Founded in 1585, the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, still exists today, albeit in a new building. It was founded following a petition from five local gentlemen headed by the Lord of the Manor, Sir Thomas Cockayne. The arms above are those of the Cockayne family, and are still used by the school.
The street paving appears more suitable to those using a horse and carriage.
We travelled on to the Peak District passing by Tissington Hall - an early 17th century Jacobean mansion Grade ll* listed.
I am not sure why there are so many houses of distinction in Derbyshire, but every few miles you can guarantee coming across one of them. I can only speculate. Derbyshire was at the centre of the Lunar Society with its host of distinguished members, Erasmus Darwin, Matthew Boulton, John Whitehurst, Josiah Wedgwood, William Small, James watt, James Keir, Samuel Galton. Derby also had its own Philosophical Society. The area was known for its scientific and industrial innovations, the canals, railways, the Spinning Jenny. The Peak District is rich in mineral deposits, thriving agriculture, and home to many big estates owned by both the aristocracy and the nouveau riche industrialists, mill owners, and manufacturers.
The Pennines runs down what is referred to as the backbone or spine of England. Ashbourne is just a few miles away from the southern gateway to the Peak District.
My family would spend the day here where we would enjoy a picnic. H and I hiked here as teenagers.
It is the same River Dove that Izaak Walton fished,
Joseph Wright of Derby sketched, and I paddled as a child.
I think that I must have been a mother's nightmare, not content to mess around at the edge of the river, I would wade off into the middle jumping on and off the stepping stones until finally I would slip into the water right up to my neck.
On so many occasions after a family day out I have returned home, my clothes soaking wet, wrapped up in a big towel or blanket in the back of my father's car.
When we went to the seaside I would swim out as far as I could. I had no sense of any danger - I loved watching the sun's rays piercing the water, lighting up the dark green depths below me where I could see the fish darting around. I would look back at the pale yellow beach forming a crescent shaped bay with it's row of beach huts and tiny stick people playing ball or making sand castles. I could see my poor mother frantically waving to me on the shoreline calling desperately for me to come nearer to the shallow water.
When H and I hiked here there was just a rough track made by walkers. Now there is an established pathway which follows the dale and the river all the way to Miller's Dale. Next time we come, hopefully, we will arrive early and renew our acquaintance with the walk.