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Main Road, Hathersage
Hathersage shown within Derbyshire
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||HOPE VALLEY|
|EU Parliament||East Midlands|
|UK Parliament||Derbyshire Dales|
Hathersage is a village in the Peak District in Derbyshire, England. It lies slightly to the north of the River Derwent, approximately 10 miles west of Sheffield. The origin of its name is disputed, although it is generally accepted that the second half derives from the Old English word "ecg" meaning edge. In the Domesday Book it is listed as Hereseige.
The earliest recorded church was built by Richard Bassett, son of Ralph Bassett, Chancellor of England in the reign of Henry I. The present structure mainly dates from the late Fourteenth and early Fifteenth Century. It has a stained glass window by Charles Kempe, which was removed from Derwent Chapel before it was submerged under the Ladybower Reservoir. Near to the church there is an earthwork called Camp Green, which is thought to have been constructed in the Danish occupation. It is also scheduled as a Norman ringwork castle of the C11/C12. In the graveyard lies the base and lower shaft of a plain early Saxon cross.
Stones in the churchyard mark what is known as the grave of Little John, where in 1780 James Shuttleworth claims to have unearthed a thigh bone measuring 72.39 cm. This would have made Little John 8.08 feet in height. One claimant to Robin Hood "of Locksley" is the village of Loxley, only eight miles over the moors on the edge of Sheffield. A number of local landmarks are associated with Robin Hood, such as Robin Hood's Cross on Abney Moor, Robin Hood's Stoop on Offerton Moor, and Robin Hood’s Cave, on Stanage Edge.
In 1845, Charlotte Brontë stayed at the Hathersage vicarage, visiting her friend Ellen Nussey, whose brother was the vicar, while she was writing Jane Eyre. Many of the locations mentioned in her novel match locations in Hathersage, the name Eyre being that of a local gentry family. Her "Thornfield Hall" is widely accepted to be North Lees Hall situated on the outskirts of Hathersage.
In 1566, Christopher Schutz, a German immigrant, had invented a process for drawing wire, set up a works in Hathersage. This became important for the sieves used by miners, and developed later into the production of pins and needles. This led to one of the first Factory Acts, because inhalation of grinding dust resulted in a life expectancy was around only thirty years. In the mid-eighteenth century, Hathersage became famous for its brass buttons.
Because of the scenery of the Hope and Derwent valleys, literary connections, and easy access by train or road from Sheffield and Manchester, Hathersage is a tourist destination. Its visitors come to swim (open-air swimming pool with cafe open all year), climb (Stanage Edge, which with other nearby edges have been the nursery for many famous British rock and mountain climbers), or ramble its beautiful river valleys or hillwalk its open moors.
In 1990, the cutler David Mellor opened the Round Building built on the site of a former gasometer as a cutlery factory in the village. The building was designed by architect Sir Michael Hopkins. In 2007, an extension was opened as a Design Museum, in a new extension to the old retort house on the site. Mellor's wife, Fiona MacCarthy, continues to live in Hathersage.
- English Heritage National Heritage List Scheduling report no 1011200
- Neville T. Sharpe, Crosses of the Peak District (Landmark Collectors Library, 2002)
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