Pictures of Castleton
Castleton is one of the Jewels of the Peak District. It is a famous centre for caverns where you will find four of the countries most famous show caves. It is also the home of the ruined Peveril Castle, built in Norman times and immortalized forever in Sir Walter Scott's - Peveril of the Peak.
This is limestone country where the grandeur of the peaks is matched by the sheer brilliance to be discovered under-ground. Two caverns are both in Treak Cliff, these are beautiful places where floodlighting highlights the strange rock formations, the stalagmites, stalactites and the arch of Blue John stone. In the Blue John cavern there are spacious chambers and connecting passages running into the hills. Here you will find the famous stone in its natural setting, and gaze in wonder you might, for this glorious blue stone is found in no other place on earth. Fine pieces of Blue John have found their way to some historic places, it is believed to have been displayed in the Vatican Library in Rome, and good specimens can be seen in Chatsworth House and at Ashbourne parish church, both lie within the Peaks.
Peak Cavern, Devil's Cavern, and Speedwell Cavern are all equally impressive, with Speedwell lying beneath a spectacular ravine called the Winnats, found just to the west of the town.
Just as in the Spring Castleton celebrates Oak Apple Day, or Garland Day as it was once known, each Christmas the town hosts seasonal events in its famous caverns; Carols by Candlelight is held at Treak Cliff Cavern, and at Peak Cavern there is carol singing and a brass band.
The town's parish church is of Norman foundation and is dedicated to St.Edmund. The church we see today was largely rebuilt in 1837 with only the chancel arch remaining from the earlier church. The church tower has battlements and eight pinnacles, and inside you can see fine box pews, some inscribed with 17th-century dates.
The hope valley is highly picturesque with breath-taking scenery in every direction. Mam Tor, looms high over the village, this is thought to be where the Celts settled, there are the remains of a Celtic Hillfort at the summit in an enclosure of 16 acres. Here the altitude is around 1700ft.
For walkers this place is idyllic, a myriad of footpaths lead from Castleton taking you deep into the countryside, giving splendid views of lofty peaks and gentle river valley's. In Castleton itself there is a rich array of beautiful limestone buildings, including pubs. One of these, the Castleton Hotel dates 17th-century, as does the former Castleton Hall which is now a Youth Hostel.
Jubilant celebrations in Castleton commemorate the restoration of Charles II. On 29th May each year a group of Morris Dancers led by a King and Queen accompanied by a band parade through the streets of the town to the Market Place. The King is covered in flowers, and everyone dances as they celebrate the restoration of the Monarch, and the coming of Spring.
Castleton offers visitors a wealth of interest, it has well stocked local shops, gift and galleries, a splendid range of accommodation for those wishing to stay and explore, or it makes a lovely destination for a pleasant day out - but beware, stout walking shoes are essential!
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