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Kniveton in Derbyshire

Kniveton in Derbyshire, is a pretty, grey stone village, sheltered in a deep hollow on the slope of madge hill.

Most people simply pass through Kniveton, on their way to Carsington Water but it is worth a look if only for its charming little church. The church consists only of a nave, chancel and a tower. The tower, built in the 13th century, is unbuttressed and contains small lancet windows, battlements and a short spire.

The medieval glass in the chancel depicts the arms of the family Kniveton. It was Lady Kniveton who gave the alter its lovely flagon and chalice in 1572. Sir Andrew Kniveton became so impoverished through his loyalty to Charles the First that he had to sell most of the family estates. The church also contains a 13th century font. An ancient yew guards the doorway to the church and still bares the grooves worn when the archers were sharpening their arrows.

Just north of the village is the Bronze Age burial mound at Wigber Low which has revealed some important remains from the village`s past.

The village has a pub called the Red Lion, and a post office.

Other local places of interest

Carsington Reservoir, known as Carsington Water, was opened by the Queen in 1992. It was formed by the damming of Scow Brook and in the winter months is filled by pumping water up from the river Derwent, about six and a half miles away near Whatstandwell. During the summer months it provides water for the west midlands.

There is a large visitors centre and car park on its western shore. The centre has some interesting exhibits, which tell the story of water and of carsington reservior, all graphically explained. Next to the visitors centre is a water sports centre where sailing, canoeing, rafting,windsurfing and fishing are all available and boats and other equipment can be hired out here. One third of the reservior is set aside for conservation work, but a track does go all the way round the water and is suitable for walkers,bikers and horse riders. At the visitors centre there is also a cafe, a restaurant, a picnic area, craft shops and a childrens play area.

The reservoir is a mecca for birds and other wildlife. Wildfowl are abundant including tuffted ducks, pochards and widgeon, and at migration time, the reservoir attracts all sorts of unusual waders and other seabirds. There is a carsington bird club, who have erected hides along the waters edge, some with exhibits of the birdlife to be found.

Closeby is Hopton, a small village with an Elizabethan Hall, that until 1989 was the home of the Gell family, who had made their fortune from nearby limestone Quarring. Antony Gell founded the school and almshouses in Wirksworth that bear his name.He is buried in the churchyard at Wirksworth.

Sir John Gell was a parliamentary General in the civil war. Sir William Gell was a classical scholar, traveller and friend of Sir Walter Scott, and Philip Gell built the Via Gellia in the 18th century. The village shares the same church as Carsington next door, a small church, rebuilt in 1648 in the Gothic style and dedicated to St Margaret.

Church of St Michael at kniveton, derbyshire
Church of St Michael
kniveton chapel
Kniveton chapel

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