Hayfield is situated on the River Sett below the exposed moorland of Kinder Scout, 10 miles north of Buxton and 5 miles south of Glossop. Its position makes it a popular centre for exploring the area with many amenities for walkers and mountain bikers many of whom use it as the starting point for the western ascent of Kinder.
On April 24th 1932, it was from Bowden Bridge Quarry, a mile west of the village, that the famous Kinder Scout Mass Trespass set out to exercise the ramblers right to roam the then forbidden moorland. Five rambers were later arrested and imprisoned for their part of the demonstration.
Hayfield is mentioned in the Domesday Book when it was called 'Hedfeld' and was a natural clearing in the vast forest that once covered the whole of this area of North Derbyshire. It was once a stopping place for coaches between Buxton and Glossop and also on one of the main packhorse routes between Cheshire and Yorkshire.
Like its neighbour New Mills, Hayfield grew up around the textile industry, mainly wool weaving and calico printing, utilising the fast flowing waters of the river Sett. These industries have now long gone. The river Sett was a much more substantial river in those days running through what became the centre of the village and had such power that it swept away at least two earlier bridges built on the site of the existing which dates from 1837. It was eventually tamed in 1911 when an earth Dam was constructed in the Kinder Valley forming a Reservoir to supply Stockport with drinking water.
The other river 'Phoside brook' runs down a stone culvert under The Bulls Head Inn to appear for a few yards between the Inn and Steeple End Fold before it disappears under Station Road and the Church to reappear below the Waterfall and can be seen from the memorial gardens emerging from under Walk Mill
Today Hayfield is split into roughly two halves, intersected by the A624 bypass. One half contains the traditional village centre, including several shops and businesses, while the other half contains mostly dwellings along with a handful of businesses. The bypass was built to ease heavy traffic that once travelled through the narrow main streets of the village.
The Parish Church of St. Matthew in Hayfield was founded in the 14th century but was largely rebuilt in 1817?18. Remnants of the earlier building are visible in the crypt. The tower was built in 1793 and raised with a clock added in 1894. The interior is galleried on three sides and contains a notable monument of 1786 to Joseph Hague, moved here from Glossop church. Other than the church, Fox Hall (dated 1625) and an adjoining barn are the earliest surviving buildings in the village. The Methodist chapel ( St John's ) was built in 1782 and contains round arched windows.
A 19th-century railway line from New Mills closed in 1970 and the dismantled trackbed now forms a popular 2½-mile recreational route, the Sett Valley Trail. A short-lived continuation to the line was built in the early 20th century to convey materials and workmen during the construction of Kinder Reservoir.
As well as being a traditional starting point for the ascent of Kinder Scout, the village lies directly on the Pennine Bridleway long-distance route (part of which follows the Sett Valley Trail). Other local destinations for walkers and mountain bikers include Lantern Pike (also accessible from Little Hayfield), a prominent hill to the northwest of the village.
Hayfield is the home of the Kinder Mountain Rescue Team.
There are several pubs including the Pack Horse which dates from 1850 and the George.
Well dressing has recently been introduced and an annual May Queen procession is held in the village, as are sheepdog trials at nearby Little Hayfield in September.
Arthur Lowe, the actor most famed for his role as Captain George Mainwaring in the television show Dad's Army, was born and raised in Hayfield.
Accommodation around Hayfield
For more accommodation around Hayfield try
Derbyshire Accommodation or Peak District Accommodation
St. Matthew's Church at Hayfield
For some excellent photographs of Hayfield please visit Derbyshire & Peak District Photographs