By Peter & Georgie Everson
Photographs courtesy of Sylvia Hill
A pleasant early spring day was on the forecast, but when we reached Dennis Knoll Car Park near Hathersage there was a biting cold wind. Ten of us set off up the track to Stanage Edge and across to the Stanedge Pole. As we dropped down towards Redmires Reservoir we found a sheltered grassy bank for our coffee stop. Unfortunately the Reservoir has been drained while work on the dam is being carried out. When we reached Wyming Drive the wide track took us along the river joining Redmires and Rivelin Reservoirs. We left the drive at a path marked Reddicar Woods and climbed steadily onto the moors. In front of us was the Headstone. This is a naturally occurring block of grit stone surrounded by a sea of smaller rocks due to many fractures in the rock. The views across the moors towards Sheffield were magnificent. We could also see Crawshaw Lodge across the Valley. We climbed up the fields to it and then turned left along the Roman Road.
We had lunch sheltering behind a wall with great views towards Hallam Moor. We soon reached Moscar Lodge and then crossed the A57 to reach the path up to Stanage Edge. Again we had good views towards Ladybower Reservoir, Win Hill and Fairbrook Naze. We followed the path below the rocks which gave us lovely views of the edge with winter sunshine on them. Just before we dropped down to the car park there were millstones all over the hillside in the bracken.
Millstone production was one of the main industries in the Peak District starting in the 14th century and reaching its peak in the late 17th century. It disappeared suddenly in the mid 18th century when white bread became fashionable. The gritstone turned flour a grey colour whereas French millstones were capable of producing white flour. The stones now lie exactly where they were made and are now the emblem of the Peak District.