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Main Road, Hathersage
Hathersage shown within Derbyshire
|Population||2,018 (2011 Census)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||HOPE VALLEY|
|EU Parliament||East Midlands|
|UK Parliament||Derbyshire Dales|
Hathersage (pronunciation: //) is a village in the Peak District in Derbyshire, England. It lies slightly to the north of the River Derwent, approximately 10 miles (16.1 km) 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 1086 it was recorded in the Domesday Book as Hereseige, and around 1220 it was recorded as Hauersegg.
The earliest recorded church was built by Richard Bassett, son of Ralph Bassett, Chancellor of England in the reign of Henry I. The present Grade-I-listed structure dates mainly from the late 14th and early 15th centuries. It has a stained glass window by Charles Kempe, which was removed from Derwent Chapel before it was submerged under the Ladybower Reservoir. Near the church is an earthwork called Camp Green, thought to have been constructed during the Danish occupation. It is also scheduled as a Norman ringwork castle of the 11th/12th century. 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 centimetres (28.50 in). This would have made Little John 8.08 feet (2.46 m) 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, on the outskirts of Hathersage.
In 1566, Christopher Schutz, a German immigrant, who invented a process for drawing wire, set up a works in Hathersage. This became important in sieves used by miners, and later developed into pin and needle production. This led to one of the first Factory Acts, because inhalation of grinding dust resulted in a life expectancy of only thirty years. In the mid-18th century, Hathersage became famous for its brass buttons. Some of the mill buildings from this industrial era have been converted into flats.
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 heated 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 in its river valleys or hillwalk on 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 to the old retort house on the site was opened as a Design Museum. Mellor's wife, Fiona MacCarthy, continues to live in Hathersage.
Hathersage has a population of 2,000 people with three churches, one school, and numerous community organisations. There is an annual gala and well dressing in July. On 1 April 2015 Hathersage and Outseats, the two parishes that currently comprise the village, will be replaced by a single new parish council, to be called Hathersage Parish Council.
- David Mills, ed. (2011). A Dictionary of British Place Names. Oxford University Press. p. 229. ISBN 9780199609086.
- English Heritage. "Church of St Michael and All Angels (Grade I) (1109793)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
- English Heritage. "Camp Green ringwork (1011200)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
- Neville T. Sharpe, Crosses of the Peak District (Landmark Collectors Library, 2002)
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