Youlgrave History

Youlgrave in The Peak District, sometimes written as Youlgreave, and possibly meaning `yellow grove`, is the largest of 3 villages within a mile of each other, all on the same road. The others being Bradford and Alport. Middleton, on the opposite side of the village is also only a short distance away.

Situated in the Bradford Dale, this quaint straggley village can be a magnet for tourists on fine days particularly at weekends. There is a carpark and some on road parking available, though not encouraged.

Youlgrave’s main road, called Church Street, contains a number of traditional stone built houses and shops. The youth-hostel used to house the former Youlgreave Co-operative society, which played a large part in the survival of the village, supplying credit to families when times were particularly hard.

Youlgrave village contains a water tank, holding up to 12,000 gallons, and known as The Fountain. This was the water supply for the village in the 19th century, with water being piped up from the river Bradford.

Youlgrave post office, near The Fountain, sells maps and gifts, and next to the post office is a house, known as ‘Thimble Hall’, which recently exchanged hands for nearly £50,000 even though it only contains 2 small rooms, one above the other, connected by a ladder.

The church of All Saints, opposite the George Hotel, is possibly one of the most impressive churches in The Peak District.It probably dates back to about the 13th or 14th century, but many modifications have been made and much restoration was carried out around 1870. Externally the impression is dominated by the broad, big and tall perpendicular tower, with its angle butresses, large western door, large west window, 2 tall bell openings on either side, battlements and eight pinnacles, and tall and wide arch towards the nave.Inside, its finest quality is its very wide nave containing 3 bay arcades. It also contains a big, circular font, with a few animal motifs, dated about 1200, that was once in Elton church. It also contains an attractive cemetery. The village is well known for its annual well dressings, which take place towards the end of June.There are 5 wells, known as, Bank Top Well, Coldwell End, Fountain Well, Holywell Lane and Reading Room Well. The dressing of these wells is carried out in a similar fashion as at Tissington.

Youlgrave can be the starting point for many fine rambles. You can follow the river Bradford up to Alport, where it meets the river Lathkill. This is a good starting point for a walk up the beautiful Lathkill Dale.

Directions to Youlgrave

The village can be reached from Derby by turning right at Newhaven on the A515 Ashbourne to Buxton road, turning sharp left and following the well sign posted country roads. It can also be reached by turning left, about a mile past Rowsley village on the main Matlock to Bakewell road.

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