GREAT HUCKLOW AREA
Great Hucklow in Derbyshire and the Peak District is a small, ancient lead mining village situated 6 miles to the north of Bakewell. The original settlement was probably influenced by its position at the junction of limestone and shale, where spring waters often emerge.
Britain's first and most popular national park
The Peak National Park is commonly known as the Derbyshire Peak District. This is, however, not strictly accurate, as, although three-quarters of the Park's 555 square miles are within the county, its boundaries also include parts of no less than six other counties.
Encircled by the industrial cities of the East and West Midlands, Sheffield and Manchester, the Peak is the last unspoilt landscape of the south Pennines.
The forbidding gritstone moors and edges of the Dark Peak frame the lovely limestone dales of the White Peak in the centre and south of the Park. These reach their summit on the bleak plateau of the 2,088 ft Kinder Scout at the start of the Pennine Way.
Between these two contrasting landscapes lie the gentle shale valleys, where stately homes, such as Chatsworth and Haddon, grace beautiful parklands by the Rivers Derwent and Wye. Here, too, are the main settlements, such as Bakewell, the 1,000-year-old 'capital' of the Peak.
The Peak National Park was set up 40 years ago, to protect and enhance this precious landscape, and to provide quiet, open-air recreational opportunities for visitors.
Today, with 22 million annual visitors, the Peak is the most popular national park in Britain.
Within walking distance of Great Hucklow is Eyam the village devastated by the plague, and Tideswell's 'Cathedral of the Peak'. A short drive will take you to Castleton with the Blue John and other show caves, the market town of Bakewell – famous for its tarts – and the elegant and lively spa town of Buxton.
There is evidence of human occupation in these parts since prehistoric times and just north of the village at Burr Tor is the site of an ancient Iron Age fort. Lead had been mined in these parts since the 11th century and Great Hucklow was a busy lead mining centre up to the end of the 19th century.
Great Hucklow was once noted for its theatre company, created by Dr L.Du Garde Peach, a local author and playwright. The Hucklow Players entertained people from a wide area with their classic productions, which were often planned to coincide with a full moon so that, both audience and players had light to walk home by.
In more recent times the Tor above Great Hucklow has been popular with gliding enthusiasts and flights can be arranged with the Derbyshire and Lancashire Gliding Club which has its headquarters there.
The village has a population of around a hundred inhabitants, a school built in 1873, a popular pub – The Queen Anne – and a small Unitarian Chapel dating from the 17th century. And, of course, the focal point of the village, The Nightingale Centre.