Beeley village is situated at the southern end of Chatsworth Park in Derbyshire and the Peak Disrict National Park. It nestles between the moors and the River Derwent in a lovely setting. It is mainly built of gritstone. Arthur Mee wrote in his classic text on Derbyshire 'Beeley has joys of its own, hidden from those who rush by. Its roads go up and down and twist and turn as they take us by houses of old grey stone, by cottage and school and old grey hall, by a little green with a lovely lime, to ancient church with sturdy tower, close to gabled vicarage.'
There is no village post office but Beeley still retains a popular public house called the Devonshire Arms. A village shop can be found at the Old Smithy which has been recently restored. Beeley Old Hall dates from the 17th century and is situated at the north eastern edge of the village. Charles Dickens stayed at the hall in the 1860's as a guest of Augustus Mayhew, whose wife painted a portrait of Dickens sitting alongside 3 ladies in the walled garden.
The church of St Anne's was heavily restored in the 19th century but retains a Norman doorway, a 14th century tower and contains memorials to the Cavendish family. The Parish register dates back to 1538. At wedding services, tradition and superstition demands that the bride and groom must not approach by the west gate and must pay coinage to leave by the narrow east gate, the wider one being used for funerals. In 1785 one lady died on her way to be married.
Chapel street contains the Wesleyan Chapel originally constructed in 1806 and rebuilt with adjoining schoolroom in 1891. The basement provided stabling for the preachers horse and housed a fire engine during the war. It is now a residential unit. At the foot of Chapel Hill stands a group of 3 buildings known as the Paxton cottages, actually designed by G H Stokes, Paxton's son in law and built to rehouse people from Edensor village when it was redeveloped in the mid 19th century.
The Duke's Barn, built in 1791, once housed the cart horses which provided transport for the Chatsworth estate. Given to the Royal School for the deaf by the eleventh duke in 1986, it is now run as an outdoor pursuit centre for all children.
There is a bronze age barrow up on Beeley Moor, which rises 1200 feet above the village, called Hob Hurts's House. One can climb the steep slopes to the thickly clad Lindup Woods.
Beeley is still very much an estate village, housing people who work on the Chatsworth estate. It is in a quiet, idyllic setting and has been designated a conservation area.
For holiday accommodation around Chatsworth see Holiday Accommodation around Chatsworth
Please visit Derbyshire Photographs for larger photos of Beeley