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The Olden Days

Sheltered at the top of the Hope Valley and encompassed by an amphitheatre of hills, Castleton is a geologists dream, being not only located where the limestone of the White Peak meets the gritstone of the Dark Peak, but on the side of a somewhat insignificant looking hill which contains the only reserves of Blue John in the world.

Castleton
attracts visitors all the year round who marvel at the hidden depths of the Blue John Mine; ride on boats within Speedwell Cavern and climb up the long path to descend Treak Cliff Cavern. They are open eyed and in awe of Winnats Pass and gasp at the gaping chasm of Peak Cavern. If only they could look within the hillside and see into the recently discovered and largest natural cavern in the country – Titan as its name suggests is gigantic but not open to the public!

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Standing on a promontory rock above Castleton is Peverill Castle, now just a ruined shell, but in the 12th century this was an impregnable fortress and seat of William Peveril, later used as a hunting lodge by royalty and noblemen visiting the Royal Forest of the Peak, but now owned and managed by English Heritage.

Mam Tor
(the Mother Hill or Shivering Mountain) is slowly slipping away with the remains of a closed road running up its flank which appears like a set from an earthquake movie.

Steeped in custom and tradition, Castleton holds a Garland Ceremony on Oak Apple Day and still continues the ancient practise of ringing a curfew bell in the church.

Castleton
is rambler friendly and has played host to travellers for centuries as this is dramatic hill walking countryside with some of the most spectacular scenery and far-reaching views that you are likely to find in the whole of the Peak District.

Many of the natural and man-made features to be found around Castleton have attracted artists of every genre who try in their own style to capture the attraction and beauty of this very special corner of Derbyshire. Victorian writers favoured pencil drawings and water colour paintings to illustrate their books, often including shadowy figures and a bit of poetic licence into some of the dimensions as you can see from our selection of drawings of the Olden Days of Castleton.