Hathersage is an attractive, prosperous and busy gritstone village,cum small town, situated in the Derwent valley, Derbyshire, and the Peak District National Park, 12 miles north east of Buxton on the A625 Buxton to Sheffield road and part of the Sheffield commuter belt. It is well served with all the modern shopping and accommodation facilities but at the same time seems to retain its Peak District character. It is served by the Hathersage railway station on the Hope Valley Line.
In the 19th century Hathersage was a dirty place as chimneys from its 5 mills 'belched out thick black smoke'. It had a large needle, button and wire drawing industry then, which ended at the turn of the 20th century. The mills are still standing but have been put to other less polluting uses. Hathersage has also had a long association with the manufacture of millstones and grindstones, used for grinding corn and crushing lead ore.
Hathersage has notable historic connections. Little John, friend of Robin Hood who himself was thought to have been born at Loxley, 8 miles away, is believed to be buried in a 10ft long grave in the churchyard. Little John is supposed to have been a native of Hathersage and in 1784 a 30 inch thigh bone was exhumed from the grave. It has since disappeared. Charlotte Bronte is known to have stayed with her friend Ellen Nussey at Hathersage Vicarage in 1845 and it is generally believed that she based Morton, in her novel, Jane Eyre, on the village and probably the heroine's surname, from the ancient Eyre family, who had been lords of the manor here for 800 years.
Robert Eyre is said to have built 7 houses in Hathersage for his 7 sons, all within sight of each other and of his own home. North Lees Hall, still standing, is thought to have been the model for Thornfield in the book.
Stanage Edge overlooks the village and can be reached by a minor road that leads up Hood Brook. This road passes quite close to North Lee Hall. The edge is a magnet for rock climbers who come from all parts of the country, including many novices as the edge offers all grades of climbing difficulty.
St Michael's Church is thought to date back to the 12th century though building work has been recorded from 1381. It sits in a superb position high up in the village, commanding extensive views of the Derwent valley. It has a Perp west tower and a crocketed recessed spire and contains a collection of brasses to the Eyre family.
Hathersage boasts a superb outdoor swimming pool, open to the public during the summer months. The swimming pool has water heated to 82 F , hot poolside showers, lawns and views of Stanage Edge, Hathersage Church and the surrounding hills. It was given to the village by local business man and philanthropist, George Lawrence, who also gave the village tennis courts, a bowling green, a bandstand and an additional hall at the village War Memorial Hall.
There are several pubs and hotels in the village including the 16th century George Hotel, the Hathersage Inn and Little John Inn.
In 1990, the cutler David Mellor opened the Round Building built on the site of a former gasometer as a cutlery factory in the village. The building was designed by architect Sir Michael Hopkins. In 2007, an extension was opened as a Design Museum, in a new extension to the old retort house on the site. As well as the museum, the buildings house a cafe a nd a country shop which stocks the full range of David Mellor cutlery as well as a collection of the finest British crafts.
See also :
Hathersage Swimming Pool - Closed during thw winter
David Mellors Design Visitor Centre
Doctors in Hathersage
Evelyn Medical Centre
Marsh Avenue Hope S33 6RJ
Tel: 01433 621557
Accommodation in Hathersage
See Holiday Accommodation in Hathersage