Wirksworth

Wirksworth is a charming, historic market town with a rich history. Unlike many small towns, it has not been taken over by chains, and still has individual, local shops.

There are several restaurants including the well known Mistral bistro and an excellent chippy!

Wirksworth has a rich art and music scence, and if you visit in September, you can enjoy the Wirksworth rural arts festival.

If you venture up The Dale or The Green, you quickly find yourself high above Wirksworth, peering down on the roofs of the houses below.

This is taken from a local website:

“The DALE and GREEN HILL

The limestone cottages of The Dale and Green Hill cling to the hillside, as if Wirksworth was some little Cornish fishing village with nothing but the sea missing. In places it is possible to walk from the garden of one house onto the roof of another below. This is the area where the lead miners used to live, the jumble of small cottages having been built mostly from random stone extracted from nearby quarries. Nowhere is the lack of planning more apparent than in the area between the remains of Dale Quarry and Middle Peak Quarry, known locally by the intriguing name of Puzzle Gardens. The cottages are linked by a maze of “ginnels” or “jitties”, there is no room for vehicular access and the visitor quickly gets lost with paths seeming to lead in all directions.

It was on Green Hill, in 1912, where Rolls-Royce used the steep gradient for special stop and re-start tests on their cars. During the following year’s Austrian Alpine trials these tests paid of handsomely, enhancing considerably the prestige of their world famous car-engines. Many other trials have been held on the hill with both solo and side car motor bikes attempting to reach the top without stopping. This was not an easy task, as in those days the road surface was often rough and deeply rutted, which resulted in plenty of thrills and spills for the interested spectators who liked to join in and give the bikes a good push when they got stuck.”

At the top of the Dale, you’ll find the StarDisc. Carved into black granite is a star chart that mirrors the northern hemisphere’s night sky. The surface of the stone circle is inscribed with the constellations, their names, and a depiction of the Milky Way.