dotted with old lead mining shafts, and at Ricklow, at the head of Lathkill Dale, a flourishing “marble” quarry existed in Victorian times. In fact, the marble was a highly-polished fossil-filled limestone. Hidden in the trees of Palmerston Wood in Lathkill Dale are the substantial ivy-covered remains of the 19th century Mandale Lead Mine, showing that even this now-sylvan spot was once a hive of industry.
PLACES TO GO
The Parish Church
The Parish Church of St Leonard is a Grade II listed building and is regarded as one of the most attractive churches in the Peak.
Neolithic henge monument, stone circle and burial mound a few miles south of Monyash.
Monyash dresses two wells, one in the village car park and a childrens’ well, which is situated near the village school. The custom was revivied in 1974, when the Newton Well was set up with help from the villagers of Litton. Both wells are on display from the Saturday before Spring Bank Holiday Monday, when the village also holds a market.
THINGS TO DO
Lathkill Dale, part of Natural England’s Derbyshire Dales National Nature Reserve, is many people’s favourite Derbyshire dale, and a stroll through the narrow, wooded dale from Monyash is a delight, especially in early summer. You can return to the village via One Ash Grange.
FOOD AND DRINK
Cosy log fires, good food, real ales and a warm welcome are on offer at the 17th century Bull’s Head in Monyash (01629 812372), where both children and dogs are welcome. Homemade food using local produce is served both lunchtime and evening, and there is also a games room and large beer garden, next to a children’s play area.
The Old Smithy licensed Tea Rooms (01629 810190) on Monyash’s Green is a small, family-run business using local produce in its range of main meals, including the famous all-day ‘Smithy’s Breakfast’. It is very popular with walkers.
Monyash has plenty of place to stay - see the full list of Monyash holiday accommodation.
Tourist Information Centre
Bakewell TIC, The Old Market Hall, Bridge Street, Bakewell, DE45 1DS; Tel: 01629 816558; www.peakdistrict.gov.uk, open daily.
At Jack Mere.
Bakewell Medical Centre, Butts Road, Bakewell. Tel: 0844 477 3408.
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Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015