6 July 2013


What a scorcher!...In spite of the doom and gloom merchants who told us that Great Britain is in for years of wet summers, early July is lovely and warm - how our summers are meant to be. As I write this post, our garden is ablaze with sunshine and yesterday I undertook an arduous five hour walk in the southern Peak District, parking in the "estate village" of Ilam. Here are just a few of the pictures I took:-
Town End Cottage in Ilam. Most of the houses here were built for estate workers who serviced Ilam Hall and its associated lands.  Ilam Hall probably dates back to the fifteenth century but it was in the early nineteenth century that the new Ilam Hall was developed by a wealthy industrialist named Jesse Watts-Russell whose son went on to build another Ilam Hall in Christchurch, New Zealand.
This may look like a pile of limestone rubble but it is actually the site of an ancient  water source called St Bertram's Well. Water sources were venerated in pre-Christian times and early Christians cunningly absorbed this culture so that in the middle ages pilgrims descended on Ilam to take the waters from this holy well. In more recent times, a local farmer has clearly damaged the well in order to pipe water to his nearby sheep pasture. It deserves to be preserved for posterity.
I'm always wary of cows when out walking. This group of oestrogen-fuelled  ladies seemed to chase me. Perhaps they thought I was behaving in a bullish manner... or the farmer coming to milk them or the vet with his artificial insemination kit. Whatever it was, I was happy to get across their field and through the gate that leads to Gag Lane.
At a remote uplands farm, the farmer clearly fancies himself as a bit of an amateur meteorologist - hence the swinging stone. Well I guess that when you live miles from anywhere without neighbours or shops, you have to find something to do - apart from animal husbandry.
Please close the gate! View over the Dove Valley and the limestone uplands above it.
After this exhausting walk, I changed into some long trousers and a fresh shirt before motoring into the nearby town of Ashbourne for a curry and then headed home to Sheffield past Carsington Water, through Matlock, Darley Dale and Chatsworth Park. It was nine thirty when I got in and still light. Summertime and the living is easy. 


  1. Fabulous photos as always Sir Plodder.

  2. You changed your clothes - in full view of everyone??? Tut, tut! ;)

  3. CAROL IN CHAINS Thank you
    JENNY I was by my car and wearing my pink Y-fronts. They are just like Speedo trunks! (Don't vomit!) Only one senior lady walked by with her dog. She must have thought that all of her birthdays had come at once!

  4. I really enjoyed looking at your take on my homeland. Up here at Cape Wrath the temperatures are clement but I can't stand in the wind.
    The gate is a cracker.

    Pink Y-fronts!....So it's you that has been frightening old ladies!

  5. ADRIAN Frightening old ladies? I learnt everything I know from you sir! For "stand" shouldn't you have written "pee"?

  6. " She must have thought that all of her birthdays had come at once!"
    You wish! ;)

  7. A lovely place to be.... I miss it !

  8. Great photos YP.....but I did struggle with the font of the text...I'm getting too old for tiny writing! The part of the world you describe is absolutely beautiful and how lucky you are to have the time to roam around it now.

  9. JENNY Hrrumph!
    HELEN At least you and Tony have explored some of the real England. Many Australian visitors seem to stick to London, Stratford on Avon and suchlike.
    LIBBY Sorry about the font. I shall immediately attend to that.

  10. I'm guessing you felt sufficiently stimulated after this trip. I would have. The old house with the fence and gate is, well, charming. The weather stone doesn't really seem useful to me. You said that though. I doubt the cows would have hurt you. They were probably following hoping for food. Cows do that. Still, looking over your shoulder and seeing a herd of big animals approaching would make me speed up as well. I agree the rocks around the spring or well needs to be fixed. The gate?


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