Chapel-en-le-Frith is known as the 'Capital of the Peaks', and lies just off
the A6 road between Buxton and Stockport. Known by locals as 'Chapel', the main A6 from Buxton to Manchester once passed through the main street, causing congestion and pollution but a new by-pass opened in 1987 making things a little quieter though the modern town is still a busy, bustling place, with a population of around 8000.
Chapel-en-le-Frith derives its name from the church which was erected here by Foresters from the Royal Forest in 1225, Frith being a local word for forest.
After the Norman Conquest, and possibly before, the area was part of
the Royal hunting forest of the High Peak, and was part of the parish of
Hope, which meant almost a day's journey to attend a funeral or a
marriage. The foresters and keepers petitioned for a chapel of ease, which
was granted and the first church was built in 1225. It became known as
the Chapel in the Forest. Later it was dedicated to the martyred Thomas
a Becket, and for 700 years the successors of the foresters preserved the
right to elect their vicar.
Chapel-en-le-Frith's largest and most widely known employer is
Ferodo Ltd, producers of friction materials for the motor industry. The
company was formed in 1897 by a local gentleman, Mr Herbert Frood. The town expanded rapidly throughout the 19th century helped by the coming of the railway in 1870. Now only south station, on the Buxton-Manchester line, survives.
The market place is still cobbled and a very busy market is held every
Thursday, bringing in people from surrounding districts. It is surrounded by pubs and most of the remaining old buildings of the town. The market place also contains a fine old market cross, the old town stocks, the war memorial and a horse trough placed here to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
On the first Saturday in July each year Chapel-en-le-Frith comes alive
for the local carnival. The streets are gaily decorated, local shopkeepers
deck out their windows, and a colourful procession wends its way to the
Memorial Park.There is also a well-dressing.
Eccles Pike is situated to the south-west and rises
to a height of 1,250 ft above sea level and along with Castle Naze offers excellent views of the area.
Chapel photos at Derbyshire Photographs