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Carsington Village and Hopton Hall

Carsington is a quiet village which lies between the market towns of Wirksworth and Ashbourne in the Derbyshire Peak District, close to Carsington Water. Hopton Hall and afew dwellings lie to the north of the village. In the 7th century, one of the Northern saints, a monk named Betti, came down from Northum- berland and set up a preaching cross, which now stands on the village green. The cross previously stood in the grounds of Hopton Hall.

The Carsington church of St Margaret is of 12th century origin but was rebuilt in 1648 in Gothic style and stands on the bottom slopes of Carsington Pastures. An entry in the register dated 29th September 1668 reads: 'Sarah Tissington died. Born without hands or arms. She learned to knit, dig in the garden and do other things with her feet.

Carsington Pastures is about 365 acres of open grazing land which rises steeply above the village to a height of over 1,000 ft above sea level. On the summit there is a large stone landmark, marked on the Ordnance Survey as the King's Chair, but known locally as the Lady Chair. The ground is scarred with remains of lead mines, the main source of wealth for the village for several hundred years and worked first by the Romans. A Roman pig of lead was found on the Owslow farm some years ago. Several of the old cottages in the village would have been originally the coes which were built round a mine shaft and at least one of them still has the mine shaft below the kitchen floor. A thick seam ot lead was exposed during grave digging operations by the sexton in the 1930s, but could not be worked as the lead mining laws did not allow the mining of lead in churchyards, orchards or gardens.

For many years no building of any kind took place, but during the late 20th century, a bypass was built as well as the new Carsington reservoir for the Severn Trent Water Authority. This has brought alterations to the villages with new houses being built and barns belonging to the farms along the valley being turned into desirable residences. There are only two farms left now in Hopton and the last farm in Carsington village was sold in 1990.

snowdrops at hopton hall
Snowdrops ar Hopton Hall

snowdrops at hopton hall
Gardens at Hopton Hall

The Gell family lived at Hopton Hall for several centuries until it was sold in 1989 and their influence can be seen throughout both villages. The Hall has been rebuilt and altered over the centuries but there is a part of the original Elizabethan hall still standing with the red brick addition of later years surrounding it. The main road originally ran beside the school and across the front of the Hall until the later road was built. That is the reason for the Miners Arms inn, a large three-storey building of the 16th century, stands with its back to the main road, facing the little lane which was the old road. The school, which is still used, dates back to 1726 when it was erected by Temperance Gell.

The Hall gardens are enclosed by a high red brick wall, which is hollow with a stove at one end. The hollow wall conducted heat from the fire round the wall, against which were grown various kinds of fruit trees This warmth, together with its south-facing position, ensured an early crop of peaches and other fruits for the house. This was built by Sir Philip Gell, who founded the almshouses for the poor of Hopton and Carsington in 1722. The road to Cromford known as the Via Gellia, or Gell's road. was also built at this time to convey the world famous Hopton Wood stone, which was being quarried on his land at Hopton, to the newly opened Cromford Canal from where it was despatched worldwide.

Holiday Accommodation around Carsington and Hopton

Accommodation in the area can be found at Accommodation in Derbyshire and the Peak District and

Also see Carsington Water for information on the reservoir.

carsington village
Carsington village
carsington village green
Carsington village green
carsington village church
Carsington church

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