Castleton, Derbyshire Sunday 24th April 2016

Today’s Walk

Strenuous Leader: Rowland Nock     Distance: 10.0 miles

This walk includes the classic Mam Tor to Lose Hill ridge walk with spectacular views of the Vale of Edale and beyond. We start by heading out past Peak, Treak Cliff and Blue John Caverns on to Mam Tor. We will then follow the ridge all the way to Lose Hill and from there descend via Crimea Farm to the village of Hope. We then cross the main road to pick up the river side path back to Castleton for some well-earned tea and tiffin! Please note there are some stiles on this walk and when I planned it there were the odd muddy bits Total climbing 1300 ft

Moderate Leader: Peter Denton     Distance : 7.00 miles

As you will see Castleton is situated in a horse shoe canyon and to get the best out of our day in this area of the Peak District we need to gain some height as soon as possible. We will be aiming for Hollins Cross but not by the direct route. We will start up Cave Dale onto the Limestone Way. Next we head for Windy Knoll then around Mam Tor as we make are way up to Hollins Cross. After that we head down to Castleton for a well-earned beverage and an over-priced rum and raisin ice cream. Mmmmm! Lovely!

Leisurely Leaders: David & Cynthia Prescott     Distance : 5.50 miles

This walk heads up towards Mam Tor but doesn’t go up the steep higher part of the hill, instead staying at the level where you can see the farm buildings; so although we climb up it is a good leisurely walk with no huff and puff and nice views. Most of the stiles have been replaced with springy gates. We go up to the site of the disused Odin Mine, pass Mam farm and Woodseats and then head back downhill to Dunscar Farm returning to the outskirts of Castleton before heading up to the Training centre and adventure play area to Spring House Farm. We return on the sidewalk of the main road, walking through the town to the coach park. Expect muddy boots after rain.

Easy Leader: Irene Wilcock     Distance : 5.00 miles

An easy start to the walk followed by a short uphill path towards Losehill. We then continue down to Hope village. From there we take a path by the river before reaching the road taking us back to the centre.

Notes On The Area

Castleton is regarded as one of the most beautiful villages in the Peak District surrounded by superb walking countryside, and with plenty of watering holes and outdoor shops to cater for walkers’ needs.

First recorded in 1196, Castleton is essentially a medieval mining town. Unlike most mining towns, it was planned, rather than being built by random extensions. Set out under the castle, it ceased to prosper when the castle lost its importance in the fourteenth century. The castle named Peveril Castle dates from the 11th century and was built by William Peveril, William the Conqueror’s local bailiff. The rectangular keep is late Norman of about 1175. A dry ditch isolates the castle yard, which occupies nearly the whole of the summit, from the rest of the hill. By the seventeenth century the castle was in ruins.

Castleton is famed for its show caves: Speedwell Mine is at the foot of Winnats Pass. Treak Cliff Cavern is the biggest, and along with Blue John Cave produces the beautiful Blue John, a blue and yellow coloured semi-precious stone which is used in the manufacture of ornaments and jewellery which are on sale in the shops. Peak cavern was used for rope making.

Mam Tor is composed of alternate layers of sandstone and shale, exposed in the great precipice. This is a highly unstable combination which has given rise to Mam Tor’s other name, the Shivering Mountain. The summit is ringed by the massive ramparts of an Iron Age fort, cut into by the continually slipping cliff. A packhorse track skirts the north face of Mam Tor and then follows the ridge to Hollins Cross and down to Hope on the southern slopes of Lose Hill. Until 1633, when a chapel was built at Edale, funeral processions had to climb the ridge for burial at Hope.

Limestone and shale are the essential components of cement and so Hope Cement Works, constructed in 1933, is strategically placed at the geological junction of the two. A branch line joins the works to the main railway line over concrete bridges which are quite out of character with the area. The quarry is gradually devouring the limestone to the south and, although providing much needed local employment, is quite a blot on the landscape.