We’re back in the Peak District for today’s Retro A to Z tour of Sheffield and surrounding areas.
The village of Grindleford is mentioned in the 1248 Derbyshire Charter, where it is called Grundelford.
Local writer Alan Jacques says that another early name, Gryndelford Bridge, explains how the village developed as a settlement. A bridge over the River Derwent was recorded in 1577 but there were probably earlier wooden versions.
Grindleford lies on one of the many North Derbyshire medieval packhorse routes that were used to transport salt from Cheshire to South Yorkshire and beyond.
He also says that Grindleford may be named after “the ford where grindstones crossed the river, or because the original ford had become too deep for use and had been “ground away”.
Grindleford’s transport links also include being at the meeting point of three 18th-century turnpike roads, mentioned a few weeks ago in the recent Tuesday Retro piece on Fox House up the road.
Even so, it remained a small hamlet with scattered buildings, mainly relying on agriculture. A tannery (replaced in 1913 by Grindleford Model Laundry) and quarries were other major sources of employment.
The arrival of the section of the Midland railway between Dore and Chinley in 1893 brought about more significant change, bringing both a growth in population and opportunities for tourism in the Hope Valley.
Grindleford station lies at one end of the famous Totley Tunnel, which at 3.5 miles long was the second longest in the country at the time.
The Maynard Arms was built in 1908 to serve this trade and homes and shops were built along Main Road.
A famous tragedy in Grindleford’s history took place in 1588 at Padley Hall.
Roman Catholic priests Robert Ludlum and Nicholas Garlick held an illegal mass in the chapel at Padley, the home of the Fitzherbert family, at a time when Catholics faced state persecution during the reign of Elizabeth I.
The hall was raided for evidence of Catholic worship and the priests were found hiding within the walls. They were found guilty of treason and hanged, drawn and quartered.
Sir Thomas Fitzherbert spent many years imprisoned in the Tower of London and died there in 1591.
The chapel and ruins of the hall have been preserved and an annual pilgrimage is held to remember the Padley Martyrs.