The Village Church
The Derbyshire village of Castleton is located at the head of the Hope valley, surrounded by hills such as Mam Tor, Loose Hill, Hollins Cross and Win Hill, hills once trod by Roman Soldiers. It is also overlooked by the remains of a once large and important Norman castle….Peveril Castle.
But like most English villages life is centred around the church.
This is Saint Edmunds Church. Of Norman origin and much restored in 1837, St. Edmunds has seen the fall of the castle, has been the hub around which the village has been built over the centuries and now a lively centre to a village that today relies heavily on the Tourist industry to supplement other local long established agricultural and quarrying activities.
Step inside St. Edmunds and I guess you will find there has been little change over the centuries for indeed this is what we imagine historic churches to look and feel like…
Solid Box Pews, high windows, a wooden canopy ceiling, intricate carved arch illustrate its venerable years, as does some signs of wear to the décor, but for all that a homely place to worship just as it should be for a bustling village.
But the best view of the Church and of Castleton is from the ruined castle walls high on the hill above St. Edmunds.
A Green and pleasant valley were the church still remains at its core.
Hope Valley Panorama from Peveril Castle Walls
P.S. When I started this series of “Sunday – Off to Church” postings it was simply to allow me to share some of the churches, cathedrals and abbey buildings I have stumbled across in my travels.
I am not religious and follow only my faith in fellow human beings. But that said I am nearly always moved by these many and varied religious structures that in their own way tell us a good deal about our historical roots…Be it a small isolated country church or majestic cathedral I often simply stand in awe at my surroundings. I hope you enjoy.
(C) David Oakes 2016