Darley Dale

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Darley Dale
St.Helens Church, Darley Dale - cropped - 87882.jpg
St. Helen's Church, Darley Dale
Darley Dale is located in Derbyshire
Darley Dale
Darley Dale
 Darley Dale shown within Derbyshire
Population 5,413 (Parish, 2011)[1]
OS grid reference SK270632
Civil parish Darley Dale
District Derbyshire Dales
Shire county Derbyshire
Region East Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town MATLOCK
Postcode district DE4 2xx
Dialling code 01629
Police Derbyshire
Fire Derbyshire
Ambulance East Midlands
EU Parliament East Midlands
UK Parliament West Derbyshire
List of places

Coordinates: 53°09′58″N 1°35′46″W / 53.166°N 1.596°W / 53.166; -1.596

Darley Dale, also known simply as Darley, is a town and civil parish in Derbyshire, England, with a population of around 6,000. It lies north of Matlock, on the River Derwent and the A6 road. It is a commuter town for workers in Matlock. Darley Bridge lies on the other side of the Derwent. Darley Hillside is the name given to the north eastern part of the village, away from the A6, on the local road between Northwood and Two Dales.


A Benedictine Abbey was built here under the reign of Henry I[2] in the twelfth century.

The town grew in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries around the lead mining and smelting industries.

Notable people[edit]

The grave of Sir Joseph Whitworth, in the grounds of St Helen's parish church (Whitworth's grave is the central tomb)

Notable people associated with Darley Dale include:

Notable buildings and attractions[edit]

Notable buildings in the town include its fourteenth century parish church St. Helens, with a yew tree which is thought to be at least 2000 years old. Much older than an oak tree in Bethlehem. The south transept has a stained glass window by Burne-Jones and William Morris. Other attractions include the Peak Rail railway which runs from Rowsley South to Matlock via Darley Dale railway station and the Whitworth Park, a large park located next to the railway.

The town was the winner of the 2003 Britain in Bloom, in the category of 'Large Village'.

A biennial arts festival, the Darley Dale Arts Festival, is held in July in odd-numbered years.[4]

At the bottom of Station Road lies Darley Dale railway station. National rail services ceased in the 1960s however the station is now occupied by the railway and heritage preservation group Peak Rail. From there, a heritage steam service operates south to Matlock and north to Rowsley South, with a route distance of approximately five miles.

An annual transport festival, the Darley Dale Festival of Transport, is held at the bottom of Station Road every September.[5]

Next to Darley Dale is the St Elphin's Park, which during the early 19th century was a spa and latterly a well known boarding school for girls, St Elphin's School The school closed in 2005. In December 2010 a website was published about the school which is continually being updated with photographs, magazines, information and news items (http://www.stelphins.co.uk)..[6]

Nearby is the holiday resort Darwin Forest Country Park.

Two Dales[edit]

In nearby Two Dales, Ladygrove Mill was built for spinning cotton by Abraham Flint, but converted to flax spinning in 1789 by Daniel Dakeyne of Knabb House. It was expanded by his sons, Edward and James, who built a series of three dams on the Sydnope Valley rising to 96 feet. To cope with the water pressure, they invented a revolutionary water-pressure powered "disc engine", which they patented in 1830 as the Dakeyne hydraulic disc engine.[7][8] It was the progenitor of a type, now known as a "nutating disc engine" (which has been the subject of entrepreneurial interest in the 21st century). The mills and equipment have virtually disappeared but the remains of the dams can still be seen.

The Plough Inn public house in Two Dales was the reason behind former England international footballer Eddie Shimwell's transfer from Sheffield United to Blackpool in December 1946. Shimwell wanted to buy the pub, but Sheffield United would not allow it, due to their ban on players becoming publicans, so the full-back put in a transfer request.[9]


  1. ^ Whitworth bought Stancliffe Hall and supplied four six-ton blocks of stone from its quarry, for the lions of St. George's Hall in Liverpool. He endowed the Whitworth Institute, where the hospital was later founded in memory of his wife.


  1. ^ "Neighbourhood Statistics". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Pigot and Co's Commercial Directory for Derbyshire, 1835
  3. ^ Tom Chambers' biography at IMDb Retrieved June 2007
  4. ^ The bi-annual Arts Festival
  5. ^ The Annual Darley Dale Festival of Transport
  6. ^ St Elphin's Park Retirement Village
  7. ^ "The Romping Lion" - The story of the Dakeyne Disc Engine by Phil Wigfull
  8. ^ "Inventors". The Romping Lion, Peakland Heritage site. 
  9. ^ Gillatt, Peter (30 November 2009). Blackpool FC on This Day: History, Facts and Figures from Every Day of the Year. Pitch Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-905411-50-2. 

External links[edit]