Hathersage ( /ˈhæðəsɪ/ HATHə-sidge) is a village and civil parish in the Peak District in Derbyshire, England. It lies slightly to the north of the River Derwent, approximately 10 miles (16.1 km) south-west of Sheffield.


Main Road, Hathersage
Location within Derbyshire
Population1,433 (2011 Census)
OS grid referenceSK229815
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtS32
Dialling code01433
AmbulanceEast Midlands
EU ParliamentEast Midlands
UK Parliament


The origin of its name is disputed, although it is generally accepted that the second half derives from the Old English word ecg meaning "edge". In 1086 it was recorded in the Domesday Book as Hereseige, and around 1220 it was recorded as Hauersegg.[1]



Mesolithic microliths have been found below Stanage Edge indicating ancient occupation of the area.[2]

In the Outseats area there is evidence of Bronze Age field system, settlement and burial cairn at Dennis Knoll.[3][4] Close to a now recumbent 2.3m high boundary marker on Bamford Moor is an embanked stone circle or possibly a ring cairn between 11m and 10m diameter.[5]

Roman period

There are remains of a Romano British settlement, possibly a farmstead at a location known as the Warren in the Outseats area. Finds from this site include Roman period pottery and a gritstone quern.[6] An early lead smelting site, variously interpreted as Roman or early Medieval, has been found at Bole Hill.[7]

Medieval period

The Domesday Book records that in 1066 Hathersage was held by Leofric and his brother Leofnoth. By 1086 Ralph son of Hubert is listed as both Lord and Tenant-in-chief. The population in 1086 was 8 villagers and 2 smallholders.[8]

The earliest recorded church was built by Richard Bassett, son of Ralph Bassett, Chancellor of England in the reign of Henry I. The present Grade-I-listed[9] structure dates mainly from the late 14th and early 15th centuries. The church, St Michael and All Angels', has a stained-glass window by Charles Kempe, which was removed from Derwent Chapel before it was submerged under the Ladybower Reservoir. Near the church is an earthwork called Camp Green, thought to have been constructed during the Danish occupation. It is also scheduled as a Norman ringwork castle of the 11th/12th century.[10] In the graveyard lies the base and lower shaft of a plain early Saxon cross.[11]

In 1566, Christopher Schutz, a German immigrant, who invented a process for drawing wire, set up a works in Hathersage. This became important in sieves used by miners, and later developed into pin and needle production. This led to one of the first Factory Acts, because inhalation of grinding dust resulted in a life expectancy of only thirty years. In the mid-18th century, Hathersage became famous for its brass buttons. Some of the mill buildings from this era have been converted into flats.

In 1728 Daniel Defoe recorded how the moors around Hathersage were the source of building stones and millstones.[12] Millstones were used in wood-pulping industries in the area and were also exported to North America, Russia and Scandinavia for the same purpose. Locally the millstones were also used for crushing lead ore and the ingredients for paint. In Dorset Peak stones were used for farm meal and barley crushing. The local gritstone tended to discolour bread, so were not generally used to grind wheat.[13]

Industrial Revolution

There is evidence of a post-medieval lime kiln, possibly constructed 1830s in the Outseats area.[14] In the 18th century the village was connected to Sheffield by the Sheffield to Hathersage Turnpike.


Because of the scenery of the Hope and Derwent valleys, its literary connections, and easy access by train or road from Sheffield and Manchester, Hathersage is a tourist destination. Its visitors come to swim (open-air heated swimming pool, with cafe open all year[15]), climb (Stanage Edge, which with other nearby edges have been the nursery for many famous British rock and mountain climbers), or ramble in its river valleys or hillwalk on its open moors. Hathersage Moor is the site of the Carl Wark hillfort and Higger Tor. Both are now within the Sheffield boundary.

In 1990, the cutler David Mellor opened the Round Building built on the site of a former gasometer as a cutlery factory in the village. The building was designed by architect Sir Michael Hopkins. In 2007, an extension to the old retort house on the site was opened as a design museum. Mellor's wife, Fiona MacCarthy, continues to live in Hathersage.

Hathersage has two business parks, Hathersage Business Park and Hathersage Hall Business Centre.[16]

Hathersage has a population of 2,000 people with three churches, one school and numerous community organisations. There is an annual gala, scarecrow building competition and well dressing in July.[17] On 1 April 2015, Hathersage and Outseats, the two parishes that comprised the village, were replaced by a single new parish council, called Hathersage Parish Council. Despite this, the population recorded at the 2011 Census was only 1,433.[18]


Hathersage is served by Hathersage railway station on the Hope Valley Line.

The village is served by the 271 and 272 services on the Sheffield to Castleton route which is operated by several service providers.[19]


The village is served by Hathersage St Michael's C of E (A) Primary School which offers education from Nursery up to Year 6.[20] The school was rated as 'good' in its November 2016 Ofsted report.[21]

The nearest secondary school is Hope Valley College.

Cultural references

Stones in the churchyard mark what is known as the grave of Little John, where in 1780 James Shuttleworth claims to have unearthed a thigh bone measuring 72.39 centimetres (28.50 in). This would have made Little John 8.08 feet (2.46 m) in height. One claimant to Robin Hood "of Locksley" is the village of Loxley, only eight miles over the moors on the edge of Sheffield. A number of local landmarks are associated with Robin Hood, such as Robin Hood's Cross on Abney Moor, Robin Hood's Stoop on Offerton Moor, and Robin Hood’s Cave on Stanage Edge.

In 1845, Charlotte Brontë stayed at the Hathersage vicarage, visiting her friend Ellen Nussey, whose brother was the vicar, while she was writing Jane Eyre. Many of the locations mentioned in her novel match locations in Hathersage, the name Eyre being that of a local gentry family. Her "Thornfield Hall" is widely accepted to be North Lees Hall, on the outskirts of Hathersage.[22][23]

Some of the scenes of the horror film Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974, directed by Jorge Grau, also known as The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue) were shot at St. Michael's Church in Hathersage.


Hathersage is home to Hathersage F.C. who currently compete in the Hope Valley Amateur League.

The Fat Boys Stanage Struggle is a popular local fell race that starts in Hathersage and rises to High Neb before returning to the village 500 feet below.[24]


  1. Mills, David, ed. (2011). A Dictionary of British Place Names. Oxford University Press. p. 229. ISBN 9780199609086.
  2. "Pastscape - Detailed Result: MONUMENT NO. 312389". www.pastscape.org.uk. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  3. "Pastscape - Detailed Result: MONUMENT NO. 965336". www.pastscape.org.uk. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  4. "Pastscape - Detailed Result: MONUMENT NO. 312379". www.pastscape.org.uk. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  5. "Pastscape - Detailed Result: MONUMENT NO. 312474". www.pastscape.org.uk. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  6. "Pastscape - Detailed Result: THE WARREN". www.pastscape.org.uk. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  7. "Pastscape - Detailed Result: MONUMENT NO. 312497". www.pastscape.org.uk. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  8. Powell-Smith, Anna. "Hathersage | Domesday Book". opendomesday.org. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  9. Historic England. "Church of St Michael and All Angels  (Grade I) (1109793)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  10. Historic England. "Camp Green ringwork (1011200)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  11. Sharpe, Neville T. (2002). Crosses of the Peak District. Landmark Collectors Library. ISBN 1843060442.
  12. "Day-working area, Burbage Moor". National Trust. 2017. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  13. Bevan, Bill (2006). "From Cairns to Craters: Conservation Heritage Assessment of Burbage" (PDF). Moors for the future. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  14. "Pastscape - Detailed Result: MONUMENT NO. 607893". www.pastscape.org.uk. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  15. "Official website". Hathersage Swimming Pool. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  16. "Why businesses are moving to Hathersage". Derbyshire Life and Countryside. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  17. "Hathersage in the Peak District". www.hathersageparishcouncil.gov.uk. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  18. "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  19. "viewtimetable". www.travelsouthyorkshire.com. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  20. "Hathersage St Michael's C of E (A) Primary School - Home". www.st-michaels.derbyshire.sch.uk. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  21. enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk, Ofsted Communications Team. (5 November 2010). "Find an inspection report". reports.ofsted.gov.uk. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  22. "The Eyres , North Lees and "Jane Eyre", also "Little John" buried Hathersage Church". 18 May 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  23. "Jane Eyre Hathersage Trail" (PDF). Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  24. "Stanage Struggle - Home Page". www.stanagestruggle.co.uk. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
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