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Coordinates: 53°19′19″N 1°55′01″W / 53.322°N 1.917°W / 53.322; -1.917

Market square, Chapel-en-le-Frith
Chapel-en-le-Frith is located in Derbyshire

 Chapel-en-le-Frith shown within Derbyshire
Population 8,821 (Parish)
OS grid reference SK055806
Parish Chapel-en-le-Frith
District High Peak
Shire county Derbyshire
Region East Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town HIGH PEAK
Postcode district SK23
Dialling code 01298
Police Derbyshire
Fire Derbyshire
Ambulance East Midlands
EU Parliament East Midlands
UK Parliament High Peak
List of places: UK • England • Derbyshire

Chapel-en-le-Frith (pronounced /ˌtʃæpəl ˌɒn lə ˈfrɪθ/) is a small town in Derbyshire, England, on the edge of the Peak District near the border with Cheshire, and within commuting distance (21 miles) of the city of Manchester. Dubbed "The Capital Of The Peak District", Chapel-en-le-Frith was established by the Normans in the 12th century, originally as a hunting lodge within the Forest of High Peak. This led to the French-derived name of Chapel-en-le-Frith ("Chapel in the forest clearing"). The population of 'Chapel', as the locals commonly refer to it, is approximately 10,000.


Church of St Thomas Becket

The first chapel in the town (now the Church of St. Thomas Becket) was originally built by the Normans but was replaced with a larger building a hundred years later, and is now almost entirely of 18th-century construction. It stands at the highest point in the town. Buried in the churchyard are soldiers of the Scottish army of the Duke of Hamilton who marched south in support of Charles I in 1648. After their defeat at Preston, they were marched to Chapel and imprisoned in the church for sixteen days in such squalid conditions that forty died; a further ten died when they were marched towards Cheshire. The Eccles Pike Cross lies in the churchyard, moved here from Ollerenshaw Farm in 1925. It is believed to be Anglo-Saxon and is covered in very worn carvings.[1]


A curfew bell has been rung in the town since 1070, and on Shrove Tuesday a Pudding Bell is rung at eleven in the morning to remind housewives to prepare their batter.

There is a regular market place, cobbled and raised above the High Street, which is still used every Thursday to host the local market but due to the current economic climate the number of stalls present has declined considerably. A market cross has a faint date which may read 1636, but the cross itself is considerably older.[1]


There is a certain amount of industry — especially behind the church in the lowest part of the town, where the brake-lining manufacturer Ferodo (an anagram of Frood, the 19th-century founder's name, with the addition of a letter "e"), was a family concern for over a hundred years, but is now part of the international conglomerate Federal-Mogul.


Chapel Poor Law Union was established in December 1837. The union workhouse was built c. 1840 on the Whaley Bridge road (grid reference SK051805). It consisted of an entrance range and an accommodation block of three wings centred on an octagonal hub, an infirmary and an isolation hospital. The workhouse was later converted to an old people's home, and was demolished in the early 1980s[2].

Chapel is the current location of the High Peak Borough Council offices, which have been moved from Buxton.


Chapel-en-le-Frith railway station is located a mile from the town centre, on the commuter line from Buxton to Manchester Piccadilly. The other train line passing through the town, which has a more centrally located station (Chapel-en-le-frith Central) built by the Midland Railway, was once one of the main lines from London to Manchester. While it no longer carries passenger traffic, it now carries a constant stream of roadstone from the quarries around Buxton. It terminates at its junction with the Manchester-Sheffield trans-Pennine line by way of two viaducts, diverging east and west, above the Black Brook valley at Chapel Milton near Chinley signalbox.


To the north lie the Dark Peak highlands, which are made up of millstone grit and are heather-covered, rugged and bleak. Here we have Chinley Churn and South Head with, a little further off, Kinder Scout, which looms above the whole area. To the south is the gentler and more pastoral White Peak, consisting largely of limestone grasslands, nevertheless with spectacular bluffs and the occasional gorge. Combs Moss, a gritstone 'edge', dominates the valley in which Chapel lies from the south and Eccles Pike rises sharply above the town to its west.


  1. ^ a b Neville T. Sharpe, Crosses of the Peak District (Landmark Collectors Library, 2002)
  2. ^ Higginbotham, P. (2007), Workhouses of the Midlands, Tempus, Stroud. Page 27. ISBN 978-0-7524-4488-8

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CHAPEL-EN-LE-FRITH, a market town in the High Peak parliamentary division of Derbyshire, England, 20 m. S.E. of Manchester, on the London & North-Western and Midland railways. Pop. (1901) 4626. It lies in an upland valley of the Peak district, the hills of which rise above 1200 ft. in its immediate vicinity. There are paper-works and ironworks, and 1 The last twelve cantos of La Pucelle were edited (1882) from the MS. with corrections and a preface in the author's autograph, in the Bibliotheque Nationale, by H. Herluison. Another edition, by E. de Molenes (2 vols.), was published in 1892.

brewing is carried on. The foundation of the church of St Thomas of Canterbury is attributed to the foresters of the royal forest or frith of the Peak early in the 13th century; and from this the town took name. After the defeat of the Scottish forces at Preston by Cromwell in 1648, it is said that 1500 prisoners were confined in the church at Chapel-en-le-Frith.

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