Birch Vale from Lower Cliff. Looking SSW across the Sett valley, with the end of Hayfield Wastewater Treatment Works just visible far left; in the centre is Birch Vale Reservoir and, beyond that, the houses of Birch Vale along the A6015.
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Birch Vale is a village in the High Peak district of Derbyshire, just outside the boundary of the Peak District National Park, between New Mills and Hayfield. Most of Birch Vale, including the attached hamlet of Thornsett, comes under the administration of New Mills Town Council, though the small part to the east of the former Grouse Inn public house is within the boundaries of Hayfield.
There are no shops, but two surviving public houses: the Sycamore Inn and Printers Arms in Thornsett. Previously, there were three more pubs: the Vine Tavern has closed permanently, the Waltzing Weasel became a B&B in 2013 and the Grouse Inn closed in January 2020.
There is a primary school in Thornsett.
Until 1970, Birch Vale had a railway station on a branch line from New Mills Central to Hayfield, with through trains to Manchester Piccadilly. Today, the trackbed of the former railway line carries the Sett Valley Trail; the nearest railheads are the stations in New Mills — Central and Newtown — about two miles away.
Factory fire 2009
In the early evening of Friday 2 October 2009 a large explosion was heard by residents as the Stirling Lloyd factory on a local industrial estate caught fire. It took around 16–20 hours to bring the fire under control. Local residents were evacuated shortly after police arrived. New Mills Fire and Rescue Team were among the first on the scene.
- "Area: Sett (Ward); Key Figures for 2001 Census: Census Area Statistics". Office for National Statistics. 2001. Retrieved 15 April 2014. Note that Sett Ward includes Thornsett, Rowarth and Little Hayfield as well as Birch Vale.
- "School Homepage". Thornsett Primary School. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
- Smith, Ian R & Fox, G K (2003). Manchester London Road to Hayfield: Scenes from The Past 45. Ian Allan Publishing. ISBN 1-870119-73-8.
- Bryant, Tom (9 March 2013). "Tess Daly reflects on the drug-taking and eating disorders which gripped the fashion world". Daily Record. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
- "Homes evacuated after explosion". BBC News. 2 October 2009. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
Media related to Birch Vale at Wikimedia Commons