Chinley - Peak District
Chinley lies in the north-west corner of the Peak District and is now a large established village which evolved around the introduction of the railway back in 1867, when Chinley became the junction of two main lines. Prior to that Chinley was just a cluster of isolated farms and houses in areas known as Maynestonefield or Four Lane Ends.
Many of the houses, villas and cottages in Chinley date from Victorian times and were built either as railworkers or millworkers houses. More select residential properties have been built in recent years as Chinley became popular for commuters to Manchester, Stockport and Sheffield.
From Chinley Station you would have been able to catch a train to Sheffield, Manchester, Derby or even London. However the direct line to London was closed in 1968 when the railway line from Buxton to Matlock was dismantled. A legacy of fine railway bridges and viaducts can be seen around Chinley, and it must have been an amazing sight in the era of the steam engine.
The most important building around Chinley is probably the Elizabethan Hall at nearby Whithough which was built by the Kyrke family in the 16th century but is now the Old Hall Inn.
Another notable residence in the area is Ford Hall which was home to Reverend William Bagshawe (the Apostle of the Peak) in the 17th century.
Chinley is now surrounded by dramatic Dark Peak countryside with vast acres of moorland. However, centuries ago it was part of the Royal Forest of the Peak which covered an area of 180 square miles, and had three wards ? Longdendale in the north, Hopedale in the south east and Campagne (French for open ground) in the south west. The northern and eastern boundaries were marked by the Etherow and Derwent rivers.
The three wards met at Edale Cross which was also known as Champion Cross, a corruption of Campagna. In 1225 Chapel-en-le-Frith (chapel in the Forest) was founded by the King?s Foresters and in 1275 there is a record of ?Thomas de Wolfhunt? who was empowered to take wolves.
Although thickly wooded on the whole, the Royal Forest also consisted of wild open tracts of land. When the Forest was first established the local peasants and settlers were displaced and strict laws were laid down regarding trespass, poaching and the clearing of land for cultivation. Royal parties were arranged and wolves, boars and deer would have been hunted.
Three textile mills were established in Chinley in the 19th century along Black Brook, whose waters started life as rain falling on the surrounding high hills.
In 1799 the Peak Forest tramway was laid near Chinley. It was a primitive railway using horse drawn wagons to transport stone from quarries at Dove Holes to be used in the construction of the Peak Forest Canal at Bugsworth now renamed Buxworth, which was completed in 1806.
Among the strangely named hills and features which surround Chinley are Chinley Churn which has been exploited by quarrying for stone, Cracken Edge and Eccles Pike. Six acres of the summit on Eccles Pike were given to the National Trust as a celebration of King George VI?s coronation.
Chinley Churn rises to a height of 1480 feet above sea level. Its quarries have produced good roofing slabs and paving stones. There are wonderful views from the top of Chinley Churn towards South Head, Mount Famine and Kinder Scout.