Stoney Middleton History

Stoney Middleton is situated in the beautiful Middleton Dale, four miles north of Bakewell, in Derbyshire and the Peak District National Park. It lies on the ancient highway between Chesterfield and Brough and was mentioned in the Domesday Book as Middletune. There are about 600 inhabitants nestling among limestone cliffs and rocks. The area is a magnet for walkers, climbers and potholers alike.

There was an old Roman settlement here in Stoney, and the site of the Roman baths, fed by a thermal spring lies behind the Hall, which was owned by the distiquished judge, Lord Denman, a great victorian reformer, who advocated the abolition of slavery and became the first national chairman of the Womens Institute. The baths have been restored.

Candle besom, boot manufacture, lime burning and light engineering have all been occupations in the past, with quarrying still employing the largest proportion of workers today. A shoe and boot company still operates and is housed in the old corn mill. There are 2 butchers, a general store with post office, hair dressers and a bakery.

A primary school was built in 1835 by public subscription and is the meeting place for the Parish Council, the PTA, W.I., Horticultural Society, Tennis Club, and other activities of the village. An interesting building is the octagonal toll house of 1840, now a fish and chip shop. It is probably the only listed chippie in the Peak District.

Above the village is a place called Lovers Leap Cafe, a favoured haunt of rock climbers and one of the most popular in The Peak District. It is so called from the leap of a village girl called Hannah Badderley in 1762. Jilted, she decided to jump from the high cliff but was saved by her billowing petticoat, which acted as a parachute.

There is an unusual octagonal church built on the site of a smaller one, erected by Joan Padley in thanksgiving for the safe return of her husband from the Battle of Agincourt in the 15th century. The new church was built in 1759 and contains a unique lantern tower. There were further additions to the church in the 19th century.

The village holds an annual well dressing ceremony, where 2 or 3 wells are dressed in late July.

Photos and information provided by Edward Rokita – see Derbyshire UK at