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Monsal Head, Monsal Dale

Monsal Head in twilight
Monsal Head in twilight
Monsal Head

A short walk from can be made from Monsal Head down into the dale. Crossing the river over the footbridge and following the river downstream, you will reach the point where the Wye tumbles over a weir that has featured on many post cards and calendars. The view from the dale rising up to Monsal Head offers a converse vista of the surroundings.

Monsal Head Weir
Monsal Weir

High on the left stands the prominent headland of Fin Cop, a landslip which has traces of an iron age fortification at its summit. There are many prehistoric sites in and above the dale, including early Bronze Age burial mounds.  Fin Cop’s summit is enclosed with impressive stone ramparts which create a hill fort.  They may have been built later in the Bronze Age or during the Iron Age, possibly at the same time as the Mam Tor hill fort to the north.  It’s still unknown whether the walls at Fin Cop were defensive, or a symbol of the community who built them – or whether Fin Cop was a settlement or a ceremonial place

Another natural rock formation here is known as Hob's House. Legend has it, that Hob was a giant who emerged at night thresh the corn of local farmers, who in turn rewarded him with a bowl of cream.

The course of the River Wye, a comparatively small stream is only a few miles in length, but it is exceptionally beautiful.  At Monsal Dale, the vista becomes glorious as the river horseshoes the foot of Fin Cop. 

Monsal Head Holiday CottagePony In Monsal Dale

From Monsal Dale upstream you will reach Cressbrook Dale, Bull Tor and Eagle Tor, and on to Millers Dale, at which point the whole character of the river changes from a still, peaceful stream to a raging torrent that tumbles, twists and bubbles across the stones at Chee Tor and Chee Dale. It is here that the magnificent rocks, rising to some three hundred feet, overhang the river and dale. And so it is all the way to Ashford Dale, past Lovers' Leap, and to Buxton

Monsal Dale valley was formed from an uplift of limestone beneath sandstone and shale. Known as the Derbyshire Dome, or the White Peak, Monsal Dale is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) (1) and part of a Europe wide network called Natura 2000.`

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