We were promised that we would see the parts of Lyme that other tours didn’t reach, and so we did. But first we were given a brief history of the place. It started as a simple hunting lodge but the Elizabethans gave it a makeover and parts of the “L-shaped” building are still in evidence today. The big changes came in the early eighteenth century when an Italian architect was brought in. It was he who built the remaining two sides to make a hollow square, he who created the cloister effect in the courtyard and he who designed the classic Palladian South Front. The end result, however, was not an English country house but an Italian palazzo on the edge of the Peak District.
A hundred years later an English architect, Lewis Wyatt, made extensive but subtle alterations, particularly to the service rooms and servant quarters, and this made the house much more practicable and convenient. Our tour looked at how the house was organised and run in the “Golden Period” – that time before the First World War when this style of living was at its apogee.
A watery end to the summer strolls. Bugsworth Basin was the destination for 30 or so adventurers on a warm and sunny evening in July, the final summer stroll of this season’s three. Judith Wilshaw introduced us to our guide for the evening, Ian Edgar MBE, the Chairman of Bugsworth Basin Heritage Trust, (formerly the Inland Waterways Protection Society), and honorary Site Manager of Bugsworth Basin. Ian was the man who initiated the restoration of the Basin, and under his leadership, the IWPS has changed a derelict, weed-ridden hollow into a popular venue for the boating fraternity.
In the mid-Eighteenth Century Richard Arkwright, a wig maker from Preston, perfected a whacky new machine to spin strong cotton yarn suitable for use as both the warp and weft when weaving fabric on a loom. Not only could one of these ‘spinning frames’ spin lots of threads at once, but many of them could be linked up to a power source, so producing really large quantities of yarn. In order to develop his ideas, Arkwright came to Cromford near Matlock, an isolated area in the Derbyshire hills with an unlimited supply of fast flowing water from a hill stream and the drainage sough of a lead mine.....
20 people plus one handsome dog joined Neil Mullineux on Monday evening for his history tour of Glossop. We met at the car park at Melandra Fort (though one needs imagination to see the fort). From here Neil explained the topography of the valleys and how this influenced the various landowners over the years, including the Romans, the Abbots of Basingwerk and latterly perhaps “more recently”, the Dukes of Norfolk and several prominent mill owners. It was a glorious summer’s evening and it was a pleasure to stand on the hillside and survey one of the gateways to the Peak District.
All Saints Churchyard - Hilary Atkinson,15th May
With three walks to come, the Festival of Evening Strolls started for the Society, with this story of three churches in one. The bolt-on, to the Society’s season, that proved so successful last year, has been re-energized, by popular demand. Future visits to Glossop and Bugsworth Basin lay in store, as Monday 15th May dawned, the date of the first walk, the day of delving into the history of All Saint’s. Would the weather co-operate on the first summer outing?