Here at Landed Houses, we’ve just started working with Cliff House, Monsal, in the Peak District. Cliff House is our first big house in Derbyshire, and in researching its listing, we’ve most definitely fallen in love with the Peaks. We sent Carlie off to find out more.
Wow! What an amazing place! In my head, the Peak district was a place of mud, with lots of obsessive fitties in dayglo lycra running about the place. But golly I was wrong – it’s the most beautiful place, full of amazing views and gorgeous little villages.
Monsal Head, where Cliff House is perched, is particularly lovely. The house itself is above the village of Great Longstone, which is steeped (ha!) in history. On the village’s website (http://www.greatlongstone.net), I learnt about St Giles, which is a medieval church with gravestones dating back to the 1600’s. I also learnt about the hill fort – Fin Cop – which makes fascinating reading. No one knew why the hill fort was destroyed, nor by whom, and ongoing archaeological work is starting to reveal the story behind the mystery.
I’ve a real thing for hill forts, and ancient history (huge fan of Ch4’s Time Team), and apparently in 2011 the archaeologists discovered the skeletons of 7 women and children, whose bodies had been dumped in the fort’s ditch some 2,300 years ago. The poor things were in amongst the destruction debris of the main defensive wall. The Longstone historical society surmise that they must have died when Fin Cop was sacked, and its once-proud walls were levelled into the ditch. Even now, they still don’t know who attacked, nor why.
Tearing myself away from the hill fort, I came across a Blog written by local resident, Mike Watson. He has some great photos of the local area – my favourite being the sheep on Longstone Moor, and ‘The Steep and Treacherous Path Above The River’. You can see them here… http://viewman.blogspot.co.uk/
There’s so much more for me to find out about the Peak District (I haven’t even started on Matlock yet), and I’ll share my work on here. I hope to and visit in the summer, and meet Justin (in charge of Cliff House), and the rest of his team.
If any of you fancy visiting, you can stay in Cliff House, or some of the other properties Justin manages (he has links from the Cliff House website) – you can see details here… http://www.cliffhousemonsal.co.uk/
Do shout if there’s a particular area you think I should see, or learn about!
Carlie, at Landed Houses.