Elton, situated in Derbyshire and the Peak District National Park, lies high on the White Peak plateau at a point where limestone meets gritstone. This is reflected in the varied 17th and 18th century buildings and the fact that there is a noticeable difference of soil types either side of the main village road.
Elton is surrounded by the remains of centuries of lead mining revealed in the numerous bumps and hollows in nearby fields. All of its inhabitants, 200 years ago would have worked either in the mines or on the land.
Elton village hall
Elton village has become a popular centre for walkers, with some easy strolls exploring local ancient monuments. The Limestone Way, a long-distance bridleway also lies just to the east of the village. There is a Youth Hostel, formerly Elton Hall, an interesting building with a semicircular pediment above the door dated 1668. Elton Common and Borther Low, both contain Bronze age barrows and there is rock climbing at Gratcliff Tor. At the foot of the tor is a cave which contains a curved crucifix, stone seat and a candle niche believed to have been carved out by a medieval hermit.
A mile north of Elton, on Harthill Moor, is Castle Ring, a prehistoric hill fort standing in a private field behind Harthill Moor Farm. Castle Ring is quite impressive and stories abound about fairies who emerge at night when the moon is full, for music and dancing. Also closeby is Robin Hoods Stride a gritstone crag which at twilight looks like a large house, giving the outcrop its alternative name `Mock Beggars Hall`.
Elton church, called All Saints, has an unbuttressed western tower with circled windows and battlements. It was rebuilt in 1812 after a much earlier building was destroyed when its spire collapsed, possibly due to subsidence through local lead mining. It has a font which is an exact replica to the one at Youlgrave, a 12th century one. The original font was at Elton but without knowing its true worth, the villagers allowed it to go to Youlgrave, where it was recognised for its antiquity and placed in the parish church. After realizing their mistake and years of wrangling, Elton had to make do with a replica.