|The Andrews Pages Picture Gallery : Derbyshire
|A selection of photographs, prints
and postcards. Some have personal or family connections
|Thorpe and Thorpe Cloud
The village of Thorpe, part of which is shown above, is situated
on Derbyshire's border with Staffordshire and is on the hillside
above Dovedale. The village has a small church with a Norman
West Tower dating from about 1150 A.D..
Although it doesn't look overly large from this angle, Thorpe
Cloud is the distinctive conical shaped limestone
hill marking the southern entrance to Dovedale. The narrow
road linking Thorpe to Ilam and Dovedale goes down a steep
slope to the valley floor, circulating Thorpe Cloud in its
descent where the escarpment is less precipitous. From below,
where the visitor can properly appreciate the immense size
of the hill towering above them; it is massive. At its foot
are the famous Stepping Stones across the River Dove and the
county boundary runs along the middle of the river bed. Bunster
Hill, another prominent and even higher landmark, rises up
from the opposite bank.
Bonfires have been lit on the summit of Thorpe Cloud over
the years to mark special occasions. The first to be recorded
in the Derby Mercury was in May 1789 and was to mark
the recovery of King George III from the first bout of a series
of illnesses (believed to be porphyria) that were to plague
him for the rest of his life. The inhabitants of Thorpe were
not alone in wishing the King well as there were similar celebrations
throughout the country.
"His Majesty's recovery was celebrated at Thorpe,
in this county, on Wednesday last:-The morning was ushr'd
in With ringing of bells, which continued the whole day
; a large Bonfire was made upon Thorpe Cloud, which,
from its eminence, was seen several miles round the country.
At noon a number of gentlemen met at the Dog and Partridge
public-house, where an elegant dinner was provided on the
occasion; a number of loyal and constitutional toast were
drank, and the utmost festivity prevailed throughout the
village. - The poor were not forgotten during this scene
of joy, every poor parishioner being plentifully supplied
with meat and drink".
Ebenezer Rhodes visited Thorpe and Dovedale on a fine day
in either 1822 or 1823 and noted that the summit of Thorpe
Cloud was sometimes obscured with vapour - apparently described
locally as "the
mountain had its cap on". When he and his companions reached
the banks of the Dove they became aware of some sportsmen and
their dogs "amongst the bushes on the steep acclivities
on our right"
but they were so far above Rhodes and his friends that they
appeared to be very small, almost miniature representations.
A visitor in 1848 was William Lee, an engineer from Sheffield.
He and his party, who were on a four day tour of a portion
of the Peak, spent three or four hours walking from the Isaac
Walton Hotel to Berresford Dale. Dovedale was visited
by 30,000 people each year at that time but William was visiting
it for the first time. He said that "New and magnificent
views of rock and scenery break upon the sight every moment;-
at every turn of the body the picture is changed like magic.
The only constant feature of these landscapes being the sparkling
He subsequently presented a paper to the Sheffield
Literary and Philosophical Society and showed some of the
specimens he had collected along the way.
The early Victorians were fascinated by anything scientific.
William Lee married the sister of the web mistresses 2 X great
He was not alone in collecting geological specimens. Some
forty years later a gentleman from Matlock Bath, Mr. John Higton,
was also collecting fossils on a tour he made from the Ashbourne
area into Staffordshire (Alton, Leek and other places). Dovedale
was reached, and Thorpe Cloud was scaled. "And now Thorpe
Cloud is in one part a few inches lower than it was short
time since ; and a certain shop in Matlock Bath has on view
specimens of fossils brought from there which have never before
seen daylight since they were first deposited their [sic],
John Higton, South Parade October 4th 1888".
What a plug for his spar shop - and the newspaper fell for it.
As a teenager, boarding at Ashbourne Grammar School, the web
mistress and other girl boarders would catch the local bus
and visit Thorpe about once a year. We were invited to tea
by a very kind elderly lady, a Bishop's messenger, who then
lived in the village. She and her sister took pity on us; perhaps
they thought we were starving on the boarding house fare as
it wasn't just a cuppa and a small piece of cake that we were
given. The two ladies provided all kinds of cakes, sandwiches
and other delicacies for us to enjoy. What emerged from the
kitchen as full plates were returned with hardly a crumb left
Thorpe Cloud is now owned by the National Trust. The Dog and
Partridge Hotel has become (2017) The Old Dog.
||Thorpe Cloud, about 1925. By Frederick Adcock.
Thorpe is mentioned in the following on-site
1. "Thorpe Cloud, Dovedale". Published by S. Hildesheimer & Co.
Ltd., Manchester & London, No.3035. Printed in Berlin. Not
used, but almost certainly published before the First World War
- the stamp box contains the words "(½d postage stamp Foreign
1d", indicating that it was before 1918.
2. Pen and ink drawing from "The High Peak to Sherwood, The
hills and dales of old Mercia", Thomas Linthwaite Tudor
(1926), published London by Robert Scott. With drawings by Fred Adcock
Both images in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.
 Cox, John Charles, (1915, 2nd
edition, revised), "Derbyshire"
- Illustrated by J. Charles Wall, Methuen & Co., London.
Cox was then Rector of Holdenby, Northampton.
 "The Derby Mercury",
7 May 1789.
 Rhodes, Ebenezer (1824) "Peak
Scenery" pub. London, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme,
Brown, and Green, Paternoster Row. Also see the
map of Rhodes' Derbyshire journeys.
 "Buxton Herald",
9 September 1848. Ramble from Ambergate. Through Matlock, Bonsall
Dale, Dovedale, &c. &c. To Buxton. Extracts from a
paper read before the Sheffield Literary and Philosophical
Society by Mr. W. Lee, civil engineer. This was a four day
tour of a portion of the Peak. Having reached Ambergate by
rail, some of the journey was by omnibus and some on foot.
The report of this journey was continued in the "Buxton
Herald", 16 September 1848.
Times", 10 October 1888. A Few Days Amongst The
Quarries And Hills Of Derbyshire And Staffordshire.
John Higton can be found in Matlock Bath in the
1861 census | the
1871 census | the
1881 census | the
1891 census. He advertised in Kelly's
1876 Directory | Kelly's