The ruins of Padley Hall lie along a track a short distance from Grindleford Station, past Padley Mill, now converted into a private house. All that remains of the hall are part of the foundations and the original gatehouse. Padley Chapel hidden away on the upper floor of the gatehouse survives today. It was used as a barn for over 100 years, before being restored in 1933.
On July 12th 1588, Padley Hall was raided and the two catholic priests, Nicholas Garlick, Robert Ludlam and several members of the Fitzherbert family were arrested. It was not illegal to be a Catholic, but training abroad to be a priest was against the law. Harbouring a priest was a treasonable offence.
Nicholas Garlick, the son of a Yeoman from Glossop who had trained to be a priest in France, and Robert Ludlam, the son of a farmer from Radbourne, who had also trained in France were both taken to Derby and hung, drawn and quartered. John Fitzherbert of Padley and his brother both died in prison. A pilgrimage now takes place every year in July when a special service is held, in the chapel, in memory of the Padley Martyrs.
Facing Padley Chapel is Brunt’s Barn, a volunteer conservation centre opened in 1981, in memory of Harry Brunt for his ‘pioneering work for the National Park 1951-80’. A wild flower nursery that propagates an amazing variety of flowers is close by.
The increase in the population after the railway came to Grindleford resulted in the enlargement of the Commercial Hotel, later re-named the Sir William. The Maynard Arms built in 1908, near to the railway station, helped to cope with the extra inflow of visitors.
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Padley Chapel, an early 14th century gatehouse is all that remains of Padley Manor House, the home of two Roman Catholic families who were persecuted. In 1588, two priests from here were executed for their beliefs.
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Situated in a beautiful setting with wooded hillsides rising up above the River Derwent, the village of Grindleford occupies a desirable spot. It is a busy place where several roads converge and, before the bridge, a ford crossed the river that for centuries had been an important crossing point.
There can be no doubt that this is one of the most attractive walks in the Peak District through beautiful Padley Gorge and Longshaw Estate.
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