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Birchover in Derbyshire near Matlock


Birchover, meaning ridge where birch trees grow, is situated in Derbyshire and the Peak District, on a hillside rising to Stanton Moor. It has some fine 17th and 18th century cottages that line the main road. Many were built from the finely grained gritstone mined at the edge of the moor.

There are 2 pubs in the village, the Druids Inn, famed for its food and the Red Lion which has a 30ft well inside its main bar, covered by a thick glass top. The Druid Inn is named after the druids who practised their magic amidst Rowter Rocks, immediately above the pub. The rocks are a pile of gritstone about 70 yards long and worth exploring for the fine views they give of the wooded hillside and the valley below. The Reverand Thomas Eyre built his hideaway here, carving out a cave with seats, for him and his friends to sit on and admire the view.

Thomas Eyre also built the little chapel, known as Rowter chapel or Jesus chapel. He died in 1717. The chapel has been completely altered since, with a chancel added in 1869. There is also some modern stained glass by a Brian Clarke who lived at the vicarage for a while in the 1970`s. Birchover was the home of J.C and J.P Heathcote, father and son amateur antiquarians, who spent much of their time investigating the barrows and monuments on Stanton Moor and kept a fascinating private museum in the old village post office in the main street. The Heathcote collection is now in the Sheffield Western Park Museum.

Nearby are Cratcliffe Tor and Robin Hoods Stride. Cratcliffe Tor has a shallow cave where 600 years ago a hermit carved a crucifix, a niche for a candle and a seat.Robin Hoods Sride is so called because it is the same distance betwwen 2 upstanding pinnacles as the length of Robin Hoods Stride, some 22 yards.

Rowter Chapel
Rowter chapel
The Druids Inn
The Druids Inn

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