Six on Saturday – Old Brampton and Chesterfield 25 August 2018

We are away for a few days staying in a Shepherd’s Hut in Old Brampton, near Chesterfield in Derbyshire.

I am joining in with the #sixonsaturday hosted by the propagator

He’s got some beautiful clematis, petunias, cyclamen and a yellow potentilla this week. He lives in Reading, Berkshire close enough to hear the music from the weekend festival – his teenagers are at the festival but likely to be raiding the fridge and using the showers.   This really took me back as I went to school in Reading and often listened to the ‘sets’ from friends’ gardens.  It was a heavy rock festival then (1970s/1980s).  I’ve been now and again since then but the last time was 2007 – the band’s appearing there for the last few years haven’t been our music taste.  We still go to gigs in Manchester often 🙂

1. St Peter and St Paul Church, Old Brampton

There has been a church on this site for over a thousand years, built on a ridge so that locals could see it and know that God was around them. Churches were the centre of village life, parties, as well as church services, were held there – legal documents were signed in the porches.  The current Church’s is mostly 14th century – with 19th repairs/extensions.  It’s grade one listed – the parishioners proudly told us that the church was at least 10 years older than their much more famous neighbour below.

There are interesting memorials inside including a stone one to Matilda de Caus who died around 1225.  It shows her head and shoulders and she’s holding her heart in her hands.  Only wealthy people had stone gravestone covers at that time; her family owned extensive lands in the area.  There’s still a Caus farm nearby.

The spire was added in the 14th century, it looks very substantial but the brickwork is only about 10cm thick. The clock was added in 1867; it’s very unusual it has 64 minutes marked though it keeps time.  There was a fine peal of bells at the weekly practice.

The graveyard has gravestones going back to the 17th century, ancient yews, many blackberry bushes, sedums and other succulents.  There’s a lovely 1st world war memorial to the fallen who came from the surrounding villages.   The parishioners do their best to keep the church open for visitors during the day.
The rest of the village is well worth a look round too.

2. Fruit by our shepherd’s hut

Blackberries growing out of an old stump. They were very sweet.

It’s windy here.  There were 4 or 5 apple trees all bent over like this one but it didn’t seem to make any difference to apple production 😉

3. Climbers

Russian Vine aka mile a minute – you can see why it’s called that. It has a very delicate scent.

I wonder what colour the clematis is? The door to the right is where our kitchen and bathroom were – very well kitted out.

4. Cottage Garden

Yarrow (Achillea) and Sweetpea. The sweet peas had hardly any no scent at all – were lovely to have in a vase though.   There were some Californian poppies too but it was so windy I couldn’t get a photo in focus.

5. The View – Derbyshire Dales


6. St Mary and All Saints, Chesterfield – aka Crooked Spire

Like St Peter and St Paul at Old Brompton above, there has been a church on this site for over a thousand years. This church is famous around the world – the church was begun in the 13th century and finished in 1360.  The spire twists and is 9 feet 5 inches (2.87m) from true.  There are many legends as to why this happened – mention of the Devil and virgins.  The twist is partly caused by the weight of the lead tiles, the lack of a cross brace within the spire, and green timbers drying and bending – using green timbers was a common building method.  A possible contribution to the workmanship was that the Black Death devastated Derbyshire, England and Europe in 1348-1350 so it’s entirely possible that experienced builders started the work, died of the plague and much less experienced builders finished the church, so made some building errors.

It’s also grade one listed – it’s well worth a visit too and is beautiful inside.

The battle of Chesterfield took place outside the previous church in 1266.

There’s a lot more to Chesterfield than this very famous church, there’s Tudor, Georgian and Victorian buildings. They do a very decent floral display too.  There’s a massive outdoor market founded in 1204, many good restaurants and tea shops.  There are many festivals and a 1940s weekend.

We went to the Pomegranate Theatre to see ‘Gaslight‘ written by Robert Patrick in 1938, a tense psychological thriller, about an unhappy marriage, a murder set in about 1910.  There was a cast of five, who were excellent.

Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which “false information is presented to the victim with the intent of making them doubt their own memory and perception”.


We try to go to a theatre if we are away for the weekend or on holiday, as I think it’s really important to support regional Arts.   There’s a pomegranate on the Chesterfield Crest, hence the name of the theatre.

I’ve always loved the theatre ever since I started watching pantomime as a small child. I’ve been fortunate to watch some incredible theatre over the years including both Daniel Day Lewis in Hamlet in 1989 and Maxine Peake in the title role in 2015.
I don’t just watch Shakespeare either 😉 love a good musical Little Shop of Horrors and Chicago are favourites.

Manchester has many theatres, so we probably go at least four times a year – my favourite venue is the Royal Exchange Theatre, which is an ‘in the round’ pod placed inside the stunning late Victorian building. Well worth a visit even if you’re not a theatre-goer – there’s an excellent cafe and a show selling art, crafts and jewellery from local makers.

I’ll write more about our hut in my next post – We found it hut via Canopy and Stars –*

Do take a look at to find out what everyone has grown around them and their various Saturday adventures #sixonsaturday on twitter too. 


Have a good weekend everyone – it’s a three day weekend here in the UK.  Good weather on Saturday, looking wet for Sunday and better on Monday.

What have you been up to this weekend and what are your plans?

Carpe Diem

Love Bec xx xx xx

*I paid full price for the hut and wasn’t asked to review it or our experience with Canopy and Stars (other camping/glamping sites are available 😉 ) 



15 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – Old Brampton and Chesterfield 25 August 2018

    1. Bec - views from my garden bench Post author

      Thanks Michelle 🙂 There’s lots of beautiful moorland places near Manchester -many like Horwich, Edale and Glossop accessible by train too. I just like to get out into greenery – but i’m happy siting in a city park. The russian vine was on an old cow shed – It obviously loved the location like we did doo 🙂 xx


  1. bluefitz17

    I love the historical facts here. I’ve never been to Chesterfield but am familiar with the twisted Spire. As a fellow Mancunian I too live visiting the Theatre and love them all but The Royal Exchange is my favourite too.


  2. Beth Berger

    You spotted so many cool things to snap photos of! That crooked spire made me do a double take!! Haha! This weekend I went to a film festival and saw a bunch of short films and one feature length film. It was a lot of fun and very inspiring. I also ate some delicious Colombian food! 🙂


    1. Bec - views from my garden bench Post author

      Thank you:-) there was so much to see. Yes the spire is weird – you can see it from a mile or so away as it’s right on the top of the hill. Ah brill- I love a film festival:-) ooh Columbian food – never tried it – but eaten Brazilian food in Portugal- and Venezuelan in Paris (as you do) I’m feeling hungry now


  3. Pingback: Our Shepherd’s hut, Old Brampton Derbyshire – In a Vase on Monday | Views from my garden bench

  4. Lora Hughes

    I happened upon the Twisted Spire by accident while on a walking tour, didn’t go inside but was told by the B&B person that it’d been done on purpose for some reason I can’t remember. Wish we’d stopped in to learn the real reason. How interesting. Sounds like you had a good break away & yet still kept an eye out for plant life.


    1. Bec - views from my garden bench Post author

      Its a beautiful church inside too – I very much doubt they built the spire on purpose like that – as it might have fallen down. Ah thank you – I’m always on the look out for plants/greenery where ever I am – more than people would expect in urban places too 🙂



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