Hayfield: Wikis


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Coordinates: 53°23′N 1°56′W / 53.38°N 1.94°W / 53.38; -1.94

Hayfield, Derbyshire from the northwest.jpg
Hayfield from the north west
Hayfield is located in Derbyshire

 Hayfield shown within Derbyshire
District High Peak
Shire county Derbyshire
Region East Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town HIGH PEAK
Postcode district SK22
Dialling code 01663
Police Derbyshire
Fire Derbyshire
Ambulance East Midlands
EU Parliament East Midlands
UK Parliament High Peak
List of places: UK • England • Derbyshire

Hayfield (SK037870) is a village and civil parish in the Borough of High Peak, in the county of Derbyshire, England.

The civil parish includes Hayfield village itself, along with Little Hayfield and part of Birch Vale.


Location and geography

The village is located in the valley of the River Sett between the towns of Glossop, New Mills and Chapel-en-le-Frith. Anecdotally it is often described as being "at the foot of Kinder Scout". Thirty of the 33 km² of the parish are within the boundaries of the Peak District National Park, including the hamlet of Little Hayfield. However, the village centre itself is not within the National Park. The entire area is within the more loosely defined geographical area referred to as the Peak District.

Today the village is split into roughly two halves, intersected by the A624 bypass (Glossop/Chapel Road). One half contains the traditional village centre, including several shops, businesses, and St. Matthew's Parish Church, while the other half contains mostly dwellings along with a handful of businesses and St. John's Methodist Church. The bypass was built to ease heavy traffic that once travelled through the narrow main streets of the village.

North east of the village lies Kinder Reservoir, located within a short distance of the Kinder plateau. This controls the flow of the River Sett, thereby avoiding the risk of flooding that had previously been a serious problem within Hayfield village, and which necessitated raising the height of the main street (the original road level can still be seen outside the Bulls Head pub and the neighbouring fish and chip shop).

The village has a cricket field where Hayfield Cricket Club (established 1859) play. The ground is located next to the Royal Hotel, and was purchased by the club in 1976 after famous ex-resident Arthur Lowe helped raise the necessary £5,000[1].

There are several natural springs located within Hayfield village, some of which once supplied part of the village's water supply. These are no longer in active use, although are 'dressed' yearly in Well Dressing ceremonies.

Although classed as being in the East Midlands, Hayfield is at the northern extremity of the region and falls more within the influence of Manchester and Stockport in North West England.


Some kind of settlement has been in existence in Hayfield since Roman times, and possibly before.


Early history

The area was once woodland but this was largely cleared, allowing for sheep farming, although the soil was not good enough for arable farming[2].

The village lies on the line of a Roman road from Buxton (Aqua Arnemetia) to Glossop[3] (Ardotalia). It is also on an important former packhorse route between Cheshire and Yorkshire[2]. The village provided refuge for traders travelling from Castleton and Edale to Marple, Glossop, and Stockport[2].

The village appears in the Domesday Book as "Hedfelt"[4][5] (some sources state the village was recorded as Hedfeld), and Kinder was recorded separately as Chendre[6]. It was included in the Royal Forest of the Peak in medieval times, but was not a parish until it was created perpetual curacy by Richard II[2]. The forest was popular amongst Norman rulers for hunting, for which it was well noted.

Hayfield's location and nearby geography made it an isolated and practically self-sufficient village until the Industrial Revolution; unlike other areas, Hayfield lacked a feudal lord or stately home[7], although tithes were paid to the Abbot of Basingwerke in North Wales[8].

Other than St Matthew's Church, Fox Hall (dated 1625) and an adjoining barn (possibly earlier) are the earliest surviving buildings in the village. Both buildings are located near the bottom of Kinder Road and are visible from the car park of the Royal Hotel.

There is some dispute as to which is the oldest pub in the village, with both the Bulls Head [sic] (believed to have been established circa 1396[9]) and the George Hotel (believed to have been established circa 1575[10]) vying for the title. Both are located in the heart of the village.

The Industrial Revolution — present day

Eventually woollen manufacturing became a main industry within the village, and the propensity toward three-storied terraced houses within the village reflects this—the top floor, with its better light conditions, was where the loom was operated. In Descriptions of the Country from 30-40 Miles Around Manchester (1795), John Aikten wrote: "The inhabitants [of Hayfield] are principally clothiers, though the cotton branch of late has gained a small footing."[11]

As with most northern English villages, the Industrial Revolution brought rapid expansion, chiefly the creation of several cotton mills within Hayfield, along with numerous fabric printing and dyeing businesses, as well as paper manufacture. Hayfield became known for spinning, weaving and calico printing.[12]

Other local industries included stone quarrying and millstone manufacturing. Some quarrying still takes place within the area, and the remains of old quarries can easily be seen within Hayfield and its surroundings. Clog making, charcoal burning and domestic implement manufacture also took place in the village[13]. During the 16th century, Cutler's Green (now a camp site, and formerly the site of Kinder Printworks Mill) was known for cutlery trade, before nearby Sheffield became dominant in that area.[14] Hayfield and surrounding areas were also home to several paper mills.[2]

In 1868 a railway line was built linking Hayfield to Manchester. Initially built to carry fuel to power the mills, the railway line also bought passengers to Hayfield. It was estimated that around 5,000 people each weekend would travel from Manchester in 1920-1930, in order to enjoy the countryside around Kinder Scout.

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. A famous photograph shows a locomotive crossing Church Street (the main street through the old village centre)[1]; the line skirted the cricket field and continued up the Sett Valley, and its course can still be traced in places.

During World War II, the village was home to evacuees from all over the country. However, on July 3, 1942, a stray bomb intended for Manchester was dropped on a row of terraced houses in Watery Hey. Six people died[15].

As late as 1937, the book The King's England: Derbyshire stated that Hayfield "is busy making paper and printing calico"[16]. But with industrial decline in the mid-to-late 20th century, Hayfield returned to its original status of a quiet rural village. Whereas once the village had 17 public houses and dozens of small shops[17], along with a gas works, it now has six pubs and only a handful of shops (there are eight pubs if the parish is taken as a whole). Only one mill is still standing, in the Little Hayfield area, and it has since been converted to luxury flats. Despite this decline, several new housing developments (both local authority and private) were built in the village across the latter part of the 20th century, increasing the village's population substantially, and the village remains a popular area in which to live[18].

The railway line to Hayfield closed in 1970 as part of the Beeching Cuts, but with increasing car use and good road links with Manchester, Hayfield remains a magnet for those who enjoy outdoor pursuits. The dismantled trackbed of the railway line now forms a popular 2½-mile linear recreational route, the Sett Valley Trail.

Churches in the area

Parish Church of St. Matthew

The parish church of St. Matthew has existed in its present location since 1386, having previously stood at Kirksteads, the name given to the area where the rivers Kinder and Sett meet near Bowden Bridge. However, the church was not completed until 1405[19].

The church as seen today is a result of it being largely rebuilt in 1817–18, although remnants of the earlier building are visible in the crypt. The tower was built in 1793 and raised (and a clock added) in 1894. The interior is galleried on three sides and contains a notable monument of 1786 to Joseph Hague, moved there from Glossop church[20].

St John's Methodist Church dates from 1782. It claims to be the 13th Methodist church built[21] and was visited by John Wesley, who may well have opened the church personally[22] (Wesley's diaries show he took particular interest in Hayfield, declaring in his diary that he found "uncommon liberty in preaching" when holding a service before the church was built). Although the building has been added to since construction, the four walls of the main church are entirely original[23].

Methodism was prominent in the area and lead to the building of several other chapels. Hugh Bourne Primitive Methodist Chapel was built on Jumble Lane (now Kinder Road) in 1867 and deconsecrated in 1969, its congregation merging into St John's. The building now houses Hayfield Library. Bethel Methodist Church was founded in 1836 and a dedicated church built on Walk Mill in 1867. The church was founded largely to provide Sunday School facilities. It was deconsecrated in 1956. Little Hayfield Primitive Methodist Chapel was built in 1851 and deconsecrated in 1975.

The Mass Trespass

A mile east of the village is the confluence of the rivers Sett and Kinder at Bowden Bridge (a packhorse bridge), from where rights-of-way lead past Kinder Reservoir (built 1911) and on to the Kinder Scout plateau. The Mass trespass of Kinder Scout started from Bowden Bridge Quarry in 1932.

Modern Hayfield

A Well Dressing at the bottom of Kinder Road, Hayfield.

Hayfield is no longer an industrial town and nowadays is considered a thriving Peak District village with a strong community spirit. In the 2001 Census, the parish had 2,852 residents, across 1,205 households[24][25] (2,164 of those residents living in the village itself[26]). Many residents work outside of Hayfield in nearby Stockport and Manchester, or in neighbouring towns and villages, although there are a handful of local businesses providing employment, including farms.

Hayfield is considered a desirable place to live within the High Peak and this is reflected in higher property prices compared to neighbouring towns and villages[27]. An increasing number of residents have moved from nearby Manchester and Stockport in order to experience a better quality of life, and it is possible to argue that Hayfield is undergoing gentrification.

An annual May Queen procession is held in the village each year in May, as are sheepdog trials at nearby Little Hayfield in September. Well dressing has recently been introduced. An annual jazz festival was discontinued in the late 1980s.

Prior to the arrival of ADSL broadband in the village, Hayfield Development Trust[2] pioneered village-wide wi-fi, known as the Digital Parish, allowing broadband-like Internet access for most villagers[3]. The main up/downlink was initially provided via satellite, although it now utilises commercial ADSL. The Digital Parish scheme remains the only method of Internet access for some remote villagers, and is preferred by many others.

Outdoor pursuits and sports

Hayfield is a popular walking and mountain biking centre; as well as being a traditional starting point for the ascent of Kinder Scout (traversed by the Pennine Way), the village lies directly on the Pennine Bridleway long-distance route (part of which follows the Sett Valley Trail). The village contains a high number of public rights-of-way, as well as bridleways, a legacy of the pre-industrial days, when they provided the only ways in and out of the area.

Hayfield is the home of the Kinder Mountain Rescue Team[28].

Other local destinations for walkers and mountain bikers include Lantern Pike (also accessible from Little Hayfield), a prominent hill to the north west of the village traversed by the Pennine Bridleway.

Fell running is also popular, and each year sees a championship held on nearby peaks[29].

The village is home to Hayfield Football Club[4], which plays in the Hope Valley Football League, and Hayfield Cricket Club[5].

Lantern Pike

Myths and legends

On the last day of August 1745, Dr James Clegg—the minister of a Presbyterian church at nearby Chapel-en-le-Frith—wrote to the Glossopdale Chronicle reporting that "hundreds of bodies rose out of the grave in the open air" from the graveyard of St Matthew's Church. They then proceeded to disappear, leaving Dr Clegg to remark: "... what is become of them or in what distant region of this vast system they have since fixed their residence no mortal can tell."[30]

In 1760, Hayfield had its very own witch. Suzannah Huggin sold wooden weaving pins and also bewitching charms. An old sailor bought one of these and promptly vanished, although Huggin was subsequently found to be in possession of the charm again. The villagers then blamed her for the disappearance, and she was dragged before the George pub and pelted with rotten fruit and stones, almost killing her. Somebody from Tom Heys Farm then took the charm but, after a series of disasters — including milk not churning and animals not feeding — the charm was reluctantly exorcised by Reverend Baddeley[31].

Famous residents

  • 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.[32] Although born in Birmingham, Lowe's wife, the actress Joan Cooper, lived in Hayfield until her death in 1989[33].
  • Coronation Street creator and script-writer Tony Warren spent some time in nearby Little Hayfield, and has a particular connection with the Lantern Pike Inn, where some Coronation Street memorabilia can be found.
  • Local sources suggest that Pat Phoenix, former Coronation Street actress, also lived in Little Hayfield at the same time as Tony Warren. The Lantern Pike Inn also displays memorabilia relating to her.
  • Footballer Frank Thorpe, who won the FA Cup with Bury in 1903, was born in Hayfield in 1879.[34]

External links


  1. ^ Daily Mirror clipping at Hayfield Cricket Club website
  2. ^ a b c d e Hayfield in the 19th Century, Joan Powell (New Mills Heritage Centre); ISBN 0952186977
  3. ^ 10 Walks Around Hayfield, Peak District National Park Authority. ISBN 0907543995
  4. ^ National Archives
  5. ^ Domesday Book Derbyshire (History From the Sources series), edited by Phillip Morgan (ISBN 085033165X)
  6. ^ National Archives
  7. ^ St John's Methodist Church, Hayfield; 1782-1982: A Bicentenary History (locally sourced pamphlet; no ISBN)
  8. ^ Hedfeld to Hayfield, An Introduction to the Area by Hayfield Civic Trust; Peak Press Ltd, locally sourced pamphlet (no ISBN)
  9. ^ Hayfield Pub Guide; part of Hayfield Country Cricket website
  10. ^ Sourced from George Hotel publicity material
  11. ^ Powell, ibid.
  12. ^ Powell, ibid.
  13. ^ Hedfeld to Hayfield; ibid
  14. ^ Powell, ibid.
  15. ^ St John's Church Bicentary pamphlet, ibid
  16. ^ The King's England: Derbyshire, a New Domesday Book of 10,000 Towns and Villages, pub 1937, Hodder & Stoughton.
  17. ^ Hayfield in the 21st Century, a report by Hayfield Development Trust, published by High Peak Borough Council.
  18. ^ Hayfield in the 21st Century, ibid.
  19. ^ 1909 History of Hayfield Parish Church
  20. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus (1953) (revised Elizabeth Williamson 1978). The Buildings of England: Derbyshire. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-071008-6
  21. ^ St John's church website
  22. ^ St John's church website, ibid.
  23. ^ St John's Church Bicentenary pamphlet, ibid
  24. ^ Office of National Statistics
  25. ^ Office of National Statistics
  26. ^ Office of National Statistics
  27. ^ Hayfield in the 21st Century, ibid.
  28. ^ Kinder Mountain Rescue Team
  29. ^ Fell runs
  30. ^ Hayfield site
  31. ^ Hedfeld to Hayfield; ibid
  32. ^ Arthur Lowe biography at IMDb accessed June 2007
  33. ^ Joan Cooper biography at IMDb accessed Dec 2007
  34. ^ Holley, Duncan; Chalk, Gary (1992). The Alphabet of the Saints. ACL & Polar Publishing. p. 333. ISBN 0-9514862-3-3.  

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Hayfield is a village in the Borough of High Peak in Derbyshire.

a and civil parish,

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