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Pictures of Ashford in the Water

in the county of Derbyshire

About Ashford in the Water

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The dramatic limestone scenery of the Peak District can be seen following the course of the River Wye as it works its way from Buxton through a series of noted beauty spots until it reaches the picturesque village of Ashford in the Water which lies a short distance from Bakewell, home of the tasty Bakewell Tarts.

The beauty of the Wye is well documented but here it is made more vibrant with beautiful spring flowers growing at the waters edge beneath Sheep Dip Bridge, which is doubtless the main attraction of the village. Once a packhorse bridge, right up until recently sheep where brought here to be washed in the water prior to shearing. The concept was to pen the lambs on the one side of the river and throw the mothers in on the opposite side. The mothers would swim towards their young, ensuring a good soak resulting in a silky fleece.

Ashford is noted for its colourful well-dressing ceremony which is held here on the Saturday before Trinity Sunday when all six wells are dressed with a mass of beautiful flower petals and leaves. It is a lively event which attracts numerous visitors from out-lying areas who also enjoy the attractive village inns, lovely old stone houses and beautiful church. The church dates back to the 13th-century, it has a clock-faced tower crowned with graceful pinnacles. In the cool interior is a Jacobean pulpit and a chalice from the middle of the 17th-century. The church lies within a pretty tree-lines churchyard surrounded by graves covering past centuries.

The village was a centre for candle making, noted for lead mining and made famous by the discovery of Ashford marble which was first quarried by Henry Watson in 1748. The polished black marble was used for making clocks, vases and jewellery and made an exquisite background for colourful mosaic. The church has a handsome table top made in Henry Watson's factory which continued in production until around the 20th-century.

Ashford in the Water is a short distance from the steep slopes of wooded Taddington Dale above which rises Taddington, a spectacular limestone village and one of the highest in the country. The wooded slopes are preserved by the National Trust and face Monsal Dale in the east. Taddington Moor at 1,500 feet has the highest Megalithic tomb in England, it is an eyrie place wandered by sheep, where on a clear there are extensive views of exciting limestone formations and rolling countryside.

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