Hollinsclough History

Nick Stephens

A few weeks ago the Saturday group stopped for a lunch break at Hollinsclough, before some of them tackled the heights of Parkhouse Hill - our Saturday group seem to be drawn to heights! Whilst having lunch, some of the members got chatting to the occupant of the cottage to the right of the village Chapel. This led me to do a bit of research into what initially appears to be a small hamlet. The Internet and a 1982 copy of Peak Park News provided a mass of information, some of which I have reproduced below. (I cannot guarantee any accuracy as regards the extracts).

1609 HollinscloughOur Saturday walkers enjoying their lunch
 break by the Hollinsclough Chapel Hall

The village takes its name from its position at the mouth of a short ravine (clough) formed by a stream which flows into the Dove: when first recorded in the late 1390’s the settlement was known as Howelsclough, the first part of the name possibly deriving from Old English hol, a hollow. The form Hollinsclough became standard in the early 19th century. The remaining houses in Hollinsclough today are a mere skeleton of the thriving village of 225 years ago. Then there were 52 houses but neither school nor church. The village was a busy centre for the home weaving of Macclesfield silk, which had been coming from France, Italy and the East since Tudor times.

Although people have always farmed here, they have had to supplement their income in different ways (ie, the silk weaving). The village men used to mine calamine from Chrome. The lumps of ore were taken down to Cheadle and used to make brass.The Chapel was built in 1801 by John Lomas. He was a pedlar and tinker by trade (respectable in those times) dealing in “Manchester goods” such as clothing but chiefly transporting the local silk to mills at Macclesfield. It is the only chapel still open in the former Wetton and Longnor Methodist Circuit and celebrated its bicentenary at Easter 2001. There is a memorial plaque to John Lomas over the door of the Chapel. He lived in the cottage on the right.In 1840 Sir George Crewe rebuilt a barn as a church and a school. The church was licensed in 1841 and named St.Agnes in 1906. Regular services were last held apparently in 1956 and the church was closed in 1966, later becoming a residential field centre.

1609 Methodist Chapel1609 St Agnes Church

Below shows our group on the summit of Parkhouse Hill (360m), admiring the view across to Chrome (Kroom) Hill.

1609  Hollinclough group 1609 Chrome Hill

Strange to think that if they were sitting there some 350 million years ago they would be somewhere south of the equator swimming in a warm crystal clear sea teeming with life!


Derbyshire Dales Group