Priestcliffe is a small hamlet which forms part of the parish of Taddington & Priestcliffe. Taddington is one of the highest villages within the Peak District at around 1,000ft, equidistant between Bakewell and Buxton. Taddington lies south of the A6, with the settlements of Priestcliffe and Priestcliffe Ditch lying to the north.
Sometimes described as a Saxon Linear (one street) village, there has been human settlement in the Taddington area since Neolithic times with the Five Wells chambered tombs above the village. The Romans were in the area and the present (Grade 1 listed) 14th century Parish Church is thought to have replaced an earlier chapel on the site; there is an 11th century standing cross in the churchyard. Conservation areas were designated in 1997 in both Priestcliffe and Taddington.
Local fields still have evidence of strip farming systems across the parish, with medieval “watering” lanes leading to High Well above the village and High Mere beyond, on the edge of Taddington Moor. In Priestcliffe an old well adjoins a pond below the settlement.
Traditionally a lead-mining and agricultural settlement, agriculture still plays an important role, but alongside leisure, tourism and commuting to nearby towns and cities.
Once a stopping point for the London to Manchester mail coaches, the Parish is rich in local history and with some of the best walking country and best views in the White Peak
Historically known by the Romans as ‘Aquae Arnemetiae’, or the Spa of the Goddess of the Grove, Buxton is one of England’s finest spa towns, nestling amongst the Derbyshire hills on the fringe of the Peak District.
At a height of over 1,000ft, Buxton is the joint highest market town in England, but is perhaps most famous for its ‘healing’ spa waters. Visitors have travelled to bathe in Buxton’s mineral waters for thousands of years but Buxton is also deservedly renowned for its beautiful Georgian and Victorian architecture – much of it linked with the 5th Duke of Devonshire’s ambitions to create a spa town to rival Bath back in the 18th century.
At the heart of the town is the magnificent new Buxton Crescent Hotel & Thermal Spa Hotel, a Grade I listed five-star hotel and spa with rooftop pool, beautiful rooms and spa treatments. Among Buxton’s other achitectural gems are the striking Devonshire Dome, which has a larger span than St Paul’s Cathedral and was built by the Duke of Devonshire as stables to complement The Crescent. It then became a hospital and is now Derby University’s Buxton campus.
Another masterpiece is the exquisite Grade II listed Edwardian Opera House, built by renowned theatre architect Frank Matcham in 1903. Loving restored in 2001, Buxton Opera House is home of internationally-renowned Buxton Festival of ‘opera, music and books’ which takes place each summer, and a host of other theatre, music and comedy shows throughout the year. Close by is the historic Old Hall Hotel, reputed to be one of the oldest hotels in England, where ill-fated Mary Queen of Scots was held captive in the 16th century.
The brilliant Poole’s Cavern & Buxton Country Park or just a stone’s throw away, where you can explore a spectacular natural cavern below ground before enjoying great walks, or a treetop zip-wire adventure, above ground.
Visitors to Buxton today can also appreciate the beautifully-landscaped and restored Pavilion Gardens, with its formal borders, lawns, play areas and family-friendly cafe and shop.
Shoppers can count on the best of independent retailers and High Street brands at The Springs Shopping Centre, Cavendish Arcade and The Old Court House, plus a choice selection of cafés, tea rooms and restaurants for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
The picturesque and historic market town of Bakewell is the largest settlement in the Peak District National Park, and is well known to residents and visitors alike as the `Capital of the Derbyshire Dales. Bakewell really is a little gem of a town in the heart of the glorious Peak District. The wonderful old buildings, the character cottages, the meandering river with banks of green willow – Bakewell is simply a truly beautiful place.
There are pubs, restaurants and eateries galore. It’s the home of the infamous Bakewell pudding, the dessert that went wrong but has now gone so right!
The River Wye is a major river of the western part of the Peak it rises on Axe Edge above Buxton and flows eastwards passing through Buxton and Bakewell to join the Derwent at Rowsley. The Parish Church of All Saints at Bakewell, whose fine spire and unusual octagonal tower have been a landmark on the hillside overlooking the town for over six hundred years. Its Market Charter was granted in 1330, and there is an open market in the town every Monday, whilst the Cattle Market is one of the largest in the county.
Haddon Hall, barely a mile away down the valley is regarded as the finest medieval Manor House in England, and is a seat of the Duke of Rutland, whilst the Duke of Devonshire’s splendid Chatsworth House, known as the Palace of the Peak, stands sedately beside the Derwent less than three miles away. Bakewell has a golf course to the east of the town accessible from Station Road, whilst also accessible from the Old Station car park nearby is the Monsal Trail. The Trail was once the main railway line to Buxton and Manchester, but now provides one of the most scenic of walks both beside the Wye, and through some of the most picturesque of dales landscapes all the way to Miller’s Dale