Hathersage is one of the more interesting villages in the Derwent Valley and
at the heart of the
Peak District National Park. It is 12 miles North east of Buxton and 8
miles from Sheffield.
Hathersage is an attractive, prosperous and busy village. It is well served
with all the modern shopping and accommodation facilities but at the same time
seems to retain its Peak District character.
Until the late 18th century Hathersage was a small agricultural village with
cottage industries making brass buttons and wire, but in 1750 Henry Cocker
started the Atlas Works, a mill for making wire. By the early 19th century
there were several such mills in operation and activities had spread to the
manufacture of needles and pins, for which Hathersage became famous. A paper
mill was also in operation near North Lees, making wrapping paper for the pins
and needles produced.
Wire and needle making moved to Sheffield at the end of the 19th century and
the last mill here closed in 1902, but several of the mills are still standing
- Dale Mill lies along the road to Ringinglow, Darvell's mill is at the top of
the main street, and down near the stream at the bottom of the village are
Atlas Works and Barnfield Works.
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. The Scotsmans Pack
hostelry is said to have been frequented by Little John and has a commemorative
chair in the lounge of the pub.
Charlotte Bronte stayed at The Old Vicarage in Hathersage in 1845 and used it
as the 'Morton' in her novel 'Jane Eyre' - taking the heroine's surname from
the ancient Eyre family who had been lords of the manor for over 800 years. She
also used North Lees Hall, an Elizabethan manor house 1 mile north of
Hathersage as Thornfield, the hall where Mrs Rochester jumped from the roof to
her death. North Lees is one seven halls built by Robert Eyre of Highlow for
his seven sons and is one of the finest Elizabethan buildings in the region.
The modern village has a range of very friendly pubs, hotels, including the
16th century George Hotel offering fabulous home cooked meals.
There are many shops including a Post Office, Bakery, Tea Rooms, Grocers,
Petrol station with small supermarket and 2 major banks. There are various
outdoor equipment suppliers including North Face, CCC and Outside. Three Estate
Agents are situated on The Main Road and there is also a local gym, 2
hairdressers and a beauty salon.
The railway station, on the Manchester-Sheffield line, lies on the southern
edge of the village and there is a good local bus service that provides a
regular service to Sheffield, Buxton, Bakewell and Chatsworth.
David Mellor, the famous designer and craftsman built a very interesting
modern cutlery factory, in 1999. The Round Building illustrates how a factory
can sit harmoniously within a National Park and is well worth a visit.
Hathersage has a RC church, St Michael's, being situated on the Main Road and
the Anglican Church of St Michael's and All Angels sits in a superb position
high up in the village, commanding extensive views of the Derwent valley. It is
thought to date back to the 12th century though building work has been recorded
from 1381. There is also a Methodist Church in the centre of Hathersage.