Beautiful Hathersage:
The Gem of the Dark Peak

Situated in the spectacular Hope Valley and surrounded on all sides by wooded hillsides and magnificent gritstone edges, the pretty village of Hathersage is an absolute gem! With beautiful old stone buildings lining the streets, and a collection of vibrant shops, cafés, pubs and restaurants, it’s no wonder that Hathersage is one of the most popular villages in the Peak District National Park.

Particularly loved by outdoor enthusiasts, it’s a great base for exploring Stanage Edge, a gritstone escarpment just north of the village that stretches for almost 4 miles and is famous as a location for climbing. The many moorland and fell trails that start from the edge of the village also offer wonderful routes for running, cycling and hiking.

Hathersage village in the Peak District

A Rich History

The village has a rich and interesting history. Evidence points to human occupation below Stanage Edge since the Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age, and Bronze Age field systems and a burial cairn can still be seen in the area around Dennis Knoll. 

Hathersage was already an established settlement at the time of its recording in the Domesday Book of 1086. Parts of the beautiful village church of St Michael and All Angels date from the late 1300s.

St Michael and All Angels Church

There is dispute about the origin of the name Hathersage. In the Domesday book of 1086 it is listed as ‘Hereseige’, believed to mean ‘a ridge settlement’. Many others believe the name to be a corruption of the words ‘Heathers Edge’, which makes perfect sense, as the village is surrounded by heather-clad moors in almost all directions.

Higger Tor

Although it’s now surrounded by fresh, clean air, Hathersage was once a dusty, smoky place. In 1750 a man called Henry Cocker opened the first mill here, and by the early 19th Century there were no fewer than five mills in this little village. The mills were renowned for making pins, needles and wire, primarily for the textile industries.

Although water was initially used to power the mills, by the mid 19th Century they were using steam, so at that time Hathersage was often cloaked in smoke. The conditions for the workers in the mills were poor. The needles were sharpened on rotating gritstone wheels, and the accounts of the time refer to the air in the mills being thick with gritstone and steel dust. This led to inevitable health problems for the workers, many of them children, and the average life expectancy for a mill worker was only 30 years.

Dale Mill in Hathersage

Hathersage : Famous Connections

Hathersage 1

Hathersage has a number of famous connections too. In the village churchyard visitors can see the reputed grave of Little John, one of Robin Hood’s Merry Men, and supposedly once a resident of Hathersage. 

There are a number of other connections with Robin Hood in the surrounding area, including Robin Hood’s Cave on Stanage Edge, Robin Hood’s Stoop on Offerton Moor, Robin Hood’s Cross on Abney Moor, and Hood Brook running out of the village, suggesting that there have long been local links to this popular folk hero.

Hathersage also has strong connections with Charlotte Bronte, who stayed at the vicarage in the village in 1845. Many of the locations in her most famous novel ‘Jane Eyre’ were based on locations in and around Hathersage. Hathersage itself is mentioned in the book as the village of Morton, and The George Hotel in Hathersage was also referred to directly as ‘The George Inn’ in the novel. Mr Rochester’s ‘Thornfield Hall’ is widely accepted to be North Lees Hall, on the outskirts of the village.

North Lees Hall

Hathersage Today

Today, Hathersage is a busy, thriving community. Visitors come from far and wide, not only for the outdoor adventures and beautiful scenery, but also for the many shops, cafés, restaurants and pubs. There’s also an acclaimed outdoor swimming pool in Hathersage which has been open since 1936, where you can swim and look up at the hills all around you!


Walks from the village

Why not try out our wonderful walks in and around this beautiful area?

2 miles: Let’s Go Peak District Kids’ Walk – Stanage Edge

This Kids’ Walk is a great one for adventurous adults too, taking in the most incredible views from the top of Stanage Edge and allowing great scrambling opportunities.

2 miles: Hathersage Fairy Woods

This short, easy walk follows well-made paths up and out of the village, past the church, through beautiful beech woodlands and back down into Hathersage on country lanes.

6 miles: Hathersage and Stanage Edge

This lovely walk takes you out of the village and up to the gritstone heights of Stanage Edge, with awe-inspiring views.  You then descend via Carhead Rocks and back into the village, along very pretty country lanes. 

6 miles: Hathersage via Grindleford

A gentle walk, this route starts and ends in Hathersage, following the River Derwent to the pretty village of Grindleford, taking in beautiful countryside along the way.  It is relatively flat and gentle with only a few small hills, and for the most part uses well-made paths and lanes. 

8 miles : Hathersage via Longshaw

This lovely walk is a little challenging in places but the views are definitely well worth the effort. The route starts and ends in the village, meanders along the River Derwent to Grindleford, onwards and upwards on to Froggatt Edge, through parts of the National Trust Longshaw Estate, over to Surprise View, and back down into Hathersage.

12 miles: Hathersage via Stanage Edge and Higger Tor

This walk starts takes in the dramatic gritstone heights of Stanage Edge and Higger Tor.  It is not for the fainthearted, but offers some of the finest views in the Dark Peak and the stunning scenery and variety of terrain more than rewards the effort.


building Own or work here? Claim Now! Claim Now!