Peak Forest

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Peak Forest
Peak Forest Church.jpg
The church
Peak Forest is located in Derbyshire
Peak Forest
Peak Forest
Peak Forest shown within Derbyshire
Population 335 (2011)
OS grid reference SK113793
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BUXTON
Postcode district SK17
Dialling code 01298
Police Derbyshire
Fire Derbyshire
Ambulance East Midlands
EU Parliament East Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
53°18′36″N 1°49′52″W / 53.310°N 1.831°W / 53.310; -1.831Coordinates: 53°18′36″N 1°49′52″W / 53.310°N 1.831°W / 53.310; -1.831

Peak Forest is a small village and civil parish on the main road the (A623) from Chapel-en-le-Frith to Chesterfield in Derbyshire. The population of the civil parish at the 2011 census was 335.[1]

The village grew from the earlier settlement of Dam (still inhabited, with a number of houses and farms) at the conjunction of Perrydale and Damdale. There is an inn, a church and a primary school.[2] Its name probably derives from the Forest of High Peak.

Its church is dedicated to 'Charles, King & Martyr' (King Charles I of England, executed in 1649).[3] First erected in 1657, it was replaced in 1878 as a gift from the Duke of Devonshire. Until an Act of Parliament was passed in 1804 its minister was able to perform marriages without the need for reading the banns, and the village was known as the Gretna Green of Derbyshire.

The Peak Forest Canal, although originally aiming for the limestone quarries in Great Rocks Dale just to the south of the village, never reached nearer than Buxworth, seven miles away, where it terminates at Bugsworth Basin. Instead, a horse-drawn tramway, the Peak Forest Tramway, was constructed in the late 18th century to connect the canal with the quarries between Dove Holes and Peak Forest.

The original limestone-carrying purpose of the canal was replaced long ago by the mineral railway line serving the quarries around Buxton and joining the ManchesterSheffield line, via a couple of magnificent diverging viaducts over the Black Brook valley at Chapel Milton (between Chapel-en-le-Frith and Chinley). Its railway station (now closed) was built by the Midland Railway, two miles away at Small Dale. This was on its extension of the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway, part of the main Midland Line from Manchester to London. It was also the northern junction for the line from Buxton.


  1. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 30 March 2016. 
  2. ^ Peak Forest CofE Primary School
  3. ^ Peak Forest, Genuki, accessed 1 January 2009