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Coordinates: 53°12′47″N 1°40′41″W / 53.213°N 1.678°W / 53.213; -1.678

All Saint's Parish Church, Bakewell, Derbyshire.jpg
Bakewell All Saints' parish church as viewed from the south
Bakewell is located in Derbyshire

 Bakewell shown within Derbyshire
Population 3,979 (Parish)
OS grid reference SK2168
Parish Bakewell
District Derbyshire Dales
Shire county Derbyshire
Region East Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BAKEWELL
Postcode district DE45
Dialling code 01629
Police Derbyshire
Fire Derbyshire
Ambulance East Midlands
EU Parliament East Midlands
UK Parliament West Derbyshire
List of places: UK • England • Derbyshire

Bakewell is a small market town in the Derbyshire Dales district of Derbyshire, England, deriving its name from 'Beadeca's Well'.[1] It is the only town included in the Peak District National Park, and is well known for the local confection Bakewell Pudding (often mistaken for the Bakewell Tart). It is located on the River Wye, about thirteen miles (21 km) southwest of Sheffield, 31 miles (50 km) southeast of Manchester, and 30 miles (48 km) north of the county town of Derby; nearby towns include Chesterfield to the east and Buxton to the west northwest. According to the 2001 Census the civil parish of Bakewell had a population of 3,979. The town is close to the tourist attractions of Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall.



Although there is evidence of earlier settlements in the area, Bakewell itself was probably founded in Anglo Saxon times, when Bakewell was in the Anglian kingdom of Mercia. Bakewell Parish Church, a Grade I listed building, was founded in 920 and has a 9th century cross in the churchyard. The present church was constructed in the 12th and 13th centuries but was virtually rebuilt in the 1840s by William Flockton.[2] By Norman times Bakewell had gained some importance—the town, and its church (having two priests) being mentioned in the Domesday Book.

A market was established in 1254, and Bakewell developed as a trading centre. The Grade I listed five-arched bridge over the River Wye at Bakewell was constructed in the 13th century, and is one of the few surviving remnants of this earlier period.[3] A chalybeate spring was discovered, and a bath house built in 1697. This led to an 18th century bid to develop Bakewell as a spa town, in the manner of Buxton. The construction of the Lumford Mill by Richard Arkwright in 1777 was followed by the rebuilding of much of the town in the 19th century.


Villages near Bakewell include Ashford-in-the-Water, Elton, Great Longstone, Monyash, Over Haddon, Sheldon, Rowsley, Pilsley and Youlgreave.


Bakewell attracts many domestic and international tourists. Monday is a particularly popular day for visitors as this is the day that the traditional market is held in the town. The cattle market is housed in a new purpose built agricultural centre, across the river from the main part of the town. A medium sized stall market is held in the town centre. There is a picturesque public park, alongside the River Wye, which has its source in nearby Buxton (illus. below). For a town of its size, it has a very large town centre. This is mainly because of the touristic nature of the town.

A major employer within the town is the Peak District National Park Authority, based at Aldern House on the Baslow Road. The National Park Authority is tasked with conserving and enhancing, as well as promoting understanding and enjoyment, of the local area.[4] Opposite Aldern House is another major employer, Newholme Hospital, an NHS cottage hospital providing outpatient clinic services to the local community.


Bakewell Cross, in the churchyard of Bakewell Parish Church

All Saints Church is a Grade I listed church founded in 920, during Saxon times and the churchyard has two 9th century Saxon crosses. During restoration work, in the 1840s, many carved fragments of Saxon stonework were found in and around the porch, as well as some ancient stone coffins.

One cross is the Beeley Cross, dug up in a field at a disputed location near Beeley and moved for some years to the grounds of Holt House near Darley Bridge. Although only the base and lower part of the shaft survive, it stands over five feet high and is carved on all four faces.[5]

The other cross is the Bakewell Cross, eight feet high and almost complete. It was carved in the seventh of eighth century and shows a number of scenes including one of the Annunciation. This cross may originally have stood at Hassop Cross Roads, although there is no firm evidence as to this.[5]

The church contains a selection of cross fragments and carved stones collected by Thomas Bateman and donated to Weston Park Museum in Sheffield before being moved to Bakewell in 1899.[5]




Access was much improved by the arrival of the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway in 1862, later the Midland Railway and LMS main line from London to Manchester. John Ruskin objected to what he saw as the desecration of the Derbyshire countryside, all so that "a Buxton fool may be able to find himself in Bakewell in twelve minutes, and vice versa." In return for the Duke of Rutland's permission for the line to pass through his estate at Haddon Hall, the Bakewell station buildings, located on the hillside overlooking the town, are more imposing than a small town might be thought to justify, and the Duke's coat of arms are carved into the stonework. Such pandering to the nobility and landowners, was typical of the time, since their support would be necessary to obtain the Act of Parliament, even though the inconvenient high contour of the railway, which forced the station to be placed out of town, was due to the Duke insisting that the line ran out of sight of Haddon Hall. The station buildings are now used for small businesses, because the line between Matlock and Buxton closed in 1968: most of the trackway has now been designated the Monsal Trail, a quiet motor-traffic-free track for walking, cycling, and horseriding.

"Normal" trains now run from Derby only as far as Matlock, and from Manchester only as far as Buxton. There have been repeated proposals for fully reopening the remaining, Wye Valley, portion of the line, which would run through Bakewell and over the magnificent Monsal Dale viaduct. Peak Rail, a local preserved railway venture, has shown the way by reopening the line from Matlock to Rowsley, a village that is a few miles to the east of Bakewell near Haddon Hall. Reaching Bakewell is just one of Peak Rail's long-term ambitions, and in order to keep alive the intention for a future return of the railway (under one auspice or another), Derbyshire County Council is protecting the trackbed from development.

Bakewell Pudding

A Bakewell pudding
Three shops claiming to own the original recipe of the Bakewell Pudding

The Bakewell Pudding is a jam pastry with an egg and ground almond enriched filling. Not to be confused with Bakewell Tart which is a completely different confection, made with shortcrust pastry, an almond topping and a sponge and jam filling; Mr Kipling also made Cherry Bakewells, often known as Bakewell Tarts too. The origins of the Pudding are not clear, however the generally accepted story is that it was first made by accident in 1820 when the landlady of the White Horse Inn, (now called the Rutland Arms) left instructions for her cook to make a jam tart with an egg and almond paste pastry base. The cook, instead of stirring the eggs and almond paste mixture into the pastry, spread it on top of the jam.[6] When cooked the jam rose through the paste. The result was successful enough for it to become a popular dish at the inn, and commercial variations, usually with icing sugar on top, have spread the name.[7]

Two shops in Bakewell, "Bloomers Old and Only Original", and "The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop", offer what they both claim is the original recipe pastry - "The Bakewell Pudding Factory, Parlour and Shop" also sells a "Bakewell Pudding" and an icing coated "Bakewell Tart", which is baked in a shortcrust pastry base. The Bakewell Tart & Coffee Shop also sells Bakewell Tarts, which are completely different from the puddings, both in flavour and appearance.[8][9]


There are a number of annual events that take place in the town. The Peak District traditional "well dressing" takes place during June in which colourful images made of petals embedded into clay appear at several places throughout the town. The Bakewell Agricultural Show (the Little Royal) is the largest covered agricultural show in the UK, and attracts around 50,000 visitors.[10] It takes place on the first Wednesday and Thursday in August at the Bakewell Agricultural Centre. August also has the Bakewell Arts Festival — a music and theatre event that started in 1997. The Peak Literary Festival is held in the Spring and Autumn of each year. The Spring festival starts on the last Friday in May and the autumn on the last Friday in October. Carnival week, culminating in a procession through the town, is held at the beginning of July.[11]


Bakewell has a large recreation park to the east of the town centre, which has tennis courts, children's playground, and football/cricket pitches. In the town itself, and located near to the library, is the municipal swimming pool and gym.


Rugby union is played regularly in the town by the Bakewell Mannerians, who currently compete in Midlands 3 East (North)..[12]

The town is represented by two football teams Bakewell Red Lion FC and Bakewell Town FC both compete in the Hope Valley Football League.

Stephen Downing case

Bakewell was the focus of attention during the Stephen Downing case, which was also known as the "Bakewell Tart" murder. The case involved the conviction and imprisonment in 1974 of a 17-year-old council worker, Stephen Downing, for the murder of a 32 year old legal secretary in Bakewell cemetery. Following a campaign by a local newspaper, his conviction was overturned in 2002, after Downing had served 27 years in prison. The case is thought to be the longest miscarriage of justice in British legal history,[13][14][15] and attracted worldwide media attention.[16]

On television

Bakewell features in the last episode of Most Haunted: Midsummer Murders. In the episode the team investigates a murder which took place in the 1800s on Christmas Eve.

Picture gallery



  1. ^ Roy Millward & Henry Wardle Robinson, The Peak District (Eyre Methuen, 1975)
  2. ^ English Heritage (1951) Church of All Saints. Images of England (accessed 22 January 2006—free registration required).
  3. ^ English Heritage (1951) Bridge. Images of England (accessed 22 January 2006—free registration required).
  4. ^ "The work of the Authority - Peak District National Park Authority". Peak District. Retrieved 2009-10-17.  
  5. ^ a b c Neville T. Sharpe, Crosses of the Peak District (Landmark Collectors Library, 2002)
  6. ^ "Rutland Arms Hotel Bakewell - an elegant Peak District hotel". Retrieved 2009-12-15.  
  7. ^ "Mr Kipling Cherry Bakewell tart". Retrieved 2009-12-15.  
  8. ^ "Origins of the Bakewell Tart". Retrieved 2009-12-15.  
  9. ^ "The Old Original Pudding Company Limited: Welcome to The Old Original Pudding Company Limited". 2009-10-31. Retrieved 2009-12-15.  
  10. ^ "Bakewell, Derbyshire, England". Retrieved 2009-12-15.  
  11. ^ "Discover Derbyshire and the Peak District". Retrieved 2009-12-15.  
  12. ^ "Bakewell Rugby site". Retrieved 2009-12-15.  
  13. ^ "The editor, the murder and the truth". New Statesman. 2003-03-10. Retrieved 2009-12-15.  
  14. ^ "Downing murder conviction quashed". BBC News. 15 January 2002. Retrieved 2009-12-15.  
  15. ^ "The new injustices:from false confessions to false allegations". 2002-01-28. Retrieved 2009-12-15.  
  16. ^ "In Denial of Murder". BBC Press Office. 2 February 2004.  


  • Town Without Pity, Don Hale, Century (4 April 2002), ISBN 071261530X
  • Bakewell: The Ancient Capital of the Peak, Trevor Brighton, Devon Books (Nov 2005), ISBN 1841144193
  • Bakewell, Robert Innes-Smith, Derbyshire Countryside Ltd; 2r.e. edition (Jan 1994), ISBN 0851001149

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Bakewell is a picturesque historical market town in the heart of the Peak District National Park, Derbyshire famed for its Bakewell Puddings, Bakewell Tarts, and Mr Kipling's Cherry Bakewells. (The latter being only inspired by Bakewell rather than made in Bakewell) There are several shops claiming to hold the 'original recipe' although I'd recommend The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop on the main road because of the quality of goods, friendly staff, 'traditional authenticity' of the place and the wonderful smell of baking that comes from it. So be sure to try at least one Bakewell pudding whilst you're here.

It is an immensely popular destination for weekend visits because of its beautiful Peak District location, and its "typical country town" feel.

Get in

Frequent buses from Sheffield, even at weekends. Easy access by car from Manchester, Sheffield and Chesterfield (town is on the A6) half way between Matlock and Buxton.

Get around

Compact town, completeley walkable (church and museum up a hill).


A typical Peak District stone town, with the usual Church, Museum, Shops, River, Old Bridge.


Museum, Riverside walks, weekly market. Great base for a Peak District Walking weekend, with lovely walks all round (easy riverside, meandering field paths, gentle hill walking, or strenuous crag hopping). Bus to Rowseley for trip on "Peak Rail" steam train to Matlock


Usual "country" things: good outdoor shops, discount books, fresh food. Excellent shop specialising in Scotch Whisky. Take home an original "Bakewell pudding" or "Derbyshire oatcakes".

Eat & Drink

Excellent tea shops abound, several claiming to serve the genuine (or original etc) Bakewell pudding. "Byways" is through an undistinguished door and up a flight of stairs, but has creaky wooden floors, wonky ceilings, and a very traditional tea shop feel. Lots of pubs, all central ones do food. Classier type of "Indian" restaurant upstairs by market square.

Lots of pubs, some feel traditional, some a little more "mass market". Nearly all serve real ale. Plenty of choice.

  • The Acorn
  • The Bakewell Pudding Parlour, [1]
  • The Bakewell Tart Shop & Coffee House
  • JC's
  • The Honey Bun Café
  • The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop [2]
  • John Sinclair's Coffe Shop
  • Treeline
  • Upstairs Café
  • The Oz Bar 'n' Diner
  • Parakeet Diner
  • Castle Inn (Serves food all day)
  • JC's (Serves food)
  • The Manners Hotel (Serves food during the day)
  • The Oz Bar 'n' Diner (Serves food during the day)
  • The Peacock Hotel (Serves food during the day)
  • The Queen's Arms (Serves food during the day)
  • The Red Lion (Serves food during the day)
  • The Rutland Arms Hotel (Serves food) [3]
  • The Wheatsheaf (Serves food during the day)
  • French
    • Renaissance Restaurant [4]
  • Italian
    • Val Verde
    • Felicini [5]
  • Indian
    • Harley's Borivli
    • Max's Indian Restaurant
  • Modern British
    • JC's
    • The Prospect [6]
    • The Rutland Arms Hotel [7]


Many B&B's in town, or in surrounding farms. Youth Hostel in town. Many pubs do accommodation. Very "Jane Austen-y" Georgian hotel in centre of town (Rutland Arms?).

  • Bolehill Farm Cottages (Peak District Cottages), Monyash Road Bakewell (2 Miles From Bakewell), 01629 812359, [8]. checkin: 15:00; checkout: 10:00. Our eight Peak District self catering cottages are converted farm buildings set in courtyard surrounded by spectacular rural landscape yet only 2 miles for the Peak District Market town of Bakewell from £180. (53.2023N,1.7192W) edit

Get out

Bakewell is the local centre, so has very good connections with local towns and villages (lots of small buses). It is situated in superbly beautiful limestone ("White Peak") scenery: green fields, stone walls, sheep, rounded hills topped by horizontal lines of limestone crags. Some of the best walking country in England, makes local places easily accessible on an afternoon stroll.

  • Many, many nearby villages nearly all worth a trip by bus or car or on foot, and most have a pub or tea shop. Examples : Over Haddon, Monyash, Youlgreave, Ashford in the Water.
  • Matlock is 15 minutes by car, and there are also buses, and a steam train from Rowseley. Another Peak District town, a little less cute than Bakewell (preferred by some because of that), with usual shops and pubs and a pleasant riverside town park with a little lake (try lawn bowls - "Crown Green Bowling").
  • Matlock Bath is just beyond Matlock. Strange "seaside" feel, almost as far inland as you can get in England, cable cars to hilltop caves and popular meeting place for motorcyclists at the weekend, worth visiting to see hundreds of bikes lined up along the main street.
  • Cromford is a mile beyond Matlock Bath. A tiny town in a green setting, yet its main draw is "Arkwright's Mill" from the dawn of the industrial revolution, the first large factory (water-powered cotton spinning mill) in the modern world. Also the cromford canal is a lovely waterway in a very rural setting - but not yet reconnected to the English canal network, so few boats.
  • On the way, to Matlock you pass Haddon Hall (barely 5 minutes from Bakewell by car, well under an hour by (mostly) riverside path): a lovely medieval hall, expaned piecemeal over the centuries to give very organic and lived-in feel.
  • Chatsworth House is a little further, massive and spectacular late-17th century stately home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire (inspiration for Pemberley, apparently), open to public, pay for parking but with free access to surrounding area (flat riverside ambles, wooded hillside trails, famous fountain. Restaurants, at old stables, cafe at car park in grounds.
  • Near Chatsworth in Pilsley is Chatsworth Farm Shop: plays heavily on noble connection: "Duke's cure bacon", "Duchy of Cornwall Biscuits" etc, etc (Mrs Bucket would shop here) but also popular because of huge range of good fresh fruit, veg and meat, and some exotic stuff not so easy to obtain elsewhere (venison, boar, etc). Includes a tea shop.
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