21 March 2006


Winster provides a complete contrast to Matlock Bath. This 17th and 18th century lead mining town is a few miles to the west of Bakewell. It was clearly a very prosperous settlement in the 1700s, with sturdy stone houses. Apart from various humps and bumps in the surrounding fields, there is little evidence today of the lead-mining industry that created the place.

The very nice brick-and-stone market hall (closed to the public).

In the 1700s there would have been steam engines, lead smelters and spoil heaps - lots of poisons wafting about in the atmosphere no doubt but also lots of activity. Thousands of miners and their families, with shops, workshops, smithies, pubs, bars and all the usual paraphenalia of a mining boom-town.

Some of the substantial houses lining the streets of Winster.

Today Winster is clearly just as prosperous but as quiet as the grave. One pub, one shop and one post office. A hundred BMW 4X4s line the streets and not a soul to be seen on a Sunday afternoon.

The only bit of colour in the place is provided by the house next to post office, which has somehow (and thankfully) escaped the notice of the Conservation Officer.

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