Darley Dale History

Darley Dale in Derbyshire, is situated north of Matlock on the A6 towards Rowsley. Part of Darley Dale straddles the main road but another part, with the church and village pub is a short distance away down a road called Church Lane.

It was the home of Sir Joseph Whitworth, manufacturer of machine tools and inventer of the Whitworth screw. He was responsible for much of the development in the village. He and his wife founded the Whitworth Institute, a community Centre for the people of Darley Dale, the Whitworth Park with its many sports facilities and the Whitworth hospital. Despite all this, it is believed that he was unpopular with the local residents because of the high walls he built around his estate, Stancliffe Hall, to protect his privacy.

Darley Dale was once a railway village with sidings to the north. Since 1991 trains have been runing again as Darley Dale forms part of Peak Rails dream to re-establish a line between Matlock and Buxton. At the moment the line runs from Matlock to Rowsley. The railway station is adjacent to the park and steam trains run every Sunday throughout the year,Saturdays between Apil and October and weekdays during the summer holidays. There are dining facilities on special days and Peak Rail also holds other special events. Contact them on 01629 580381 or the Matloch Tourist Information centre for more details.

The ancient Parish Church of St Helens is dominated by an even more ancient and famous yew tree, one of the thickest in England, having a girth of around 33 feet, 4 feet from the ground. It is believed to be well over a 1000 years old. The church dates from the 12th century and contains monuments to Sir John de Darley who was Lord of the Manor over 600 years ago, and in the chancel, a Kneeling John Milward, his wife and their 11 children. John was a colonel in the Kings Army during the Civil War, and they lived at Smitherton Hall. a stone gabled Elizabethan house situated 2 miles from the church.

The village has a popular pub called the Church Inn and a thriving village school. Nearby is the Red House Carriage Museum which houses a unique collection of horse drawn conveyances.