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Myths & Legends

Derbyshire abounds with myths and legends, ancient and modern. Here are just a few to spark the imagination.

Dam Busters: visit The Derwent Dams to see where the crews practised dropping the famous Barnes Wallis, Bouncing Bombs.

Well Dressings: a Derbyshire tradition whose origins are lost in the mists of time. Villages and towns decorate their wells and springs throughout the summer months from Whitsuntide to September.

Chesterfield is home to the parish church of St Mary’s and All Saints, which is better known as The Crooked Spire. Legend tells that the huge spire was twisted by the Devil as he danced around it.

Arbor Low: forget Stone Henge, here you can actually wander around an ancient stone circle and burial mound – an amazing place to visit.

Nine Ladies Stone Circle: a Bronze Age stone circle on Stanton Moor, near Bakewell, although legend tells that it is infact 10 local maidens turned to stone for dancing on the Sabbath, with the Fiddler nearby.

Sheela-na-gigs: examples of these ancient and rare grotesque Celtic carvings can be found at St Helen’s Church, Darley Dale, where you can also find The Darley Yew, one of England’s oldest trees at 2,500 years old, and a beautiful stained glass window designed by the famous pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones and at Haddon Hall

Eyam: known forever as The Plague Village, thanks to the bravery of the villagers, who in 1665 quarantined themselves from the rest of the world to prevent an outbreak of the plague spreading.

Creswell Crags: home of the ice age hunter, with Neolithic tools, sabre tooth tiger remains, and the only examples of Stone Age cave art in the United Kingdom.

Hob Hurst’s House: a square prehistoric burial mound with an earthwork ditch and outer bank on the moors above Chatsworth. Named after a local goblin.