Baslow History

Baslow village is situated at the northern edge of Chatsworth Park in Derbyshire and the Peak District National Park, with which it has close links.

Baslow is divided into three distinct areas, Over End, Nether End and Bridge End, where the river Derwent is spanned by a charming, 17th century, 3 arched bridge, beside which is a little stone shelter built for the toll collector. Nether End, with its ‘Goose Green’, a triangular paddock with trees and thatched cottages overlooking a brook, is popular with visitors. There is a number of little shops here.

Some of the buildings belong to the Chatsworth Estate. Park Lodge, a turreted Italianate building was erected in 1842 by Jon Robinson for the Duke of Devonshire’s physician, a Dr Condell. Cavendish Hotel is owned by the estate and many of its furnishings came from Chatsworth House. It is famous for its 10 miles of trout fishing in the rivers Derwent and Wye.

In the late 19th century a Hydropathic Establishment was built for people to come and ‘take the cure’, in the belief that Baslow Waters were a benefit to those suffering from joint and muscle pain. It was demolished in the 1920’s.

The Church of St Anne is beautifully placed by the river, with stately elms and ancient yews in its churchyard. The tower and spire, together with the nave arcade and doorway date back to the 14th century. The tower supports an unusual clock face with the name Victoria and the date 1897 on it. Built into the porch are the remains of a coffin stone perhaps 700 years old, and there are other curious stone slabs to be found in the churchyard. The church was much restored by the Duke of Devonshire in 1852-53, with the possible help of Joseph Paxton, the Duke’s friend and head gardener. In a glass case by the door is a whip, originally used to drive troublesome dogs out of the church.

Baslow has a thriving village school. The building is also used for activities by local societies. It still retains some old fashioned village events, like an annual carnival and procession with bands. It has well dressing, which is combined with a church fete with tea on the vicarage garden and a barn dance in the evening.

Baslow is in a superb position, with magnificent views to be has from the nearby Baslow Edge, where the moorland is just a wilderness of heather and home of grouse. Here stands the Wellington monument, erected in 1866 by a Dr Wrench, presumely in hour of the Duke of Wellington. Here also is the Eagle Stone, a great weathered block of gritstone. It was once a test of manhood for young men living in nearby villages. They had to climb the rock before they could marry.

The Hamlet of Bubwell is a short stroll away, with its old hall that was the home of the Bassett family for generations. One member of the family had fought with King Richard in the crusades.