Glossop: Wikis


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Coordinates: 53°26′37″N 1°56′56″W / 53.4435°N 1.9489°W / 53.4435; -1.9489

Glossop from the Snake Pass
Glossop is located in Derbyshire

 Glossop shown within Derbyshire
Population 32,428 (2001 Census)
OS grid reference SK0393
District High Peak
Shire county Derbyshire
Region East Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town GLOSSOP
Postcode district SK13
Dialling code 01457
Police Derbyshire
Fire Derbyshire
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament East Midlands
UK Parliament High Peak
List of places: UK • England • Derbyshire

Glossop is a small market town within the Borough of High Peak in Derbyshire, England. It lies on the Glossop Brook, a tributary of the River Etherow, about 15 miles (24 km) east of the city of Manchester, 24 miles (39 km) west of the city of Sheffield. Glossop is situated near Derbyshire's county borders with Cheshire, Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire. It is between 150 and 300 metres (492 and 984 ft) above mean sea level, and uses the tagline "the gateway to the Peak District National Park". Like nearby Buxton, it differs from other areas of the borough in that it is an unparished area, and this distinction defines its boundaries. It has a total resident population of 32,428 according to the 2001 census.[1]

Historically the name Glossop refers to the small hamlet that gave its name to an ancient parish recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, and then the manor given by William I of England to William Peverel. It refers to the municipal borough created in 1866, and the unparished urban area within two local government wards.[2] The area now known as Glossop approximates to the villages that used to be called Glossopdale, on the lands of the Howard family, Dukes of Norfolk. Originally known as a centre of wool processing, Glossop rapidly expanded in the late 18th century when it specialised in the production and printing of calico, a coarse cotton. Under the benign patronage of the Howards and other mill owning families the villages became a mill town with many chapels and churches; its fortunes were tied to the cotton industry.

Architecturally the area is dominated by buildings constructed of the local sandstone. There remain two significant former cotton mills and the Dinting railway viaduct. Strong rivalry between various Christian denominations has left a legacy of chapels, churches and their associated schools in the town and associated villages of Glossopdale. Close to the county borders of Greater Manchester, Glossop has transport links to Manchester, making the area popular for commuters. Glossop and the western area of High Peak fall within Greater Manchester's sphere of influence by way of some transport being provided by the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive.




Toponymy and definition

The name Glossop is thought to be of Saxon origin, named during the Angles' settlement in the 7th century, and derived from Glott's Hop - where hop could mean a valley[3], a small valley in a larger valley system[4], or a piece of land enclosed by marshes[5] and Glott was probably a chieftain's name. Because of its size and location, Glossop had many definitions. The village of Glossop is now called Old Glossop. Howard Town and Milltown gained importance. They were named New Town and then Glossop. Local government reorganisations had caused the Glossopdale villages to be promoted to a municipal borough and then have that status removed. Land has been added to Glossop and other lands removed. From a small settlement it became an ancient parish, a manor, a borough, and a township. Currently two county divisions in High Peak Borough, Derbyshire, have Glossop as part of their names.[2]

Roman and Saxon

There is evidence of a Bronze Age burial site on Shire Hill (near Old Glossop) and other possibly prehistoric remains at Torside (on the slopes of Bleaklow). The Romans arrived in 78 AD. At that time the area was within the territory of the Brigantes tribe, whose main base was in Yorkshire. The Romans built a road over the Pennines that descended into the Etherow valley along Doctor's Gate, and in the late first century a fort, Ardotalia, on high ground above the river in present day Gamesley[3]. The site of this fort was rediscovered in 1771 by an amateur historian, the Rev. John Watson. It subsequently acquired the name "Melandra Castle". The extensive site has been excavated, revealing fort walls, a shrine and the fort headquarters. The area has been landscaped to provide parking and picnic areas. The prehistoric earthworks of Torside Castle are visible on Harrop Moss just north west of Bleaklow Head above the Longdendale Valley.


William I of England awarded the manor of Glossop to William Peveril, who began construction of Glossop Castle, but the entire estate was later confiscated. In 1157 Henry II of England gave the manor of Glossop to Basingwerk Abbey. They gained a market charter for Glossop in 1290,[6] and one for Charlesworth in 1328. In 1433, the monks leased all of Glossopdale to the Talbot family, later Earls of Shrewsbury. In 1494, an illegitimate son of the family, Dr John Talbot, was appointed vicar of Glossop. He founded a school, and paved the Roman road over the moors; this is known as Doctor's Gate.[7]

At the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1537 the manor of Glossop was given to the Talbot family. In 1606 it came into the ownership of the Howard family, the Dukes of Norfolk, who held it for the next 300 years. Glossop was usually given to the second son of the family. The land was too wet and cold to be used for wheat, but was ideal for the hardy Pennine sheep, so agriculture was predominantly pastoral.[7] Most of the land was owned by the Howards and was leasehold and it was only in Whitfield that there was any freehold land. The few houses were solid, built of the local stone, and allowed for the development of home industries such as wool spinning and weaving.

Industrial and civic history

The medieval economy was based on sheep pasture and the production of wool by farmers who were tenants of the Abbot of Basingwerk and later the Talbot family. During the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century Glossop became a centre for cotton spinning. A good transport network between Liverpool and Glossop brought in imported cotton which was spun by a labour force with wool spinning skills. The climate of Glossopdale provided abundant soft water that was used to power mills and finish the cloth, and also gave the humidity necessary to spin cotton under tension. Initial investment was provided by the Dukes of Norfolk. By 1740, cotton in an unspun form had been introduced to make fustians and lighter cloths.[8]


The first mills in Glossop were woollen mills. In 1774, Richard Arkwright opened a mill at Cromford. He developed the factory system and patented machines for spinning cotton and carding. In 1785, his patents expired and many people copied Arkwright's system and his patents, exemplified by the Derwent Valley Mills. By 1788 there were over 200 Arkwright-type mills in Britain.[9] At the same time there were 17 cotton mills in Derbyshire, principally in Glossop. By 1831 there were at least 30 mills in Glossopdale, none of which had more than 1000 spindles. The mill owners were local men: the Wagstaffs and Hadfields were freeholders from Whitfield; the Shepleys, Shaws, Lees, Garlicks and Platts had farmed the dale. The Sidebottoms were from Hadfield, the Thornleys were carpenters, and John Bennet and John Robinson were clothiers.[8]

John Wood of Marsden came from Manchester in 1819 and bought existing woollen mills which he expanded. These were the Howard Town mills. Francis Sumner was a Catholic whose family had connections with Matthew Ellison, Howard's agent. He built Wren's Nest Mill. The Sidebottoms built the Waterside mill at Hadfield. In 1825, John Wood installed the first steam engine and power looms. Sumner and Sidebottom followed suit and the three mills, Wren's Nest, Howardtown and Waterside, became very large vertical combines (a vertical combine was a mill that both spun the yarn and then used it to weave cloth). With the other major families, the Shepleys, Rhodes and Platts, they dominated the dale. In 1884, the six had 82% of the spinning capacity with 892,000 spindles and 13,571 looms. Glossop was a town of very large calico mills. The calico printing factory of Edmund Potter (located in Dinting Vale) in the 1850s printed 2,500,000 pieces of printed calico, of which 80% was for export. The paper industry was created by Edward Partington who, as Olive and Partington, bought the Turn Lee Mill in 1874 to produce high-quality paper from wood pulp by the sulphite method. He expanded rapidly with mills in Salford and Barrow in Furness. He merged with Kellner of Vienna and was created Lord Doverdale in 1917. He died in 1925; his factories in Charlestown created nearly 1000 jobs.[8]

Religion and benevolence

The Norfolks' Lion

Lord Bernard Edward Howard, 12th Duke of Norfolk rebuilt the old parish church in 1831, built All Saints Roman Catholic chapel in 1836, improved the Hurst Reservoir in 1837, and built the town hall, whose foundation stone was laid on Coronation Day 1838. The Sheffield, Ashton-Under-Lyne and Manchester Railway came to Dinting in 1842, but it was the 13th Duke of Norfolk who built the spur line to Howard Town, so that coal could be brought from the colleries at Dukinfield. Glossop railway station bears the lion, the symbol of the Norfolks.[8] Many of the street- and placenames in Glossop derive from the names and titles of the Dukes of Norfolk, such as Norfolk Square, and a cluster of residential streets off Norfolk Street that were named after Lord Henry Charles Fitzalan Howard, the 13th Duke of Norfolk, the first Catholic MP since the reformation.

A two-storey Township Workhouse was built between 1832 and 1834 on Bute Street (grid reference SK043952). Its administration was taken over by Glossop Poor Law Union in December 1837. The workhouse buildings included a 40-bed infirmary, piggeries, and casual wards for vagrants. The workhouse later became Glossop Public Assistance Institution and from 1948 the N.H.S. Shire Hill Hospital[10].

The mill owners, Catholics, Anglican, Methodist and Unitarian, built reading rooms and chapels. They worked together and worshipped together with their workers. The Woods, Sidebottoms and Shepleys were Anglicans and hence Tory, and they dominated every vestry, which was the only form of local government before 1866. They built four churches St James's, Whitfield in 1846, St Andrew's Hadfield in 1874, Holy Trinity Dinting in 1875 and St Luke's Glossop. Francis Sumner and the Ellisons and Norfolks were Catholic and built St Charles's Hadfield and St Mary's Glossop. The smaller mill owners were Dissenters and congregated at Littlemoor Independent Chapel built in Hadfield in 1811, but they later built a further eleven chapels.[8]

For decades there was rivalry between Edward Partington, his friend Herbert Rhodes, and the Woods and Sidebottoms. The Woods built the public baths and laid out the park. Partington built the library. Partington built the cricket pavilion, so Samuel Hill-Woods sponsored the football club that for one season, 1899-1890, played in League Division One. He went on to be chairman of a London club, Arsenal. He was MP for High Peak from 1910–1929. Edward's son, Oswald, was MP for High Peak from 1900–1910. Ann Kershaw Woods devoted herself to Anglican education and had schools built.[8]

Cotton famine and industrial relations

In 1851, 38% of the men and 27% of the women were employed in cotton; the only alternative employment was agriculture, building, or labouring on the railway. Consequently the town was vulnerable to interruptions in the supply of cotton or the export trade. The American Civil War caused the cotton famine of 1861–4. The mill owners met together and put in place a relief programme through which they supplied food, clogs and coal to their employees. Howard increased the workforce on his estate, and public works (such as improving the domestic water supply) were undertaken. They provided unsecured loans to the workers until the cotton returned. The relationship between the owners and men was one of paternal benevolence. They lived in the same community and worshipped in the same churches. The mill owners were the local aldermen, the church elders, and led the sports teams. In the Luddite and Chartist times and the period following Peterloo, Glossop was virtually unaffected, despite its proximity to Hyde, a radical hotbed. In the 4s 2d or swing strike it was incomers from Ashton who stopped the Glossop mills. The rivalry in Glossop was not based on class, but on religious groups. [8]

Modern (20th century)

A map of Glossop from 1954

The decline of cotton spinning has resulted in the closure of many of the town's mills. The Howard family sold the Glossop Estate in 1925 and donated large areas to the people of Glossop. Manor Park was the location of the family's Manor House and gardens. The recession of the 1929 hit Glossop very hard. In 1929 the unemployment rate was 14%, and in 1931 it was 55%. In Hadfield it reached 67%. National initiatives to improve housing and employment conditions largely failed, and mills fell empty and decayed. Unemployment remained at 36% in 1938. The Second World War changed this: military stores, metals, machine tools, munitions, rubber and essential industries moved into the empty factories and left Glossop with a more diverse range of industries.

In spite of the post-war Barlow Report[11] and government intervention, no significant employer moved into Glossop.[8]

Gamesley underwent considerable change in the 1960s, when a large council estate was built, mainly to house people from Manchester. These housing areas, called 'Overspill estates', were also built in other towns surrounding Manchester.


Henry Street Staircase realised through Glossop Vision

Glossop has been included as pilot in the Liveability scheme[12], and has drawn up the Glossop Vision masterplan for the improvement and gentrification of the town. This is being partially funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It aims to open up access to the Glossop Brook, coordinate developments in Glossop town centre, enhance the built environment and link the town to its wider setting. As such, the mills have become a retail development with housing, trees are to be planted along the A57 and the market square pedestrianised.[13]


In the local government reorganisation of 1974 the Borough of Glossop was abolished, and since then the two levels of local government are Derbyshire County Council, based in Matlock, and High Peak Borough Council based in Chapel-en-le-Frith.

Glossop was included in the "South East Lancashire Special Review Area" under the Local Government Act 1958, and the Redcliffe-Maud Report of 1969 recommended its inclusion in a South East Lancashire–North East Cheshire metropolitan area. Glossop was not ultimately included in the Greater Manchester area established by the Local Government Act 1972. Local people voted to stay within the County of Derbyshire in 1973[14]. The county council, originally based in Derby, moved to Matlock in the late 1950s to facilitate easier travelling to the county hall from the northern extremities such as Glossop and the High Peak.

For the county council Glossop is split between the divisions of Glossop South, Glossop North and Rural, and Etherow. Glossop North and Rural also contain the old Charlesworth and Chisworth wards that were collectively known as St John's. Etherow division contains Hadfield North, Hadfield South, Gamesley and the large and sparsely populated Tintwistle ward, which was formerly in Cheshire. These boundaries were set in 2005.

Division Holder
Etherow Cllr Dave Wilcox
Glossop North and Rural Cllr George Wharmby
Glossop South Cllr Jean Wharmby

At the district level, that is High Peak Borough Council, Glossop comprises these wards: Dinting, Gamesley, Hadfield North, Hadfield South, Old Glossop, Padfield, Howard Town, Simmondley and Whitfield. St John's represents the rural area that was formerly Glossopdale RDC and lies within the National Park. These were the wards used in the 2001 Census.

Ward Holder
Dinting Cllr WHARMBY, Jean
Gamesley Cllr MCKEOWN, Anthony Edward
Hadfield North Cllr MANN, Victoria Elizabeth
Hadfield South Cllr FOOTE, Marie Melita
Hadfield South Cllr MCKEOWN, Robert Joseph
Howard Town Cllr WILKINSON, Jacqueline Margaret
Cllr WILSON, Barbara June
Old Glossop Cllr BELL, Ivan
Cllr WEBSTER, Chris
Padfield Cllr KAY, Peter James
Tintwistle Cllr Bill Clarke
Howard Town Cllr Tony Ashton
Simmondley Cllr CROMPTON, Matthew James Andrew
Cllr HAKEN, John
Whitfield Cllr OAKLEY, Graham Nigel

Glossop itself does not have a parish council, but Tintwistle and St Johns are parished.

The Member of Parliament for the High Peak constituency since 1997 has been Tom Levitt MP, representing Labour. His majority in the 2005 General Election was 735 over the Conservative candidate Andrew Bingham.

Constituency Holder
High Peak Tom Levitt, MP

Historic Glossop

A map of the different areas that have held the name Glossop.

Historically, the ancient parish of Glossop consisted of the ten townships of the manor: Glossop, Hadfield, Padfield, Dinting, Simmondley, Whitfield, Chunal, Charlesworth, Chisworth, Ludworth and nine more: Mellor, Thornsett, Rowarth, Whittle, Beard, Ollersett, Hayfield, Little Hayfield, Phoside, Kinder, Bugsworth, Brownside and Chinley. Within the parish were the chapelries of Hayfield and Mellor.[2][17]. The ancient parish was in the Hundred of High Peak; it was about 16 miles (25.7 km) in length and 5 miles (8.0 km) wide, with an area of 31,876 acres (129.00 km2).[18] Beard, Ollerset, Thornsett and Whittle later formed the town of New Mills, while Hayfield, Little Hayfield, Phoside and Kinder joined the parish of Hayfield. The chapelry of Mellor included Mellor, Chisworth, Ludworth, Whittle and part of Thornsett.[19]

The Manor of Glossop was made up of the territory that includes Hadfield, Padfield, Dinting, Simmondley, Whitfield, Chunal, Charlesworth, Chisworth, Ludworth and the village of Glossop, now called Old Glossop.[2][20] It had an area of 11,308 acres (45.76 km2), of which more than 8,000 acres (32 km2) were classed as moorland.[18]

The Municipal Borough of Glossop (1866–1974) contained the land within two miles of the Town Hall in Howard Town and a slither to the north bounded by the River Etherow, an area of 3,052 acres (12.35 km2). It is cited as an example of a 'millocracy' as two thirds of the elected councillors were mill owners.[21] The remaining parishes of Charlesworth, Chisworth and Ludworth formed Glossopdale Rural District, which remained in existence till 1934 when they were split, Ludworth going into Marple RDC, Chisworth and the greater part of Charlesworth joining Chapel en le Frith RDC and the smaller part 271 acres (1.10 km2) joining Glossop.[22]

The present community of Glossop is centred on Howardtown.[23] It is served by the Glossopdale Area Forum[24] and the Glossop Town Partnership.[25] The previous hamlet of Glossop is now known as Old Glossop.


Glossop is 184 miles (296 km) north-west of London, 15 miles (24 km) east of the city of Manchester, 24 miles (38.6 km) west of the city of Sheffield. It nestles in the foothills of the Pennines, with Bleaklow to the northeast and Kinder Scout to the south. It lies on Glossop Brook, a tributary of the River Etherow, in the area of peat moorland commonly known as the Dark Peak. The moors which rise to over 600m, are cut by many deep V-shaped valleys known as cloughs, each formed by a stream known as a brook. The Shelf Brook passes through Old Glossop where it joins the Hurst Brook to form the Glossop Brook,which passed westward through Milltown, Howard Town and Dinting to the River Etherow, that runs south to join the River Goyt at Marple Bridge. Two other notable brooks are the Padfield Brook and the Gnat Hole Brook.

The Shelf Brook leads from Shelf Moor on Bleaklow down Doctor's Gate through Old Glossop to the Glossop Brook. The valley was used by the Romans for a road, and currently contains a bridleway. The north slope of Holden Clough and the Hurst Brook is used by the A57 road known as the Snake Pass. The Snake Pass crosses the Pennine Way near Doctor's Gate Culvert (512 m above sea level) before descending to the east to Ladybower Reservoir along the northern side of the River Ashop valley. Here a road leads east over Hallam Moor into Sheffield, and south along the River Derwent into Baslow and Matlock. To the north of Glossop is Tintwistle; the River Etherow is the boundary. Today, the Longdendale valley forms a chain of reservoirs that provide drinking water for Manchester. At the head of the valley is Woodhead, where the road from Huddersfield joins the road to Sheffield, and a three-mile railway tunnel brought the railway from Penistone.


A schematic diagram of the rocks beneath Glossop

Directly beneath Glossop lie areas of Carboniferous Millstone Grit, shales and sandstone. Glossop is on the edge of the Peak District Dome, at the southern edge of the Pennine anticline. The Variscan uplift has caused much faulting and Glossopdale was the product of glacial action in the last glaciation period that exploited the weakened rocks. The steep-sided valleys of the cloughs cause significant erosion and deposition. The layers of sandstone, mudstones and shale in the bedrock act as a aquifer to feed the springs. The valley bottoms have a thin deposit of Boulder Clay. The brooks are fed by the peaty soils of the moors thus are acid (pH5.5–7.0); this means the instream wildlife is dependent on food sources from outside the channel.[26]


Glossop experiences a temperate maritime climate, like much of the British Isles, with relatively cool summers and mild winters. There is regular but generally light precipitation throughout the year. Glossop has a history of flash flooding, the most recent being in 2002 when High Street West was flooded to a depth of 1 metre (3.3 ft), but climate change means floods may become more severe and frequent.


Glossop has been subject to frequent boundary changes, so different analyses can be made of the same raw datasets depending on how the 'equivalent' area is interpreted, which may or may not bear the same name.

Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1839 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
Population Glossop 3,625 4,012* 6,212 9,631 14,577 19,587 21,000 20,673 19,574 22,416
Glossop and Charlesworth 2,759 4,012* 5,135 7,897 12,569 17,454 19,126 18,508 21,393 23,493
Source:A Vision of Britain through Time
Source:Small Town Politics, 1959, A.H.Birch. pub OUP
* Data set includes Chisworth and Ludworth
Year 1901 1911 1921 1931 1939 1951 1961 1971 2001
Population 21,520 21,688 20,531 19,509 estimate 23,500 18,994 17,500 24,272 32,428
Source:A Vision of Britain through Time



Glossop was a product of the wealth of the cotton industry. Glossop's economy was linked closely with a spinning and weaving tradition which had evolved from developments in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution. Before the first world war, Glossop had the headquarters of an international paper empire, the largest calico printworks in the world, a large bleach works, and six spinning weaving combines with over 600,000 spindles and 12,000 looms and two niche manufacturers: grindstones and industrial belts. In the 1920s, these firms were refloated on the easily available share capital—thus were victims of the stockmarket crash. Their product lines were vulnerable to the new economic conditions.[8]

The main street comprises a variety of shops, restaurants and food outlets.

Glossop is located close to the border of the Peak National Park, and to the east are the open moorlands of the Dark Peak. The local economy benefits from the many thousands of tourists who visit the Park each year and who use Glossop as the gateway to the Peak.

The town has a permanent Tourist Information Centre, which is currently located on Henry Street, sharing the Glossop Heritage Centre.


Wren's Nest Mill being restored, with new retail development behind.
Howard Town Mill being restored
Dinting Viaduct
Wren's Nest Mills

Wren's Nest Mills on High Street West were built c. 1800–10, with further extensions in 1815 and 1818, the latter incorporating an octagonal tower.[27] The present building is a small part of the original complex, that in its heyday employed 1,400 workers operating 123,000 spindles and 2541 looms. It ceased trading in 1955.[28]

Wood's Mill, Howardtown Mills, Milltown Mills

From a group of small mills at Bridge End, John Wood built a complex of mills. Bridge End Mill was originally built in 1782 as a fulling mill. Today one mill building is being restored, and the Milltown mills lie idle.[29]

Town Hall

Glossop Town Hall and Market House was designed in Italianate style by Sheffield architects Weightman and Hadfield. The foundation stone was laid on 28 June 1838, the Coronation Day of Queen Victoria. The buildings were opened on 10 July 1845. Cost of construction exceeded £8,500. The facilities included a lock-up with four cells heated by hot water.[18]

Dinting Viaduct

The viaduct was built in 1845, and later reinforced with additional piers[27]. An accident occurred in 1855, when an MS&LR passenger train was stopped by signalling on the viaduct at night. Two men and a woman mistook the parapet of the viaduct for the station platform at Hadfield, alighted from the train and fell 75 feet to their deaths.[30]

Parish Church of All Saints

The present-day (2008) fabric of the parish church of All Saints is mostly of the 20th century; very little remains of the previous churches on this site. The first mention of a church in Glossop is in the charter of 1157 conferring the manor of Glossop on Basingwerk Abbey. Although the dedication of the church to All Saints may indicate an Anglo-Saxon origin, no trace of such a church has been found. The first recorded vicar is William, of 1252. At this time the church was probably aisleless. It was altered in the 15th century when the nave was rebuilt with arcades, aisles and a still extant (2008) arch at the east end of the north aisle. In 1554 a new and taller tower with a broach spire was built 3 feet west of the old tower, incorporating the east wall of the previous tower. The nave was completely rebuilt in 1831, with removal and replacement of much of the old fabric including the tracery of the aisle windows. The work was carried out by the firm of E.W.Drury of Sheffield, the cost far exceeding the initial estimate of £700. When the nave was rebuilt in 1914 it was discovered that the arch leading to the chancel had been partly made up of plaster, the wall supported by this arch had not been bonded into the existing chancel walls, and the "oak" roof bosses were also plaster. Between the pillars of the nave sleeper walls had been built to a higher level than the pillar bases. These walls appear to have been needed to counteract the effects on the church structure of a combination of excess drainage from the nearby hillside and the numerous burials inside the church. The pillars of the new nave of 1914 were superimposed on the bases of the old pillars, and the floor built up to cover the sleeper walls.

The tower and chancel were demolished and rebuilt in 1853-55, the new tower also having a broach spire. The chancel was again rebuilt in 1923, completing the architect C.M. Hadfield's plan of 1914.[31] The present church has a nave of 5 bays, 74 feet long by 48 feet wide, with north and south aisles, and a chancel of 40 feet by 20 feet with a north aisle dedicated as St Catherine's Chapel.[32]

Open Spaces

Two public open spaces in Glossop have been given the Green Flag award. Manor Park is close to the town centre, and commands spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.[13] Howard Park was described by the Award organisation as "a good example of visionary layout from the Victorian era retaining many original features".[33] Harehills Park, with its riverside footpath and mature trees has been identified by Glossop Vision as a strategic open space. The Park was donated by the 2nd Lord Howard of Glossop as a Great War memorial.[13]


A Hunslet TPL built Class 323 entering Glossop station.
Stagecoach bus on the High Street.


The main road through Glossop is the A57. To the west, this road (with the parallel M67 motorway) leads to Manchester, while Sheffield lies to the east, via the Snake Pass. The B6105 leads north then east, along the Woodhead Pass and eventually to the South Yorkshire town of Barnsley and the M1 motorway. Chapel-en-le-Frith and Buxton lie to the south, along the A624.

Public transport

Public transport is coordinated by Derbyshire County Council, with rail travel and some bus services being subcontracted out to the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE).

There are regular half-hour train services from Glossop railway station to Manchester Piccadilly station and Hadfield railway station along the remaining stub of the former Woodhead Line. A user group, the Friends of Glossop Station, are working to make the station more attractive and to encourage greater use of public transport. The trains operated on the line are 3 car Class 323 Electric Multiple Units built in 1992 - 1993 by Hunslet TPL.

There are regular bus services running to towns in Tameside, to Buxton, New Mills and Whaley Bridge, and an infrequent service to Manchester via Ashton-under-Lyne. There are infrequent services running to other towns and cities such as Macclesfield, Holmfirth and Huddersfield. The majority of bus services in Glossop are run by Stagecoach Manchester, Speedwellbus and Bowers Coaches.

There are infrequent Sunday bus services to local tourist attractions such as Chatsworth House and nearby towns and villages.

Schools and further education

It will be noticed that a large proportion of the primary education is provided by the faith schools.

Primary Schools
All Saints RC Primary School
Charlesworth C of E School
Dinting C of E Primary School
Duke of Norfolk's C of E Primary School
Gamesley Community Primary School
Hadfield Infant School
Hadfield Nursery School
Padfield County Primary School
Simmondley Primary School
St Andrew's C of E Junior School
St Charles RC Primary School
St James's C of E Primary School
(formerly Whitfield Primary School)
St Luke's C of E Primary School
St Margaret's RC Primary School
St Mary's RC Primary School
St Philip Howard Catholic School[34]
Glossopdale Community College[35]
Adult Learning
Glossopdale Adult Community Education
Glossop Library (Victoria Hall, Talbot Street, Glossop)
Hadfield Library (Station Rd, Hadfield)
Eric Read Community Library (Gamesley Primary School, Grindleford Grove, Gamesley)



Glossop is the smallest town in England to have had a team in the top tier of the English football league system. Glossop North End were members of the Football League between 1898 and 1915, and around the turn of the 20th century played in Division One. The club was the first in the world to play in, and register its strip as, all-white in colour, well before Real Madrid. The team now plays in the North West Counties Football League Premier Division. In the 2008–09 season they reached the final of the FA Vase at Wembley Stadium on May 10, 2009. To mark this achievement, Arsenal (with whom they retain connections due to Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood's grandfather Sir Samuel Hill-Wood having owned and bankrolled Glossop during their run in the Football League) invited them to their state-of-the-art London Colney training ground during their stay in London, to prepare for the final[36]. Glossop lost 2–0 to Northern League First Division side Whitley Bay.

Performing arts

The Partington Players is an amateur theatre with a 120 seat venue in the centre of town. It runs 6 plays each season and was established in 1954.

Glossop Operatic and Dramatic Society is an amateur musical / drama society established in 1976.

Community events

The Glossop Victorian Weekend, Glossop Carnival and Bank Holiday Markets are held annually in the town. The Victorian Weekend is the biggest weekend event in Glossop and was featured on the BBC's Songs of Praise. The weekend includes many activities, including a Grand Victorian Costume Competition and a Shop Window Competition.[37]

Running parallel with the Victorian Weekend is Glossop Beer Festival, run by The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and featuring over 30 beers and a barbecue in Glossop's Labour Club.[38]

In recent years, Glossop has become quite well known musically for staging jazz and world music festivals.

Glossop has a range of other cultural activities including Peak Film Society, an innovative new film club.

Emergency service provision

Calls for service in the rural areas usually increase during the summer as the population is boosted by approximately twenty million visitors each year to the Peak District and its surrounds. Winter weather on the high ground around Glossop and Kinder Scout can also cause problems for traffic and residents.

State healthcare is provided for in Glossop and District by Tameside and Glossop NHS Trust. This NHS trust operates Tameside General Hospital, a foundation hospital, in Ashton-under-Lyne. The trust serves two separate communities because there are no district general hospitals (hospitals with Accident and Emergency Department) within the borough of High Peak, and patients would have to travel over 20 miles to another hospital within the county. The North West Ambulance Service provides emergency medical services for the town from its Chapel Street Ambulance Station.

When Glossop was granted Municipal Borough Status in 1867, the Watch committee elected to implement its own police force. Glossop Police remained independent until 1947 when they amalgamated with the Derbyshire Constabulary. The police station on Ellison Street is staffed by statutory Police Officers from B Division of Derbyshire Constabulary. It has a custody suite, five cells and an incident room. There are also a team of volunteer Special Constables and six Police Community Support Officers.

General fire and rescue cover is provided by the Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service. Specialised search and rescue services are provided by the volunteer Glossop Mountain Rescue Team, part of the Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation. Their remit is to 'save lives in the mountains and moorlands'[39].

Twin town

Bad Vilbel is a spa town in the Wetteraukreis district of Hesse, Germany, 8 km northeast of Frankfurt.

In 1985 The Glossop-Bad Vilbel Twinning Association was established. Its aims are:

To promote and foster friendship and understanding between the people of Glossop and district and those of Bad Vilbel and district in Germany. To encourage visits by individuals and groups to and from the linked towns, particularly by children and young people, and the development of personal contacts, and by doing so to broaden the mutual understanding of the cultural, recreational, educational and commercial activities of the linked towns.
Source: The Glossop-Bad Vilbel Twinning Association

In 1987 formal twinning ceremonies were held in both towns, with a tree being planted in Norfolk Square. The Twinning Association arranges for visitors to stay with families.[40] The two signatories of the charter were Cllr Catherine Holtom, the Mayor of High Peak and Herr Gunther Biwer , Bürgermeister of Bad Vilbel.

Literature and the media

Hilaire Belloc wrote about Glossop in a letter to a Miss Hamilton in 1909: "Do you know the filthy village of Glossop? It is inhabited entirely by savages. I tried every inn in the place and found each inn worse than the last. It stinks for miles. Rather than sleep in such a den I started walking back to Manchester with a huge bag...." [41]

Glossop is mentioned in the satirical book, England, Their England by A. G. Macdonell. The town and its fictional newspaper, the Glossop Evening Mail are described as the lowest rung in the journalistic profession. In The Meaning of Liff, by Douglas Adams & John Lloyd a Glossop is defined as a globule of hot food which lands on your friend's newly polished solid wood dining table, and in the radio show Knowing Me, Knowing You... with Alan Partridge the character "Lord Morgan" came from Glossop.

The cult television comedy The League of Gentlemen is filmed in neighbouring Hadfield. Students from Glossopdale Community College have appeared as extras in two shows. In one they were the audience to the Legz Akimbo theatre group in a play about homosexuality, and in the second they appeared as German students on an exchange program with their teacher, Herr Lipp.

Notable persons


  1. ^ Office for National Statistics
  2. ^ a b c d The Ancient Parish of Glossop accessed 18/6/2008
  3. ^ a b Glossop | Peak District Towns and Villages | Staffordshire | Derbyshire | England | UK
  4. ^ Hanmer, J., Winterbottom, D. (1993), The Book Of Glossop, 2nd edition, Baron Birch/Quotes. ISBN 0860234843
  5. ^ Wilkinson, P. (Nov 1998), 'Finding Beowulf in Kent's landscape', British Archaeology, Council for British Archaeology, York, Issue 39 .
  6. ^ The Domesday Book Online - Derbyshire F-R
  7. ^ a b Davies, Peggy (December 1999). Annals of Glossop. Glossop, Derbyshire: Glossop Heritage Centre. pp. 5,6.  
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Birch, A.H. (1959). "2". Small Town Politics, A Study of Political Life in Glossop. Oxford University Press. pp. 8–38.  
  9. ^ Derwent Valley Mills Partnership (2000). Nomination of the Derwent Valley Mills for inscription on the World Heritage List. Derwent Valley Mills Partnership. pp. 28, 94–97.  
  10. ^ Higginbotham, P. (2007), Workhouses of the Midlands, Tempus, Stroud. pp. 31-32. ISBN 978-0-7524-4488-8
  11. ^ Royal Commission on the Distribution of the Industrial Population (the Barlow Commission),1943
  12. ^ High Peak Borough Council: round five update
  13. ^ a b c "Glossop Vision Links". High Peak Borough Council. Retrieved 2008-06-27.  
  14. ^ Sharpe, N. 2005. Glossop Remembered. Landmark Publishing: London.
  15. ^ Derbyshire councillors.
  16. ^ High Peak councillors.
  17. ^ Index of Probate Documents of the Ancient Parish of Glossop by Lee, Clarke & McKenna (Derbyshire FHS, ISBN 0947 964 26 6)
  18. ^ a b c Wilson, Neil (2003). "Glossop, Derbyshire:White's History, Gazetteer and Directory of the County of Derby, 1857". Retrieved 2008-06-22.  
  19. ^ Ayers, Barbarann (25 Sep 2007). "Topographical and Historical Account of Derbyshire (Magna Britannia Vol. 5) Glossop - by Daniel and Samuel Lysons, 1817". GENUKI. pp. 165, 166, 167, 168, 169. Retrieved 2008-07-09.  
  20. ^ Book of Glossop by Hanmer & Winterbottom (Barracuda Books 1991, ISBN 0 86023 484 3)
  21. ^ British Political History, 1867-1990: Democracy and Decline.Malcolm Pearce,
  22. ^ a b Vision of Britain:Glossopaccessed 19/06/2008.
  23. ^ Map showing Howard Town ward in its 2001 context Accessed 22/6/2008
  24. ^ High Peak District Council Area forums. accessed 21/6/2008
  25. ^ Glossop Town Partnership accessed 21/6/2008
  26. ^ Radcliffe, Gemma (2004). "Management Plan for Glossop Brook". University of Manchester, Masters Thesis: 54, 55. Retrieved 10/7/2008.  
  27. ^ a b Pevsner, Nikolaus. 1986. The Buildings of England:Derbyshire. pp 319-320. Harmondsworth, Middx. Penguin. ISBN 0-14-071008-6. Page 219.
  28. ^ Quayle, Tom (2006). The Cotton Industry in Longdendale and Glossopdale. Stroud,Gloucestershire: Tempus. pp. 126. ISBN 0 7524 3883 2.  
  29. ^ Urqhart, Peter. "Explore Glossop Tours and Trails". High Peak Borough Council. Retrieved 2008-07-11.  
  30. ^ Rivington, F. & J., (1856) The Annual Register or a View of the History and Politics of the year 1855, Longman & Co. London. Page 149.
  31. ^ Pevsner, N.; Williamson, E. 1986, The Buildings of England:Derbyshire, 2nd. ed., Penguin, Middlesex. pp 218-219.
  32. ^ Parochial Church Council (N.D.), A Guide To The Parish Church Of All Saints, Glossop., British Publishing Company, Gloucester. pp 5-17.
  33. ^ Green Flag Awards website
  34. ^ St Philip Howard R.C. Secondary School, accessed 30 September 2008
  35. ^ Glossopdale Community College, accessed 30 September 2008
  36. ^ David Conn (2009-05-10). "Ghosts of Arsenal's ruling family escort Glossop to FA Vase final". The Observer. Retrieved 2009-05-10.  
  37. ^ Glossop's Victorian weekend
  38. ^ Glossop's beer festival
  39. ^ Glossop Mountain Rescue Team - whatwedo
  40. ^ Glosssop / Bad Vilbel Twinning Association
  41. ^ Speaight, R. 1957. Life of Hilaire Belloc. Farrar, Straus and Company, New York. cited in Smith, J.H. 2008. The WEA in Glossop 1907-2007. A Branch History. Workers' Educational Association, Glossop Branch. Glossop.
  42. ^ Hilary Mantel Biography at British Council site
  43. ^
  44. ^ Vivienne Westwood's biography at IMDb accessed June 2007

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Glossop is a small town located on the edge of the Peak District. It lies in the county of Derbyshire, which is officially part of the East Midlands (though most residents would consider themselves part of the Northwest of England).


Glossop is situated at the North Western extremity of Derbyshire and the Peak District, close to the borders with Greater Manchester and Yorkshire. It also lies at the start of two of the most infamous Pennine passes—the Snake and Woodhead passes. Its main development is owed to the nineteenth century cotton industry which generated the wealth to build much of the town we see today, although the cotton industry has since declined and almost disappeared from the region. Despite this, the historic mill buildings still dominate the town, such as those at Wren Nest and Howardtown, both of which are undergoing major transformations into new multi-use buildings including retail, leisure and residential properties. Glossop is now a vibrant modern town with great connections to surrounding places; however, it is predominantly a 'commuter town' for the nearby city region of Greater Manchester, where quite often people have moved to enjoy a more relaxed and laid-back quality of life whilst enjoying the same benefits as living near a city. Glossop is mainly a shopping and tourist town as it has a regular market and a wide range of both high street and independent stores. It attracts tourists mainly due to the surrounding Peak District National Park and its stunning countryside, but also for the heritage and attractions the town itself. It is not of any administrative significance due to its geographic location and local government structures. The population of the town (2001 Census) is 32,428.

Map of Derbyshire showing the geographical location of Glossop within Derbyshire
Map of Derbyshire showing the geographical location of Glossop within Derbyshire

Getting in

By Train

There are trains from Manchester Piccadilly Station every 30 minutes and seven days a week. The stations on the line are as follows:

  • Hadfield
  • Dinting
  • Broadbottom
  • Hattersley
  • Godley
  • Newton (For Hyde)- Connections: Hyde by bus or a 15 minute walk
  • Flowery Field
  • Guide Bridge - Connections: Ashton-under-Lyne by bus
  • Gorton
  • Ashburys - Connections: Walk or Bus to Eastlands/Manchester City FC
  • Ardwick - Only 1 train Mon - Fri stops
  • Manchester Piccadilly

At peak periods the trains may stop at the following stops in a different order (i.e. Glossop - Hadfield - Dinting). This rail service is operated by Northern Rail, the journey between Glossop and Manchester Piccadilly is around 30 minutes, however journey times may vary at peak periods. visit for timetable or call National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50

By Bus

There is an extensive public transport network across the High Peak, which is unusual for a rural area, Bus Services in Glossop are as follows:
The services below are correct as of 06/01/08
Please note that some of these services operate Sunday only, Monday to Friday Only or Evenings only, it is strongly advisable that you check before travelling

  • 61 Glossop - Hayfield - New Mills - Whaley Bridge - Buxton (Bowers Coaches)
  • 64 Glossop - Hayfield - New Mills - Whaley Bridge - Macclesfield (Bowers Coaches)
  • 202 Glossop - Charlesworth - Broadbottom - Mottram - Hyde (SpeedwellBus)
  • 236 Glossop - Mottram - Stalybridge - Ashton-under-Lyne - Droylsden - Manchester Piccadilly (Stagecoach Manchester/ SpeedwellBus)
  • 237 Glossop - Hadfield - Mottram - Stalybridge - Ashton-under-Lyne - Droylsden - Manchester Piccadilly (Stagecoach Manchester)
  • 239 Glossop - Charlesworth - Broadbottom - Mottram - Stalybridge - Ashton-under-Lyne (SpeedwellBus)
  • 341 Glossop - Charlesworth - Broadbottom - Mottram - Hattersley - Gee Cross - Hyde (SpeedwellBus)
  • 358 Glossop - Hayfield - Marple - Offerton - Stockport (Stagecoach Manchester)
  • 394 Glossop - Marple - Hazel Grove - Stepping Hill, Connections available to Stockport via Stagecoach Manchester Service 192 (SpeedwellBus)
  • 397 Glossop - Hadfield - Hollingworth - Hattersley - Hyde (SpeedwellBus)
  • 473 Glossop - Snake Inn - Bamford - Baslow - Chatsworth House (TM Travel)

For times, fares and details of these services and how to use them to get to Glossop call traveline on 0871 200 22 33 [1]

National Express Coaches stop at nearby Hollingworth, here you can pick up their 350 service towards Manchester and Liverpool, or in the opposite direction towards Sheffield, Nottingham and East Anglia. For times, fares and other service information contact National Express on 08705 80 80 80. [2]

By Car

Glossop has connections in all directions to the UK road network, however the main road (though not a primary route) is the A57. To the West this joins with the A628 Woodhead pass at Hollingworth, to become a primary route and then it is a short distance until it meets the UK motorway network via the M67 to allow quick and easy access into Greater Manchester. To the East is the A57 Snake Pass, an infamous transpennine pass to Sheffield. To the south the main road is the A624 which goes to Hayfield, Chapel-en-le-Frith and eventually Buxton via the A6, this is the main route into Derbyshire and towards the towns and cities of the East Midlands. To the North is the B6105 which links to the A628 Woodhead Pass at Crowden, the A628 is the easiest route to access the M1 from Glossop via Junction 37 at Barnsley. The A628 however goes through Barnsley and to Pontefract in West Yorkshire.

By Plane

The Airports easily accessible from Glossop are:

Both of which can be reached by train due to regular services to Manchester Piccadilly, they can also be reached by car via the motorway network Other airports within 1.5hrs drive are:

However Manchester being the largest of nearby airports can usually offer appropriate services from wherever in the world you wish to travel from.


Key attractions in the Glossop area include:

  • Glossop Heritage Centre, Bank House, Henry Street, Glossop [5]
  • Glossop Tourist Information Centre, Bank House, Henry Street, Glossop [6]
  • Longdendale Trail, An all purpose trail housed on a disused railway line, about 7 miles from Hadfield to Woodhead featuring trails for bicycles, horses and walkers
  • The Partington Players Theatre is a 120 seat theatre in the centre of Glossop showing 6 week long plays each season. They also have occasional live music, films and visiting productions.

In the surrounding area:

  • Buxton Museum and Art Gallery and the Historic Market Town of Buxton including tourist attractions, shopping and leisure facilities. Accessible via the 61/61A bus services or by car on the A624 road.
  • Manchester City Centre Attractions (15 Miles West) - by train, bus or car
    Urbis in Manchester City Centre - Museum of the modern city with free admission and changing exhibitions
    Urbis in Manchester City Centre - Museum of the modern city with free admission and changing exhibitions
  • Imperial War Museum North, The Lowry and Salford Quays attractions (17 miles East) - by train, bus or car - if by train change at Manchester Piccadilly onto a Metrolink Eccles Service and alight at Harbour City
  • Castleton and Caverns, Peveril Castle, Speedwell Cavern, Blue John Cavern and more in the popular Hope Valley.
  • Peak District National Park, A wealth of outdoor activities and beautiful scenery on offer within minutes of Glossop
  • The Trafford Centre, An award winning retail and leisure destination on the Western Edge of Manchester, adjacent to junctions 9 and 10 of the M60 Motorway and easily accessible by bus from Manchester


Walk through Manor Park to Old Glossop and—for the energetic—continue onto the slopes of Bleaklow.

  • Glossop Tourist Website, [7]. Glossop Tourist Information  edit


There is a vibrant retail scene in Glossop, as it boasts some of the best shopping in the High Peak, it has a wide collection of both national chain stores and independent stores existing alongside each other in the town centre. Most notably it has the largest Tesco store in the nearby area. Major retail areas include High Street West and Wrens Nest Retail Park, which contains shops such as Next, Argos, Wickes (DIY), Brantano and lots more. There are developments set to enhance the retail scene further in the near future.


There are many restaurants and cafes in Glossop itself with additional in the surrounding towns and cities, the town itself can cater for all taste buds with many nationalities and styles of foods available. There is a Chinese Restaurant in the town centre, a few Italian restaurants and numerous Indian restaurants as well as loads more. There are also many Chinese, Indian, Pizza and Italian take-aways located in the town centre. Although pub food is probably the most widespread eating out option in the town with numerous pubs serving food across the town centre.

However if you want to go to that extra effort to eat, why not travel to Manchester and experience great dining in the city centre at Chinatown or another of the numerous venues in the city. More notable places to eat include Phoenix City Chinese restaurant in nearby Stalybridge. To search for restaurants Visit Google Local.

The Globe (High Street West near Tesco store; tel. 01457 852417) is a welcoming pub that serves cheap and tasty vegan food and a good range of real ales, ciders etc. There is a small live music venue in an upstairs room with a varied programme and free folk-music jamming sessions in the bar on a Monday night. See


Glossop has an excellent pub scene, with everything from national chain pub-restaurants to friendly local establishments, it has everything to suit all types of drinkers

  • The George Hotel, Norfolk Street, Glossop, Derbyshire, SK13 7QU, 01457 855449, [8]. Set in the centre of town, this hotel makes an ideal base for a visit to the area from £35.00 (single) or £60.00 (double).  edit
  • Premier Inn (Manchester Hyde), Stockport Road, Mottram, Hyde, Cheshire, 0870 990 6334, [9]. from £59.99.  edit

The Hotels in Glossop and surrounds are listed below:

  • The George Hotel: Norfolk St, Glossop Tel: 01457 855449
  • Commercial Inn: Manor Park Rd, Glossop Tel: 01457 864569
  • Wind in the Willows: Derbyshire Level, Glossop Tel: 01457 868001
  • Windy Harbour Farm Hotel: Woodhead Rd, Glossop Tel: 01457 853107
  • Rock Tavern: Glossop Road, Marple Bridge, Stockport, Cheshire Tel: 01457 899354
  • Premier Inn (Manchester - Hyde): Stockport Road, Mottram, Hyde, Cheshire (Next to End of M67) Tel: 0870 990 6334

For the location of these hotels and to search for more hotels visit Google Local and search for "Hotels near Glossop"

  • Wind in the Willows Hotel, Derbyshire Level, Glossop, Derbyshire, 01457 868001, [10].  edit

== Avondale Guest House ==Avondale Guesthouse and (B&B), 28 Woodhead Road, Glossop, high Peak, Derbyshire SK13 7RH, England Phone: 01457 853132 Mobile: 07784764969 [11]

== The Bulls Head ==The Bulls Head Public House, Restaurant & Guest House, 102 Church Street, Old Glossop, Derbyshire SK13 7RN B&B. Telephone: 01457 866957... Mobile: 07876744061....Restraurant and Bar... Tel : 01457 853291 [12]

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