Our little group is expanding! This month we were joined by Mary, Lyn Shepherd, Natasha Hague, Audrey Powell, and Victoria Cable who loves walking with us each time she comes over to visit her parents.
Three of the cars managed to find parking places on the main road in Birchover, but one of the drivers felt she had been all over Derbyshire before eventually coming to a stop.
Whilst eating our sandwiches the occupants of the lead car were engrossed in watching two men clear an unoccupied cottage of a fridge, 6 dining chairs and table, a nest of tables and various cardboard boxes, one brimming with trophies. We were reluctant to leave as we had played a guessing game as to what item was coming out next.
We started the walk from the Brimsbury Well, 1826, originally used by horses in the surrounding area, many of which carried stone and lead from the quarries. It was relocated from the Ashbourne to Bakewell road in 2001 and is now full of sedum plants and quite a few weeds.
We ascended stone steps onto a muddy track (the first of many) and into a wood, before entering an almost empty car park and crossing the road for a broad path across a heather moor and glancing at the Cork Stone as we passed. This is a large wind-eroded, pillar of sandstone used by novice rock climbers. With the Nine Ladies Circle on our right we stopped to read the information board, as some of our team hadn’t been there before. Owned by English Heritage it is an early bronze age, stone circle possibly 4000 years old. It is believed to depict nine ladies turned to stone as a penalty for dancing on the Sabbath. The King Stone, nearby, is said to be the fiddler and the graffiti carved on its surface includes the name “Bill Stumps” which is mentioned in the Pickwick Papers written by Charles Dickens.
After jumping over a stile and travelling along the high wooded edge of the moor we approached the Earl Grey Tower, dedicated to the Reform Act of 1832, when Earl Grey was then the Prime Minister of the UK. His government saw the abolition of slavery in the British Empire and he is also associated with Earl Grey tea, named after him.
Whilst trekking through a particularly boggy field, two of our company almost lost a boot each, being sucked down further than they expected. Thankfully we soon arrived at a grassy field and were able to walk steadily and purposefully towards our next point.
As we reached a farm we were treated to the sight of four white peacocks on an outbuilding, one displaying his feathers to our delight. Natasha took a photo of cushions of snowdrops and plenty of daffodils in bud, just waiting for the warm sunshine to bring them into bloom.
Towards the end of the walk we could see the main road where the cars were parked, but we just needed to find our way out of a field. Sharp-eyed Steve found the gate and after just over two hours we were back where we started, at the Brimsbury Well.
Thank you Bob for an adventurous walk. We look forward to next month when Steve and Julie Franks will be leading us on a 5 ½ mile trek from Carsington village to Brassington. We will meet at 12noon at the church gates with our packed lunches and arrange transport in our usual way.