"Hathersage" Hathersage by suvanki

Hathersage Travel Guide: 46 reviews and 256 photos

Hathersage is a pleasant small town, located in the Derbyshire Peak District National Park, and within easy reach of Sheffield and Manchester, either by car or train. It is one of the stations on the Hope Valley Line.

Visitors come to enjoy the shops and tea rooms, or use it as a base for exploring the area. It is popular with climbers and walkers. Stanage Edge has been the starting point for many a novice rock climber, and has reared some of Britains most intrepid rock climbers and Mountaineers.

Hathersage has a variety of accommodation to offer - Hotels such as The George, a former 16th Century coaching Inn, friendly B&B's, Youth Hostel, camping sites and Camping Barns.

The many Tea rooms, pubs and restaurants ensure that visiters don't go hungry or thirsty!

In the summer months, an open air (heated) swimming pool is open to the public

Hathersage has links with the legend of Robin Hood - you can visit Little Johns grave in the church yard.

The adjacent vicarage was host to Charlotte Bronte in 1845, where she was inspired to write Jane Eyre -she took the heroines surname from the Eyres who were wealthy land owners in the area.
The village of Morton in this book is believed to be based on Hathersage, while North Lees Hall is thought to have been the inspiration for Thornfield Hall.

Hathersage was mentioned in the Domesday Book, as Hereseige. The name Hathersage means Heathers Edge - and on the surrounding moors, the sight and scent of these hardy purple plants can be quite memorable.

Once at the crossing point of many Packhorse routes between Sheffield and Manchester
The Scotsmans Pack was an original Packhorse inn, where the merchants and horses could rest and refuel! This was the last stop before the treacherous haul over the moors to Sheffield. In winter, conditions were particularly bad, as this land was 1700ft above sea level, and heavy snow made the journey dangerous.
Two routes were up The Dale, near the Scotsmans Pack, or past the GateHouse to Stanage Pole along the old Roman road.

Traders from Scotland would sell their tweed cloth here- Hence the name of the Scotsman's Pack.

In the 18th Century, the turn pike road (A625) was constructed, which brought an end to the packhorse trade.
Turnpikes were roads that were constructed and surfaced by private companies, who then charged travellers a toll to use that stretch.

Hathersage's location, therefore enabled the village to develop as a trading route.

Until the late 18th Century,the inhabitants of Hathersage were mainly employed in agriculture and cottage industries - making wire and brass buttons.

In 1750, Henry Cocker set up a mill, for making wire, which in turn led to other mills opening. Hathersage became noted for its production of needles and pins. A paper mill was opened near by to produce the wrapping paper for these. As Hathersage was set on the banks of the River Derwent, water was utilised to power the early machinery, with steam power taking over later. Filthy black smoke from the chimneys, puthered out over the village.

Millstones fashioned from the local grit stone, sharpened the needle and pin points. For the workers this was a hazardous task- Their lungs filled with the dust and ground metal filings. The stones were also prone to shattering, which caused serious injuries to the grinders. The millstones and grindstones, manufactured in Hathersage were used for grinding corn and crushing lead ore too.
Life expectancy for these workers was an average of 30 years.

Hathersage can lay claim to one of the first Factory Acts. Where a Royal Commission laid down laws stipulating working hours, safe working practices and protecting child labourers, by making it illegal for them to be employed in certain jobs.

In the early 20th Century, the mills had closed down, as this industry had moved to Sheffield. Many of the mills can still be seen today - some converted to private homes.

Hathersage today, employs workers in the hotels, restaurants and shops, but many inhabitants now work from home or commute.
There is still a community feel

A Yummy Day Out - May 2nd 2011

Bank Holiday Monday, and the Ooooop North crew gathered to welcome VTer yumyum (Sonja) from Zurich, to this part of Derbyshire.

Gillybob organised the meet, and travelled by train from Manchester with Sonja, and headed to The Pool Cafe, to meet up for breakfast with Ricky52, Sheila and myself.
Next to arrive were alyf1961 (Alyson) and spidermiss (Dawn) from Leeds. We set off for a gentle stroll around Hathersage, partly following the Hathersage trail, plus nipping into some of the shops.
Before lunch, some of us headed uphill to the Church to visit Little Johns Grave, Little Johns cottage, oh and we encountered a man stripping - and had a chat with him!!!

Lunch was at the Scotsmans Pack, where we were joined by DavidGB. Ricky had 2 surprises for us - badges to commemorate yumyums visit, and..... yum-yums! These are similar to doughnuts/churrios. He'd asked permission for us to eat these in the restaurant.
Well the food was delicious, and we created some interest from fellow diners and staff.

After lunch, we drove up to Surprise View, to admire the scenery, and blow the cob-webs away-Blimey it was windy up there!

Back into Hathersage, and time to say Good-bye to Ricky and Sheila (We'll be meeting up again in June during our 'Carry on Camping' meet), then Gilly and Sonja - pheww just made it on time for the train that was early!

The rest of us strolled around another bit of the trail, before saying Bye to Dave, then heading onto Sheffield so that Dawn and Alyson could get their bus and train to Leeds.

A Great Day out ............ and the weather behaved!!!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Derbyshire village with Robin Hood and Brontes connection
  • Cons:Can get busy at weekends and Bank Holidays
  • In a nutshell:Good Base for exploring Derbyshires treasures
  • Last visit to Hathersage: Mar 2013
  • Intro Updated Mar 3, 2013
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Reviews (21)

Comments (5)

  • spidermiss's Profile Photo
    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 AM

    It was a great day out! I'm thinking of Bakewell next month to sample the Bakewell pudding!x

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    May 8, 2011 at 9:00 AM

    The Craft shop doesn't sell any postcards, I was directed to the outdoor shops ;) Great page and Travelogues! Had a fab time!!!

  • leics's Profile Photo
    May 3, 2011 at 8:11 AM

    I think the mammoth was as much to blame as Ricky. I hope he shows people his yum-yums next time we meet. Wish I'd been there this time! :-) Jx

  • Gillybob's Profile Photo
    Apr 26, 2011 at 6:18 AM

    Please ensure time for shopping - especially having read the tips! Weather Underground has glorious sunshine logged for Hathersage on Monday! Yeah! Gillybob greetings

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Mar 28, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    Sue, fabulous little page about this north English gem. It really looks like a fantastic place for a little VT meeting. *winkygrin*

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