Delve into the history of Kinder, Edale and the Dark Peak

The trespassers gather at the quarry

280 million years ago gritstone was formed by deposits of sand and mud residue when it was a vast river estuary. On the surface, rain and ice wore away softer areas of reef creating gorges, valleys and caves and the landscape you see today.

Mam Tor

Known as the 'shivering mountain' after the Bronze Age, Mam Tor continued to be used as a defensive structure.
Iron Age settlers built imposing hill forts on its summit. Iron Age quern stones have been found at various sites across the area, implying extensive arable farming at that time.


Kinder Mass Trespass


From the 1800’s, workers from industrial areas of the north of England came out to the Peak District by the trainload to enjoy the fresh air and escape from the pressures of life in the factories and mills.

However, things were different than they are now and walkers could only access certain parts of the countryside because those that owned and managed the land were strict about who could use it for recreational purposes.  

In 1932, a group of around 400 from Greater Manchester met in Hayfield and attended a rally at Bowden Bridge Quarry where Benny Rothman addressed the crowd about the injustice of not being able to access the open moor of Kinder Scout. About 200 of the crowd made their way up William Clough where they were confronted by local bailiffs and gamekeepers. Following this confrontation a number of the protesters were arrested and sent to prison on the charge of “riotous assembly”. This event become known as the Kinder Mass Trespass.

The Kinder Mass Trespass, along with the other trespass protests in the area, led to a political will to allow access onto the open moor and ultimately the creation of the first National Park, the Peak District, in 1951. The National Park then negotiated agreements with private local landowners for the creation of “open country” which gave visitors far more freedom to enjoy the countryside; something that thankfully lives on today.

A view across the Derwent valley and reservoir.
Landscape, Derwent reservoir and hills
A view across the Derwent valley and reservoir.

Upper Derwent Valley

1912–1916: Gothic-style dams were built to contain the waters of Howden and Derwent Reservoirs using 1.2 million tons of stone from Bole Hill Quarry.
1943: RAF bomber pilots flew secret practice runs along the Upper Derwent Valley. The Derwent and Howden reservoirs were used as stand-ins for the Ruhr dams of industrial Germany. 

National Trust acquisitions

1.5 miles west of Chapel-en-le-Frith, the 6-acre summit of Eccles Pike was given by Mrs MM Spencer to commemorate the coronation of George VI. The remaining 29 acres was bought in 1990 with a gift from Mr GH Sugden. 
Dalehead was bought with Derbyshire and Peak District Appeal funds and a Countryside Commission grant. It has been renovated and is now in use as a bunkhouse (group accommodation) sleeping 20 people.
Kinder Scout was purchased in 1982 with grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Countryside Commission, a bequest, and money from a special appeal by the Derbyshire and Peak District Appeal Fund.
Derwent and Howden moors, originally part of Hardwick Hall estates, were transferred to the National Trust through National Land Fund procedures.