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Longshaw Estate

OS grid ref:- SK 138 733

The Longshaw Estate is situated on the moors above the village of Hathersage, around 10 miles to the west of Sheffield. The estate was once the Duke of Rutland's shooting estate and has been owned by the National Trust since 1931, after it was purchased from the Duke by public subscription in 1927 and presented to the trust. The Longshaw estate offers scenic Peak District views, ancient woodland, parkland and heather moorland criss-crossed by many old trackways and packhorse trails.

The spectacular White Edge Moor overlooks the beautiful Derwent Valley and forms part of the long gritstone edge stretching from Stanage Edge towards Birchens Edge south of Chatsworth House. Steeped in an industrial past, the impressive moorlands of Longshaw are scattered with archaeological remains.

Padley Gorge, (pictured below left) a popular picnic spot, is one of the finest surviving examples of oak and birch woodland which once covered many of the valleys of the Dark Peak.The woodland mainly consists of sessile oak and birch with alder along the side of Burbage Brook and holly and rowan scattered throughout the remainder of the wood. Burbage Brook is the largest water course running through the Longshaw Estate and has cut into the main valley side to create the gorge. Padley Gorge is a prized habitat for many small creatures, including the unusual hairy wood ant and rare birds, which has contributed to its designation as a site of special scientific interest (SSSI).

The rocky promontory of Carl Wark is faced by vertical cliffs on all but one side and is protected by an embankment which dates back to prehistoric times. The cliffs and embankment form an enclosure which is thought to be an iron age hill fort (OS grid ref- SK259814), though the date of construction and purpose of the fortifications remains unknown.

The northwestern end of the fort has the remains of a drystone wall running across it that still survives to over 2 metres in height on the outer side, with an earth and rubble bank piled against it on the inner side of the fort. The inner area of the fort, which has been described as ‘amongst the most spectacular and easily accessible forts in the country’, covers about a hectare. There are Bronze age ring cairns and hut circles on the surrounding moors.

At Longshaw there is a tea room, shop and a learning centre called Moorland Discovery Centre, housed in a shooting lodge, which was built about 1827 to provide a retreat for the Duke of Rutland's shooting guests, amongst whom were King George V and the Duke of Wellington. The centre is a joint venture between National Trust and the Peak National Park Authority. Staff and volunteers run a range of events throughout the year relating to wildlife, the estate itself and many other topics which include guided walks, themed walks and family fun activities.

There are some excellent walks on the estate, which is also well known for the sheepdog trials which are held there every September.

A walk to Carl Wark

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