Pictures of Hathersage
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This small town set in the beautiful Hope Valley was a place often visited by the Bronte family. Charlotte Bronte stayed here with her friend Ellen Nussey in the vicarage and perhaps this is why she chose North Lees and Moorseats Hall, both of which are close-by, as settings for her novel Jane Eyre. Her desk is still kept at the vicarage, and the arms of the Eyre family are over the church porch. Inside the church there are brass portraits depicting generations of Eyres. Robin Hood's friend, Little John is said to be buried in the churchyard.
The terrain is little changed since these romantic times and Hathersage, once walked by the heroines of yester-year, is now a favoured centre for walkers. From the town you can take upland and lowland paths and enjoy numerous sporting activities, such as climbing, abseiling, caving, gliding and potholing.
It is a pleasant, atmospheric town which prior to the 18th-century was largely agricultural with a few people engaged in cottage industries making wire and brass buttons. In 1750, Henry Cocker opened his Atlas Works and began to mass produce wire causing the demise of the cottagers trade. His mill brought much prosperity to the town and by the start of the 19th-century several mills were in operation and the town had become famous for the manufacture of pins and needles. By the end of the 19th-century the industry had moved to Sheffield and the last mill in Hathersage closed in 1902. Interestingly, some of the old mills can still be seen in various parts of the town.
The town now takes advantage of its superb position, operating mostly as an attractive place for tourists. It offers a wide range of accommodation which includes friendly B&B cottages, to camping sites, youth hostels and old coaching inns. Wherever you stay and whatever you do, there will always be lots to interest and admire, not least the towering scenery of the spectacular Peak District National Park.
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