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Thorpe

Thorpe has an amazing passing trade - a constant convoy of visitors to Dovedale which is one of the most popular beauty spots in the whole of the Peak District .

A gated road from Thorpe heads up over Thorpe Pasture from where there are the most fabulous and far reaching panoramic views. On a clear day it is possible to make out the sandcastle structures of a power station near Burton-upon-Trent. Whilst over to the east are Harboro Rocks and Alport Heights.

The Peveril Of The Peak Hotel and The Izaak Walton Hotel can be found near Thorpe which provide accommodation to visitors wishing to extend their stay.

Thorpe Church is dedicated to St Leonard and dates back to the 12th/13th centuries, although parts were rebuilt around 1881. The Norman tower is probably its piece de resistance as it is topped with a battlemented parapet. In the churchyard is a sundial of 1767 by Whitehurst of Derby who was renowned for his clocks, whilst within is a fine Elizabethan communion rail and a Norman font. The latter was reputed to have been used in the last century as a cattle trough. However, it was cleaned to such an extent before being replaced in the church that most of its intricate carving on the outside was lost.

Marks on either side of the doorway to Thorpe church are said to have been caused by repeated sharpening of arrows. In the 14th century villagers were encouraged to improve their archery skills and Sunday afternoon was set aside for practice. Thorpe parish was responsible for supplying many of the bows and arrows and they were often kept in the church for safe-keeping.

From around 1245 when it was in the possession of the Crown, Thorpe became an estate village, passing through a succession of owners. In the last century it was bought by Sir William FitzHerbert of Tissington who planted a tree on the village green to mark the occasion. Had you visited the green earlier in the 19th century however you would have witnessed several donkeys tethered there to graze. These were used to carry visitors up the steep sugarloaf hill of Thorpe Cloud.

Thorpe Cloud appears from some angles as a miniature Peak District pyramid. It reaches a height of 942 feet above sea level, and together with Bunster Hill forms a guard over the stepping stones of Dovedale.

A reference dating back to 1905 states that fishing permits on the Derbyshire side of the river from Dove Holes could be obtained from either the Peveril of the Peak or the Dog and Partridge at nearby Thorpe. The fishing rights on the Staffordshire side of the river from Ilam Rock to the confluence of the Dove with the Manifold were owned and evidently still are by the Izaak Walton Hotel. A day?s ticket at that time cost 1s 6d - no doubt it has increased!