Derbyshire Stations – Hope

It is always a pleasure to visit the Peak District, and so I decided to tick off another Derbyshire station by visiting the village of Hope, the next station along from Bamford on the Hope Valley Line.

The journey began at Burton on Trent on Monday morning, 13th February, and ended there. Disruption caused by a fire between Chesterfield and Sheffield stopped the trip from going ahead, so I postponed it for 24 hours and retried on Tuesday the 14th.

It takes around two hours to get to Hope by train, changing at Derby and Sheffield on the way. Hope railway station is quite far from the village itself, around 15-20 minutes walk. There was a lot of fog on the journey to Sheffield, but it was looking sunny and bright when I got there. However, when I got to Hope, the fog was still there, which threatened to put a dampener on the day. (I took the station photos below on the way home, after the fog had lifted)

Hope railway station was opened in 1894 by the Midland Railway, but lost its station buildings in 1969 when it was reduced to the status of an unstaffed halt. It was previously known as Hope (for Castleton & Bradwell) and Hope Village, and acquired its current name in 1974. It has a footbridge spanning the platforms, with gates at the bottom of the stairs, which is something I have never seen at a station. I presume it’s to stop people getting onto the platforms overnight when the station is not used. The station boasts a ticket machine, waiting shelters, dot matrix displays and a help point.

The village of Hope has history going back hundreds of years, with Stone Age artefacts having been discovered in the area, as well as some from the Bronze Age. Like many villages in Derbyshire, Hope is known for its Well Dressing tradition, where wells are decorated with petals during the summer.

The centre of the village is the Church of St Peter, which dates back to the 14th Century. Hope itself has some impressive old buildings, with a lot of newer housing built on the outside of the village. Its location between Sheffield and Manchester makes it an ideal village for commuters to those places. The main industry in Hope is the Hope Cement Works, whose chimney can be clearly seen to the south of the village. There is also a war memorial, of course.

Hope War Memorial. Pro Patria is Latin for “for one’s country”.

I wanted to spend a little bit more time in Hope, but I had a hill to climb. Lose Hill stands at 476 m (1,562 ft), and is directly east from its “sister”, Win Hill. I have never climbed a hill before, but I have walked up the very steep Reservoir Road in Burton, so I was well prepared to tackle it.

There were quite a few people climbing up (and down) Lose Hill, which was reassuring, in case I slipped and broke my leg, or suffered from some other kind of misfortune. There was even a man running up and down the hill in just his shorts. In February. I assumed it would be freezing cold on the ascent, but it was so warm when the sun came out that I had to discard my gloves, hat and coat.

After around an hour, with my lungs fit to burst and my heart pounding like a steam hammer, I made it to the top of Lose Hill. The views were amazing, seeing as the sun had come out and the fog had mostly cleared.

Getting down was easier than coming up, thankfully. Although I did almost slip on some muddy patches. I even managed to get back over the stile without getting injured.

Lose Hill, and Win Hill, are the subject of a story about a battle involving the forces of Edwin of Northumbria and Cynegils of Wessex. The story goes that Edwin’s forces occupied Win Hill and built a temporary wall, which they pushed over onto Cynegils’s forces as they made their way from Lose Hill. I remember being taught that at primary school, but it turns out it wasn’t true.

There wasn’t a lot of time left for me to explore more of Hope, as I needed to get back to the station to catch the next train back to Sheffield. When I got back to the station, and was waiting for the train, I looked up to see the hill I had just climbed in the distance. I don’t think I have ever been as high up as that in my life (I have never been on a plane or any other aircraft).

See that hill in the distance? That’s Lose Hill. I walked up that.

Overall, it was a great day out, if a bit tiring. I might come back and do Win Hill one day in the future. Thanks very much for reading, and you can follow the blog on social media, including Facebook where there are more photos from Lose Hill. The links you need are right here.

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