Baslow is a village in Derbyshire, England, in the Peak District, lying between Sheffield and Bakewell. It is situated on the River Derwent just north of Chatsworth House. A seventeenth century bridge spans the river in the village, alongside which is a contemporary toll house. The village, part of the Baslow and Bubnell parish, has a population of approximately 1,100.
The village may be (informally) considered as having three parts, as described below.
Bridge End is the original settlement, clustered around All Saints' Church and the ancient bridge and ford across the River Derwent. The church boasts a Saxon coffin lid in the porch entrance, but the oldest part of the current building, the north aisle, dates from about 1200. The tower was constructed in the 13th century but the rest of the church is newer and was the subject of an extensive restoration in the 19th century.
A sundial lies in the church grounds, atop the shaft, base and steps of a cross. This may have acted as a market cross in the seventeenth century. A second cross lies in the graveyard, moved from Bubnell by Doctor Wrench, who erected the nearby Wellington Monument and is buried in the churchyard. This cross may historically have been known as the "Butter Cross".
Just behind the church lies the old bridge. Built in 1603, this is the oldest bridge across the Derwent never to have been destroyed by floods.
The eastern end of the village is called Nether End and contains an entrance to Chatsworth Park. The area is popular with tourists and visitors to the village due to a concentration of hotels, pubs and restaurants, tea rooms, a caravan site and a pedestrian entrance to Chatsworth Park. Just outside Nether End (and the village itself) are the so-called "Golden Gates", a set of gates dating from the 1st Duke's rebuilding of Chatsworth, which were moved here by Sir Joseph Paxton for William Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire, in the 19th century to make a new entrance to the park, following its extension northwards towards Baslow in the 1830s. The gates are now only rarely used; most usually when large public events are held in the park.
The third area of Baslow is called Over End and is a residential area on the hillside to the north of the village. Its primary feature of interest is Baslow Hall, which was once occupied by Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti, the radio and electrical pioneer and inventor, and next by George Kenning. Previously, this section of the village was the site of a large Hydropathic hotel, but this was demolished in 1936.
Outside the village
The edges around Baslow, such as Froggatt Edge, offer fine walking and rock climbing, with splendid views over the Derwent valley. To the north of the village, Baslow Edge was once quarried for gritstone and features the Eagle Stone, an isolated 6-metre high block of gritstone. Tradition has it that the local men had to climb this rock before they were worthy of marriage. Just behind it there is a monument to the Duke of Wellington, raised in 1866 by a local worthy, Dr Lieutenant Colonel E. M. Wrench. It marked an earlier visit by Wellington to the moor, and was also intended as a balance to the nearby Nelson Monument.
- Frederic Barker was born here and was vicar here before being Bishop of Sydney.
- Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan lives here.
- Dr E.M. Wrench's papers are held by the department of Manuscripts and Special Collections, The University of Nottingham.
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