The Dove, Derbyshire
Dove, The, a river of Derbyshire and Staffordshire. It rises near Axedge Hill, 4 miles SSW of Buxton, and runs about 40 miles chiefly southward, partly east-south-eastward along the boundary of the two counties to the Trent at Newton-Solney. Its chief tributaries are the Manifold at Thorp-Cloud and the Churnet at Rocester. Its current is never slow, sometimes smooth and solemn, sometimes rapid, impetuous, and even turbulent, and its flanks are so varied½ind picturesque as, jointly with its current, to render it one of the most beautiful of streams. A narrow, winding, rocky dell in its course, between 2 and 3 miles long, called par excellence Dovedale, 5 miles from Ashborne, displays a series of romantic close views. The large, conspicuous, bare, limestone mountain of Thorp Cloud, in the form of a truncated cone, is at the entrance. Abrupt vast rocks and slippery crags, variegated with mosses, lichens, yews, and mountain-ash trees, succeed in rich variety, become increasingly rugged, and soon make such near approaches on the opposite sides as to seem to be meeting overhead and shutting up the gorge. In some places they shoot aloft in isolated masses to the height of from 180 to 240 feet, like spires or conical pyramids; in others they project their scattered and uncovered heads over the stream, upheld by fragments which appear unequal to sustain the tremendous weight. At one point a portal for the stream is formed on one side by a mighty insulated pillar, on the other by a cliff with conical summit soaring to the sky; at another is a magnificent natural Gothic arch called Reynard's Hole; at several points are curious caverns, and below the chasm, down toward Uttoxeter and beyond, are verdant meadows, followed by bold hills. Cotton lived at Beresford Hall, near the most romantic part of the dale; Izaac Walton luxuriated there in his piscatory pleasures, and Congreve wrote his " Old Batchelor" and his " Mourning Bride " in a grotto on the grounds of Ham Hill. The rivet-is subject to sudden freshets, and makes a rich deposit on the meadows below the dale, insomuch that an old rhyme says-" In April Dove's flood Is worth a king's good."