Castleton is a popular tourist village in the heart of the Derbyshire Peak District National Park. The village is renowned for epitomising the quintessentially classic English hamlet, for its wealth of local history, and for being a major Peak District walking centre.
Castleton’s position as a major walking centre is in part due to the fact that it is surrounded on three sides by steep hills, including the famous Mam Tor (literally translating to Heights of the Mother) standing at over 500 meters (1,690 ft). Mam Tor also makes up a part of the Great Ridge, a 3km walk which separates the vales of Edale and Castleton.
Castleton itself was first settled by the Celts, and the ruins of a Celtic hill fort are still able to be found on the nearby hill of Mam tor. As the Celts were superseded by the Romans, the area became prosperous through lead mining. In fact, Odin Mine, one of the oldest lead mines in England can be found near Castleton. The mine, now designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument, is thought to have been used by the Romans, Saxons and Danes with production at the mine stopping as late as 1869.
Castleton was also mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086, albeit under the name Pechesers [literally translated as Peaks Arse]:
“Arnbiorn and Hundingr held the land of William Peveril’s castle in Pechesers.”
In fact, William Peveril was allegedly an illegitimate son of William the Conqueror, with the castle being bequeathed to him in 1086. The castle can be found overlooking the village of Castleton, viewable from
our front beer patio with the square keep and curtain walls still standing. Castleton wouldn’t be complete without a reference to the world famous “Garland Day” (also known as Oak Apple Day) celebrated every year on the 29th May. May 29th is the anniversary of the Battle of Worcester when, escaping from the pursuing Roundheads, Charles II hid in an oak tree.
During the ceremony, the Garland King and Queen parade around the village on horseback wearing 17th century dress, with the king wearing a garland so big that it completely covers him from the waist up! Whilst on parade the King and Queen stop at every pub around the village, ending up in the Main Square where the garland is hoisted up and placed upon the top of the church tower opposite