2 August 2018

Buxton

Buxton Town Hall with "The King's Head" pub to the left
Buxton, in north Derbyshire, is England's highest market town and the administrative capital of an upland area known as High Peak. It has a population of about 22,000 and an interesting history.
Jack the Quarryman, Ashwood Park
During the Roman occupation it was known as  Aquae Arnemetiae - or the spa of the goddess of the grove. Hundreds of Roman soldiers enjoyed spa breaks in Buxton walking miles to get there along well-trodden tracks from numerous military outposts. The Roman occupation of Britain lasted for 350 years, beginning in 43AD, so Aquae Arnemetiae would have accommodated many generations of Romans.
There was a resurgence of interest in spa waters during the Victorian era. Railway tracks descended upon Buxton and soon the town became a booming inland resort with impressive hotels, bath-houses, pleasure gardens and the famous Buxton Pavilion with its vast glass dome, dining rooms and horticultural displays. A late afterthought was The Buxton Opera House - completed in 1903. It is a delightful little theatre that still thrives today.
Buxton Opera House
Buxton is around twenty four miles from our house. On Tuesday, Shirley suggested that we ride out there and so of course, being a mild and agreeable husband, I assented immediately to this "request". It was a lovely drive over and an even prettier drive back.
Milton's Head pub in Buxton
In between, we strolled around, visited Buxton Pavilion and the marketplace and had a splendid lunch in Wye Bridge House - which is now a popular pub-restaurant run by Wetherspoons. Her ladyship had enjoyed her trip to Buxton in summery weather. It is a very different place in the dark days of winter when cold winds blow and sleet lashes down from iron-coloured Pennine clouds.
Tuesday market

24 comments:

  1. So far, I've known Buxton only from the name on the water bottles when we buy Buxton spring water to take along on walks or hikes. It looks a well-kept town and not so much the faded beauty with slightly shabby corners I've come across in other spa towns that had their heyday in Victorian times (or even earlier).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ee by gum lass - you are up early today! I guess the name "Buxton" on those water bottles is a deliberate echo of the town's glory days when folk arrived in throngs "To take the waters"

      Delete
  2. I've only ever ben to Buxton once but I remember it as a lovely place. I'm a bit confused with your stamente that Buxton is the highest market town in England as Alston, sits along the Penine Way in Cumbria, also state they are the highest market town in England.
    Carol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha! That's interesting Carol. Both towns claim to be "about 1000 feet above sea level". I notice that Buxton market is in the oldest and highest part of the town.

      Delete
    2. Ah, Maybe both towns are at the same hieght but Alston no longer have a market so Buxton wins for me.
      Carol

      Delete
  3. often drive through Buxton on the way to my mothers at Congleton , theres faster roads but i just like the drive

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On Tuesday, on the way back to Sheffield, we took a route that led through Millers Dale to Tideswell. Very beautiful. On the road from Buxton over to Cheshiret is a shame that "The Cat and Fiddle" pub is now closed isn't it?

      Delete
  4. About a decade ago we spent a week in Yorkshire, we need to go back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is so much variety here - it's like Planet Earth itself. Try Ripon or Saltburn-by-the-Sea or Ribblesdale or Whitby or Swaledale or The Yorkshire Wolds or York or Beverley or Spurn Head or The Yorkshire Moors or...

      Delete
  5. It pleases me to learn that you do as you are told...oops...asked! :)

    The area has a long and interesting history..thanks for sharing some of it with us...as well as your photos.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've only known Buxton as the manufacturers of quality leather wallets, purses, luggage and the like. It's interesting to learn the history of an entirely different Buxton. I continue to be amazed at the historical buildings there, which are very real reminders of the long history of human movement across the continent.

    ReplyDelete
  8. P. S. We have our historical artifacts as well, but they tend not to be buildings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you mean mountains, rivers and lakes Jenny? Native Americans didn't leave too much physical evidence behind did they? Generally, it wasn't their way.

      Delete
    2. Actually, I was thinking of arrowheads and totem poles and so on. And you're right, there weren't great amounts of it.

      Delete
  9. I like Buxton, the tropical gardens are lovely. I stayed overnight there once, couldn't find a cheap B & B, so the taxi driver let me stay at his house. His wife was very nice, Steve and Carol, I'll never forget them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How kind of Steve and Carol! You were very lucky that night MQ.

      Delete
  10. My street growing up in our dustbowl National Capital was Buxton Street - evidently a joke! The Opera House is extremely grand for a market town. Are there still spas operating?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. Some spas certainly operate but the spa fever has disappeared. Victorians placed great store in spa waters. Modern people are not so easily fooled.

      Delete
  11. Greg and I went there a few decades ago. It was lovely to see it again through your photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so pleased that this blogpost brought back happy memories ADDY.

      Delete
  12. Sounds like a fun outing! I've never been to Buxton. I should add it to our list! It's funny how 350 years seems like such a short time within the span of history, but it does encompass many generations of individuals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Travel back 350 years from 2018 and you reach 1668. That helps to put the Roman occupation into perspective.

      Delete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.