Village of Darley Dale
Darley Dale has grown from a number of small hamlets strung along the A6 between Matlock and Rowsley. It is an industrial and residential area with no real centre, but if you leave the main road and begin to explore you will find much of interest. The present name seems to have been devised by the railway company around 1890, when it was considered that 'Dale' would make the station seem more attractive.
The railway was an important influence in the growth of Darley Dale. The line from Derby through Darley Dale was opened as far as Rowsley in 1849, and was extended to Manchester in 1867. With the expansion of Rowsley depot and sidings Darley Dale became a railway village.
The Rowsley site was developed into the Peak Village shopping outlet, with its Wind in the Willows Attraction, in 1999.
Peak Rail, a group of enthusiasts, has for some years been working towards the re-opening of the line from Matlock to Buxton. Darley Dale station has been renovated and now houses a shop, tea-room and Exhibition Coach. Steam trains run throughout the year at weekends with many special events organised.
The parish church of St Helen stands between the edge of the village and the River Derwent in Churchtown, close to the railway. An ancient yew tree dominates the churchyard. It is now much smaller than in the Rev. Wray's time, when it had a girth of 28 feet.
The Red House Stables Carriage Museum, on Old Road, Darley Dale, houses a collection of nearly 40 horse-drawn carriages, together with coach horns, harnesses and other equipment. It is a working stables and tours of the area by coach and four-in-hand and short carriage rides are available by appointment.
Sir Joseph Whitworth (1803-1887), of Manchester, became a generous benefactor to the area after he bought Stancliffe Hall. He was a manufacturer of machine tools and armaments and the inventor of the Whitworth screw thread. Through his and his wife's philanthropy the Whitworth Hospital, the Whitworth Park and the Whitworth Institute, now the community centre, were founded.
There are three public houses in the area: Church Inn on Church Road, Grouse Inn on Dale Road North and the Plough Inn at Two Dales.