The bustling market town of Glossop is located in the High Peak of Derbyshire, on the north western reaches of the Peak District National Park. It is set in spectacular surroundings, has a wealth of history, and lots to offer visitors to the area.
Glossop is an ancient settlement, with evidence of a Bronze Age burial site at Shire Hill and other prehistoric remains within the moorland on the edge of the town. With the arrival of the Romans in England Glossop became a prominent territory, and in AD75 the Romans built a military fort in the area, named Ardotalia. Now known as Melandra Castle, the earthworks are open to the public. At one time this was clearly an impressive structure, originally built of earth and timber but rebuilt in stone in the early 2nd Century.
Glossop was recorded as a hamlet in the Domesday Book of 1086. Gaining a market charter in the 13th Century, it became a successful centre for wool trading and expanded greatly throughout the centuries. During the Industrial Revolution in the 18th Century, Glossop became renowned for the production of cotton. The damp climate and plentiful water supply made it an ideal base for textile mills and less than a century later there were more than forty cotton mills in the town, adding to its wealth.
Glossop today is still a large, vibrant place, with a wide range of independent shops and cafés. It remains a thriving market town, with indoor and outdoor markets every week, as well as a local produce fair on the second Saturday of every month. And interesting traces of its industrial heritage are still evident in the winding streets. Two of the former cotton mills remain: Howard Town Mill and Wren Nest Mill. Both have now been converted and are home to luxury accommodation, pubs and shops.
The area known as Old Glossop is particularly worth exploring. A designated Conservation Area, parts of it date back to the 12th Century, with a number of pretty stone cottages and a medieval market cross. The area known as Manor Park was once the grounds of the Duke of Norfolk’s manor house, but is now a large, landscaped park, perfect for summer picnics. It has an ornamental lake, numerous children’s play areas and even a miniature train (running between 11am-4pm at weekends and during school holidays between April and September).
Glossop is a gateway town to the Peak District, so it’s no surprise that the countryside around the town is wild and beautiful. The vast, rugged expanses of Bleaklow lie to the northeast, and Kinder Scout to the south, the highest point in the Peak District at 2,087 feet high. Only a few miles out of the town is the famous Snake Pass, a high, twisting road that leads through the most spectacular hills and moorland over to Sheffield.