Joiners Cottage – Directions & Local Information

About your cottage

Located in the village of Ashford in the Water, Joiners Cottage is around 300 years old and was, until recent times, a joiner’s workshop. We understand that the building has been put to many purposes; Originally Wheel Cottage and Joiners Cottage were one building and were used as a butcher’s shop, and at one time the building was the fish & chip shop for the village. The building was sub-divided around 25 years ago into Wheel Cottage and what is now Joiners Cottage.  The picture above shows the sheep-wash bridge when it was still the main route into the village and open to traffic.

Its main attraction is the sheep-wash bridge which is both picturesque and ancient. It was originally a medieval packhorse bridge and until recently sheep were washed here prior to shearing. The lambs would be penned within the stone-walled pen on one side of the river, whilst the mothers would be thrown in at the other side. They would naturally swim across to their offspring, thus ensuring a good soaking. The bridge is also a good vantage point for watching the rainbow trout in the river below.

Ashford contains many old, picturesque cottages, some of which were once owned by the Chatsworth Estate and sold off in the 1950s to pay for death duties. Some of the cottages sold for around £50 and are now worth several thousand times that amount.

Lead mining was one of the main industries in the area, with Ashford being a centre up until the late 19th century. However Ashford is better known for another ore that was first quarried here in 1748 by Henry Watson, which is Ashford marble, a unique limestone. When polished, the black marble provided a perfect background for mosaic and inlaid patterns. Amongst other things it was used for vases, clocks and jewellery. A wonderful example of an inlaid table top is in Ashford church. Henry Watson also invented a machine for cutting and polishing marble. His factory continued working until the early part of the 20th century.

Another industry that existed in the village was that of candle making. A house now standing on the site of the old factory is called ‘The Candle House’ and it is situated in Greaves Lane, greaves being the name given to dregs of melted tallow.

An ancient custom that once took place in the village was that of hanging funeral garlands from the roof of the church. Four garlands still hang, the oldest from 1747. They were made of white paper cut to form rosettes and fixed to a wooden frame. They would then be carried before the coffin of a young virgin in the funeral procession, before being hung up.

Parts of the Church of the Holy Trinity date back to the 13th century, in particular the lower part of the unbuttressed west tower and the south door with its original Norman tympanium showing a tree of life in the centre with a hog and wolf facing it. The north arcade is from the 14th century but most of the church was rebuilt in 1868-70 by J.M & H. Taylor. It contains an octagonal Perp font, a Jacobean pulpit and a chalice from around 1630-50.

Well dressing in Ashford is a homage to the abundance of water. Six wells are dressed, by layering petals, leaves and other natural objects into a bed of clay to form an impressive picture. The custom had fallen into disuse in Ashford until about 40 years ago, when thanks to a lady called Ida Thorpe, it was revived. The high standards were set by her are continued to this day as the hoardes of visitors pouring into Ashford around Trinity Sunday bear witness. On average, around 12,000 people pass through the church during well-dressing week.

Ashford Hall was built in 1785 to a design by Joseph Pickford of Derby fame. It belongs to the Olivier family and overlooks a picturesque lake formed out of the river Wye.

The village has 2 pubs, The Ashford Arms Hotel, a plush 18th century coaching inn and the Bull’s Head, known as the Turk’s Head in the 19th century and run by the same family since the 1950’s. The corner shop at the end of Church Street has been in existence for over 100 years and is an outlet for many local needs.
What do we need to bring?
We have tried to make the cottages a home-from-home so hopefully you will find most things you need at the cottage. These are self-catering cottages so you will need to bring (or buy locally) your own food and other supplies you may need. The cost of your holiday includes bed linen (though not linen for cots), quality towels and face flannels for each guest. As part of your starter pack, we will also equip the cottage with:

  • A pint of milk, some tea, coffee and sugar
  • Two clean tea towels & oven gloves
  • Clean table cloth on dining table
  • An initial supply of toilet rolls
  • Roll of kitchen paper
  • Bottle of washing-up liquid, new J-cloth & new washing-up sponge / scourer
  • Spare bin-liner for kitchen bin
  • An initial supply of dishwasher tablets
  • A basket of logs, some paper and a box of matches
  • Salt & pepper in grinders
  • Liquid soap in dispensers at hand basins
  • A small supply of toiletries in case you forget something!


The full address of the cottage is Joiners Cottage, Fennel Street, Ashford in the Water. DE45 1QF. Ashford in the Water is situated just off the A6 Bakewell to Buxton Road, around 2 miles north of Bakewell. To find the cottage from the A6:

  • Turn off the A6 onto the A6020 (signposted Ashford in the Water, Sheffield, Chesterfield);
  • After 100m turn left B6465 (signposted Ashford, Monsal Head);
  • After another 75m, the road bears sharp left (by the Ashford Arms and local shop) and becomes Church Street;
  • Follow Church Street for 250m and it turns sharp right (you will see the band-stand by the Sheepwash bridge);
  • You are now in Fennel Street – Joiners Cottage is 50m on the right – park in any available on-street parking

If you are coming by public transport, the nearest train station is Matlock. The cottage is then around 20 minutes by taxi or 35 minutes by bus.

Telephone  & Broadband

The telephone in the cottage is for incoming calls and emergency calls (999) only. The number is 01629 814 319. Mobile reception is reasonable on most networks in the village.

Free WiFi is available at the cottage. You will need to enter a security key into your computer to access the network – you will find the key located in the guest book located in the cottage.
We do not have private parking, but you should usually find a space to park in Fennel Street.
Out of consideration to other visitors who will subsequently occupy the cottage, we ask guests not to smoke inside.


Dogs really enjoy a holiday in the country with their families, so we have made our cottages dog-friendly where we can. We ask you to ensure that your dog is well-behaved, remains downstairs and off the furniture at all times. You should never leave your dog alone in the cottage or the garden areas.

Joe, who is our Labrador, keeps his own blog on our web-site which gives some useful advice on taking your dog to the Peak District and importantly where to go for a quick ‘leg stretch’ near the cottage when you arrive. Joes blog is available here

Local Shopping

There is a village shop in Ashford, a tea room and a craft shop.
The main shopping centre is in the nearby market town of Bakewell where you will find many local shops and some of the high street names – Co-op supermarket, Boots, Banks and Post-office – and a general and farmers’ market (Mondays). In Buxton you will find a greater selection of food shopping including a Morrison’s supermarket, M&S Food, and Waitrose. Buxton also has a wide range of high street names as well as local shops.
Matlock, Ashbourne are also major shopping centers.


There are two pubs in the village:

  • Ashford Arms: A traditional bar with open fireplace – a great meeting place for visitors and locals alike or just a nice place for a quiet drink. The pub is situated in the very centre of the village, backing almost onto the River Wye. Outside the pub we have a large garden area which in summer is a lovely relaxing place in which to sit in the sunshine. The Ashford Arms offers bar meals and a restaurant.
  • Bulls Head: A 17th Century, family run, coaching inn with oak beams, carved settles, open fires, newspapers to read and jazz in the background. This busy country pub has been in Debbie Shaw’s family for 60 years. Carl and Debbie have been at the helm for the past 13 years and have received several well deserved accolades for their congenial welcome, fine ales and excellent menu. Carl chefs and produces everything himself (including the bread, chutneys and cheese biscuits accompanying your meal), preferring to use local and seasonal produce. Dogs are welcome in the bar.


We ask that you vacate the cottage by 10am on your day of departure. Please can you lock the cottage and put the keys through the letterbox.