Castleton

A centre for Hope Valley, this large village is renowned for its ancient castle and some of Europe's most spectacular caverns which are open to the public.



Peveril Castle, ruined and incomplete though it is, has sufficient of its structure remaining to make the steep walk up to it from Castleton well worth while and it is the largest castle of its period to survive in the county. Besides the shell of the keep, much of the curtain wall survives, and within it the foundations of other buildings can be traced. The site, which belongs to the Duchy of Lancaster, is in the care of English Heritage which repairs and maintains the castle in an exemplary fashion.

The castle, perched high above the village, was founded by William Peveril, the Norman adventurer, who saw the inherent strength of its position for the purposes of defence. The present tower, or keep, was erected about 1176, probably to replace an earlier structure, and it was made famous by Sir Walter Scott's Peveril of the Peak. The Church of St. Edmund, practically rebuilt in 1837, has a fine early-Norman chancel arch, good seventeenth-century box pews, and a valuable library including a 'Breeches Bible' of 1611. The library was founded by the Rev. Frederick Farran, who died ia 1819, and includes works on divinity, history and biography among other numerous subjects. Later additions have been made by other benefactors. Several monetary bequests made by people during the eighteenth century were devoted to the relieving of distress among the poor.

Before the Norman keep there was a Saxon fortification, for 'ton' is of Anglo-Saxon origin and means 'an enclosure'. An earthwork wall extending in a haff moon formation round the village joined the Castle at each end, thus the Castle enclosure became Castleton.

Open: All Year


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