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Hope Church

The Hope Valley takes its name from the village of Hope which sits approximately half way along the valley. The village has remained 'Hope' for over a 1000 years, which is highly unusual, and the earliest mention of the area was in 926 AD. It was recorded that a nearby battle was won by King Athelstan. In the Domesday book, it is noted that Hope had a church and a priest which was a rarity in Derbyshire in those times and visitors to Hope will have an idea of its importance as a village. Another reason is possibly due to the fact that it lies in the Royal Forest of the Peak, which was a Royal Hunting Forest and King Henry stayed often at nearby Castleton, in Peveril Castle.

The church of St Peter dates from the 14th century and has a stumpy broached spire. Situated in the very small, picturesque town of Hope in the heart of the Peak District National, Hope church is infamous for the gargoyles which adorn the outer walls, but also for its many extravagant and beautiful carvings.

The parish church has two ancient crosses in its grounds, the shaft of the sand stone cross dating from the Anglo-Saxon period, which stands 7 feet high and is carved on all faces. It is thought the cross may have originated in the church grounds and a possible base, now supports a sundial, but from the English Civil War until 1858, it was hidden in the village school. The stump of the Eccles Cross, originally near Eccles house, South of Hope, is also in the graveyard.

Between the 2nd and 28 July 2011, the church was broken into and about 15 items dating back as far as 1662, including two silver chalices and a pewter plate, were found to have been stolen.

The chancel has a stained glass window designed by William Kempe, which was rebuilt in 1882, incorporates a piscina and sedilia of the early 14th century. The font is all now that remains of the original Norman church, which was mentioned in the Domesday Book. In the churchyard is a headless Saxon preaching cross with its interlacing knot work, which is thought to date back to the ninth century.