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Village History

Information on the history of Curbar


For centuries Curbar was part of the Duke of Rutland’s estate based at Haddon Hall until 1921. The route from The Bridge Inn up to Curbar Gap was originally a Roman road leading up the incline towards the stunning gritstone of Curbar Edge.

The village developed at a crossing point of the river Derwent and the pack horse trade route between Sheffield and Manchester. Traces of gritstone slabs are still evident on the path down to Stanton Ford.

The landscape hasn’t changed much over the last 500 years and the view over Curbar Edge is still one of the finest in the country.

The plague came to Curbar before it reached Eyam with tombs dated 1632 evident in several parts of the village

The earliest educational establishment in the district seems to have been Ford School which was set up in the late 17th century. All the heritage sites on this page date back to that time.

In 1891 there were 336 inhabitants. In 1895 there were 16 farms. Today there are no working farms and still only 360 inhabitants. In 1927 the Duke of Rutland sold the tenanted village at a public auction in Bakewell. Most of the tenants bought their own properties and family descendants still own several of them and the associates small holding lots of land either side of the road.

Places of Interest

All Saints Church: This Anglican church was built in 1868 on land made available by the Duke of Rutland. The school followed in 1871 with an adjacent house built for the schoolmaster.

The Pinfold: Stray sheep from the moors were held in the fold until their owners were able to collect them.

Curbar Well and Horse Trough: The protected roofed area was for villagers – the round trough is still used for animals.

Jaggers Keep: This building was used during the 17th century as a ‘lock up’ to secure prisoners overnight as they were transported to Sheffield Assizes.

Cundy Graves: The Cundy family farming at Grislowfield farm were victims of the Great Plague in 1632.

The Bible Stones: There are four road sign stones carved in the 19th century by a mole catcher for the Duke of Devonshire. A devout Wesleyan, he carved the stones as a token of thanksgiving following his recovery from a serious illness.

To discover where these places are located, please visit the recently restored telephone box on Curbar Hill, which includes a map of the route from the Bridge Inn to Curbar Gap with locations for these places of interest, and a leaflet rack advising visitors of venues and events in the area.

Special thanks to Norman Tomlinson, Church Farm Art Gallery in Baslow, for supplying the artwork for the telephone box and this page.

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