Hathersage, formerly Heather-Edge (St. Michael)

HATHERSAGE, formerly Heather-Edge (St. Michael), a parish, in the unions of Bakewell and Chapel-en-le-Frith, hundred of High-Peak, N. division of the county of Derby, 9 miles (N. by E.) from Bakewell; comprising the chapelries of Derwent and Stony-Middleton, the township of Hathersage, and the hamlets of Bamford and Outseats; and containing 2054 inhabitants, of whom 830 are in the township. The parish is situated on the road from Manchester to Sheffield, in a beautiful vale watered by the river Derwent, which abounds with trout. It comprises about 9760 acres, whereof nearly 7000 are moor; the soil is of gritty quality, and the surface diversified with numerous hills. The population is partly employed in the manufacture of wire and needles; there is a cotton-mill at Bamford, and stone is quarried, which is made into mill-stones for the Sheffield market. A fair for sheep is held on the 26th October. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £7. 0. 5.; net income, £126; patron and impropriator, the Duke of Devonshire. The tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1808; the glebe comprises 216 acres, of which about 170 are moor. The church is in the later English style, with a square embattled tower surmounted by a lofty and richly crocketed spire: in the chancel are several monuments of the family of Eyre, ancestors of the earls of Newburgh; on an altartomb, represented on brass plates, are effigies of Robert Eyre, who fought in the battle of Agincourt, and of his wife and fourteen children. On the south side of the churchyard is a spot shown as the place of interment of Little John, the favourite companion of Robin Hood. The body of B. Ashton, Esq., who was buried in a vault in the church in 1725, was discovered in 1781, quite perfect and petrified, retaining the flesh colour as when entombed. There are chapels at Stony-Middleton and Derwent; and the Wesleyans and Roman Catholics have places of worship. Eastward from the church is Camp Green, a circular inclosure encompassed by a single mound and moat, evidently of Danish origin. In the vicinity are some irregular rocks, called rocking-stones, or rock basins, and a curious natural cave, called Robin Hood's cave.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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