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Hathersage (Derbyshire)

Hathersage shown within Derbyshire
District Derbyshire Dales
Shire county Derbyshire
Region East Midlands
Constituent country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district S32
Dialling code 01433
Police Derbyshire
Fire Derbyshire
Ambulance East Midlands
European Parliament East Midlands
UK Parliament High Peak
List of places: UKEnglandDerbyshire

Coordinates: 53°19'48?N 1°39'29?W? / ?53.33, -1.658

Hathersage (from heather's edge) is a village in Derbyshire Peak District, in England. It lies on the north bank of the River Derwent, approximately 10 miles west of Sheffield.

It is served by Hathersage railway station on the Hope Valley Line.

St Michael's church in Hathersage.
St Michael's church in Hathersage.

It has a medieval church with a stained glass window by Charles Kempe, which had been removed from Derwent Chapel, before it was submerged under the Ladybower Reservoir. On a circular mound next to the mediaeval church, there is an earthwork called Camp Green, which is probably a fortification built by the Danes around 850 CE.

There are local claims to links with the Robin Hood story. 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 72.39cm : this would have made Little John 8.08 feet in height. One claimant to the "Locksley" in Robin's "real" name ("Robin of Locksley") is the village of Loxley, only eight miles over the moors on the edge of Sheffield. Robin is said to have used Robin Hood’s Cave, on Stanage Edge above the village, as a hideaway.

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 and many of the locations mentioned in her novel match locations in Hathersage, the name Eyre being that of a large extended family of landed gentry in that part of Derbyshire. Her "Thornfield Hall" for example is widely accepted to be North Lees Hall situated on the outskirts of Hathersage.

In the mid-eighteenth century Hathersage was famous for its brass buttons. In 1566, Christopher Schutz, a German immigrant had invented a process for drawing wire and set up a works in Hathersage. This became important for nail making, and for the sieves used by miners. It developed into the production of pins and needles. This led to one of the first Factory Acts, for working conditions were so bad, from the inhalation of grinding dust, that the workers' life expectancy was around only thirty years. The workshops closed around 1900 as mechanised production appeared in Sheffield.

Hathersage Moor is the site of the Carl Wark hillfort and Higger Tor.

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 popular tourist destination. Its visitors come to swim (open-air swimming pool with cafe open all year), climb (Stanage Edge, and other nearby edges have been the nursey for many famous British rock and mountain climbers), ramble (beautiful river valleys), hillwalk (open moors and hillltop views), or eat and drink (many pubs and cafes, some at elevated positions ideal for a mid-walk rest).

In 1990, the cutler David Mellor opened the Round Building as a factory in the village. His wife Fiona MacCarthy continues to live in Hathersage.

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