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Goyt Valley Shrine


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This quaint little honeypot shrine is located in a copse of pine trees just off a footpath to the west of Foxlow Edge in the Goyt Valley at grid reference 002758. It is not accessble by car, with the nearest parking being about 1/4-mile away, close to the road leading up from Errwood Rservoir to Pym Chair which is known as The Street. Access to the shrine from the parking area is across a moorland path and a grassy bank with steps.

The tiny stone walled building has a stone slate roof and a low wooden door which is generally unlocked. Inside is an alter, wooden kneeler and some ecclesiastical decoration. The alter is sometimes decorated with fresh flowers.

This miniature chapel was constructed in 1889 as a memorial to Dolores de Bergrin who died whilst only in her 40's. She was a Spanish aristocrat and governess to the children at Errwood Hall down in the valley.

Errwood Hall was built by Samuel Grimshawe, a staunch Catholic Lancashire industrialist who acquired the site in 1830 and set out to build a lavish and opulent Victorian residence. Designed by Alexander Beresford Hope, the hall was built between 1841 and 1851 with Italianate and Norman features. The entrance faced east across the valley to take full advantage of the views, whilst the sheltered gardens faced south. Errwood Hall was built of rock-faced and hammer-dressed ashlar stones and coarse rubble of millstone grit sandstone. It was intended that a large Romanesque chapel be built on the south side and connected to the house by a covered passageway, but Samuel Grimshawe died in 1851 before this was undertaken and the chapel mound was then turned into a simple family graveyard.

The Grimshawe family lived lavishly with many servants and entertained on a grand scale. They had an ocean going yacht named The Marquita, whose captain is buried in the graveyard.

The hall had its own coal reserves which fed the many hearths, and the surrounding moorland was transformed into the wondrous landscaped gardens which remain to this day to some extent.

After the death of Samuel Grimshawe the hall passed to his son and later to a relative. In 1930 it reached the end of the family line and passed to the Stockport Corporation when it was let briefly to the Youth Hostel Association. After 1934 it fell into disrepair and subsequent ruin, and the grounds ran wild. When the Errwood Reservoir was planned around 1960, the hall was mainly dismantled and the remains stabilised. The Peak Park Authority then took control of the site together with the Forestry Commission and extensive paths and trails were laid for the public to enjoy.