“ Sheffield, Derbyshire S11 7TZ / Visitor Centre Telephone: 01433 637904 „
I am so lucky to live about what...20 minutes drive away from here. Many a time I have had a good long Saturday walk around Longshaw. Its the one most people have heard of. Its not famous or everything...its just people have heard about it for some reason or another. Maybe its the World's Oldest Sheep Dog Trials, maybe its because they had relatives there(like me) or maybe they just know what a wonderful place it is. I certainly know it is a lovely place....
Longshaw's history is long. Its not seen great battles happen on it , its not had a Roman forrt it hasn't got a castle but it has a long and varied history.
The name 'Longshaw' doesn't actually appear until 1722 in a letter written by one Mr George Cooper over a dispute on 'sheep walkie' between Hathersage and Dore. The name actually means long wood as shaw mean a wood. However it has been settled way before 1772....
The very first settlers were in the Bronze Age between 2,300 and 700BC. In fact there are many cairns and possibly a stone circle at Larence's Field. Although it is in fact from the 10th or 11th centuries. Ahem.
Quarrying for millstones from millstone grit began in 1466 at Yarncliffe Quarry. If you go down to an area just below Longshaw(which is still ownded by the NT so I will count it) you can find literally hundreds of millstones. Just left there on the side of the track. It is astonishing.
In 1855 the land was sold to the Duke of Rutland. The LOdge was built as a shooting box which was used by the Duke when shooting on the Estate. His estate was not just Longshaw -it was a huge area from Ringinglow to Birchens Edge.
In 1898 the Longshaw Sheepdog Trials first came about in 1898. The trials have run every year bar the war years and can proudly say they are the world's oldest continuous sheep dog trials in the country.
In 1927 the Duke sold Longshaw to Sheffield Corporation who then used the 647 acres for water draining purposes. In 1931 the National Trust aqquired the land following a public out-cry and have looked after it ever since... The Lodge is now flats however between 1929 and 1960 was a guesthouse!
The land has gone from being 747 acres to 1,600 acres.
There are currently three car parks to Longshaw all of which are pay and display unless you are a National Trust member(like me!) The three car parks are Haywood(110/119:SK256778), Wooden Pole(110/119:SK267790) and Woodcroft(110/119:SK267802.) Coaches can't park here(sorry!). The main car park is the Haywood one .
Dogs are allowed on leads only.
The visitor centre is a rather small building opposite the Lodge itself. There are two thing here-a gift shop and a cafe. One is on the left, one on the right! Makes sense. The cafe is pretty good quality and the food is reasonably tasty. They serve a wide range of hot and cold foods-especialy cake! Unfortunately its an utter rip-off-expect to pay at least £2.50 for a tiny piece of cake!.
The shop is pretty expenisve too although it sells a wide range of thibgs-books. kids toys and chocloates! Yum! If you want to sit outside there are some picnic benches which are often visited by Chaffinches!
Toilets are at the back of the centre and are clean but not very plentiful.
If you are in a wheelchair there is a car park nearer the centre as well as a ramp in, disbled toilets and most of the estate is accesible.
A few notable points on the Estate:
The Wooden Pole
This is basically a rather large wooden pole. And for some reason its is amazing, intuiging and fascinating. There is a stone at the base which says 1778 so this is presumably the date when it was put up as a) a bounday marker and b)a way marker for people crossing the moor. The views from here are absolutetky superb.
The Pond is about a five minuted walk from the visitor centre and is definitely worth a look at. Its right on the edge of a pretty big wood. It itself is a fairly large 'lake' with reeds to one side. There's quite a lot of Mallard, Moorhen's and Coot's here and althoug they will come out for food they are rather shy.The pond (and the wood) are named after the Marquis of Granby the Duke's son. There was once a boathouses and pier here but they have gone.
Somewhere around here is the line of a turnpike road between Buxton and sheffield in 1758. its somewhere around here but I'm not sure where.
The wood mentioned before. The wood is pretty large and is very nice. Actually its right on the edge of a 'cliff-face' onto Grindleford'. If you have Vertigo it is not advisable to look down.
Also in here is a badger sett. I have been lucky enough to stop the badgers here and I have to say they are utterly gorgeous and if I had a large enough bag I would smuggle one home and keep as a a pet. Of course I wouldn't (no bags that are large enough...)
This is actually on the opposite side of the road to the wood and pond. Its a lot busier here with many people coming here to paddle in the quite charming stream. There isn't a car parking here but there is freew parking on the road but it gets amazingly busy on sunny days. As wella s that there is an ice cream van. Hollowgate is a hollow on the opposite side of the stream. You'll probably walk up it without noticing it.It was a route used by packhorses for a long time-from the middle ages to the 1800s carrying salt,dairy and many other things.
Padley Gorge is just that-a gorge rather near the village of Padley.Not a massive gorge but anice one. Many waterfalls go into the gorge of the sides of which only one is midly spectaculaur-unless there has been heavy rainfall when it is superb.
Just West of the Gorge is a wood which contains one of my favourite features-a tramway. Which is very steep. At the top are some old bar rather ruined building which would have originally controlled the tramway and the quarry. This was in fact a few hundred million years ago a HUGE river delta rather like the Ganges. Interesting thought.
My very final point of interest. A ha-ha is a ditch by the side of the path which generally fills with water-its isn't a moat though most of the water is from the rain and not drainage. I used to think these were used to stop deer coming in the grounds but in fact they were to stop grazing cattle. Moo.They were invented in the 1700's in France . Instead of a wall a ha-ha did not spoil the pastoral view. Here there is one about a 1 to 2 minute walk from the visitor centre. There is also one you walk through but this is of a different desing. Ha-ha is supposedly the thing you said when you saw it to your suprise although most people probably didn't notice it and instead went 'AAAARRGGHHH!! in suprise.
How to get here
Road: The estate is 7 and a half miles from Sheffield and the Haywood car pakr is one the A625 Sheffield-Hathersage road and is signed. The Woodcroft car park is off the B6055 just below a junction with the A625.
If you go by bus numbers First 240,272 and TM travel 65 all of which stop at Fox House which is a stone's throw away. Grindleford Train Station is a mile from the Visitor Centre and a 100yards from Padley Gorge.
Longshaw is a simply wonderful place-one of my favourite places in the Peak Distrcit with views that will knock your socks off, an amazing amount of history, a wonderful setting and walks. The only real negative poin I can think is the grossly over-priced prices at the shop and cafe.
But even that's a minor quibble and none of this can detract that Longshaw is wonderful place and is one that I hope I visit much more. A great place to meet nature-and for nature to meet you!
UPDATE: Forgot something-there is also a ice house near the centre but I do not knwo much about its history. Other than that its pretty cool.
Search for Longshaw which has basic information .
Estate: all the time!
Visitor centre: Varies . In Winter its dusk which is about 4pm. In Summer probably 5pm and probably opens at 10am.
Ring for more details.
In December there are Xmas Tree Sales which Iv'e never attended. Also here is the fairly new Moorland Discovery Centre for school parties and group visits which again Iv'e never attended.
Once again I must say this is a truly outstanding place.
Thanks for reading,
The Peak District National Park is in my opinion one of the most picturesque places in the whole of England. Ok, I may be a little bit bias since it happens to be on my doorstep but there are so many different places to visit that you could go there every weekend of your life and never go to the same place twice.
The Longshaw Estate is the sort of place that is perfect for the Peak District novice since it is very easily accessible yet it has all of the same beautiful scenery on offer as the more remote parts of the Park.
Longshaw Lodge, built in 1827 is the central focal point of the vast Longshaw Estate that originally covered an area of 11,533 acres of land in the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire.
It is located just ten miles (16KM) to the south west of Sheffield and lies very close to the South Yorkshire border.
The Longshaw Estate was owned by the Duke of Rutland and the lodge was built as a shooting box for the then Duke to use whilst he was visiting his shooting estate.
On the 5th July 1927 all 11,533 acres of the Longshaw Estate went up for sale by auction. This huge estate ranged from Houndkirk and Burbage Moors in the North to Leash Fen, Eagleston Flat and Birchen and Gardoms Edge in the south. Also incorporated within this estate were three public houses, the Fox Inn at Fox House, The Chequers at Frogratt Edge and the Peacock at Owler Bar as well as many small farms in between. Looking at the distances between these places on a map today it is difficult today to believe that they were once a part of the same estate but this fact is clearly contained within the details of the auction.
The estate was sub-divided into many different lots. Lot 1 contained the lodge and all of its park-like grounds plus an area of land known as Lawrence Field that was described as "well heathered picturesque moorland." This 747 acre plot is what today is referred to as the Longshaw Estate.
Sheffield Council purchased 3,000 acres of moorland at this auction, primarily for the collection of water but in 1931 they handed over the Longshaw Estate to the National Trust for the sum of £14,000 and today it is still owned and managed by the National Trust.
The history of the Longshaw Estate actually goes back around 8,000 years. It is known that there was an ancient Bronze Age settlement on this site and there is a old Roman Road close to here. Today this estate is still criss-crossed by packhorse trails and ancient track ways.
The Longshaw Estate has a wide mixture of different habitat. On its fringes there are miles of heather clad moorland whilst at this centre there is a fast flowing river, called the Burbage Brook. The Burbage Brook once formed the boundary between the counties of Derbyshire and Yorkshire but the boundary now lies in the middle of the main road.
Access to the estate is completely free but it is not possible to visit the lodge, as this is still lived in. There is a small visitors centre located at the side of the lodge which is open from June to September daily from 10.30am until 5pm.
For further information the contact details are as below:
Telephone: 01433 631708
Fax: 01433 630629
Most people come to the Longshaw Estate to enjoy the wide open spaces and the tranquillity that this brings. I love to come here and sit by the river gathering my thoughts. Sometimes it is easy to forget that you are only a ten minute drive from Sheffield. Yet I tend to find that this is less popular, and consequently less crowded than many of the other places in the Peak District nearby.
There are many well sign-posted trails that cut through the estate and these are colour coded depending on their level of difficulty. A leaflet is available from the visitors centre.
The woodlands here are predominantly of Birch and Sessile Oak and these are one of the last remaining examples of this type of woodland that once characterised many of the valleys in this part of the Peak District.
There is a large pay and display car park near to the lodge but most people prefer to park on the grass verges at the side of the road, where parking is free.
There is a tea room and small shop also located near to the visitor centre but again this is only open during the Summer.
At Christmas time there is always a large sale of Christmas trees in the car park. These are trees that have been grown on the estate.
Access for disabled people is difficult on many parts of the estate since the footpaths are steep in places and can get messy during bad weather. The visitor centre is however fully accessible by wheelchair users and there is also a ramp up to the entrance of the shop. There are also toilets which are fully adapted for disabled access and these also have baby changing facilities.
I would definitely recommend a visit to the Longshaw Estate if you are ever in the area. Most visitors arrive here by car but it is also easily accessible by public transport too.
The 240 and 272 Buses run from Sheffield City centre whilst there is a train station located at Grindleford, about a 10 minute walk from here.
Personally however I think that by far the best way to visit the Longshaw Estate is to cycle here and this is something that I have done many times since I was a child.
Discover the wide expanse of moorland, woods and farmland within the Peak District National Park. From picturesque walking trails, fantastic wildlife and rare birds to the ancient oaks of Padley Gorge, Longshaw Lodge Estate is a must for outdoor enthusiasts.