Sunday, 13 June 2010
These are the cottages at the hamlet of Old Furnace, referred to yesterday. Further research tells me that the furnace which operated on this site was the first in the north and one of the earliest in England. It was built by Lawrence Loggin from Leicestershire when, after the death of the sixth Earl of Shrewsbury in 1590, the mineral extraction rights were opened up to outside interest by his widow Bess of Hardwick.
The stone to build the furnace was brought three miles, from Hollington, by mule, down an ancient trackway which still runs below the field next to the cottages.
From where this photograph was taken, the old packhorse trail is in the darkness approximately eight feet below the trees on the left.
Today, the cottages at Old Furnace are private dwellings, but the annex (the roof of which is just visible to the extreme right of the first picture) is let as a holiday cottage and has been awarded the Environmental Quality Mark by the Peak District National Park Authority, in recognition of the work done by the owners to aid conservation in the area.
If I didn't live in the area, I would consider it a lovely place for a holiday!