A short history of Pilsley
There is a post office, a primary school which has recently been extended to take in the former Wesleyan Chapel, and, of course, the Devonshire Arms.
Part of the village was built in the mid 1700s and more houses were added in the late 1830s at the same time as the school. These houses were mainly for estate workers who were to be rehoused, while the nearby village of Edensor was being relocated out of sight of Chatsworth House.
Even today, most of the villagers either work, or have worked, on the estate. If you are wondering why there is no church, the three estate villages of Pilsley, Beeley and Edensor tended to share their amenities. Therefore, the local church is to be found in the latter.
At the western end of the village is a green and, beyond the high street, you’ll find different paths leading to some lovely woodland walks. The main track was once a packhorse route, bringing lead from Monyash en-route to the coast.
Pilsley is also home to the Chatsworth Farm Shop–built in the estate’s former shire horse stud farm. Both this establishment and the 300 year old Devonshire Arms are advocates of local produce. Many of the dishes on the menu at The Devonshire have ingredients which have come from the shop.
You can also purchase local ales at both places. Peak Ales is from the Chatsworth Estate and Thornbridge Ales is brewed just a mile or two away in Bakewell. If you choose to stay in Pilsley—whether overnight or for the day—you are only five minutes walk from the farm shop and barely a couple of miles from Chatsworth House itself, with its wonderful rolling parkland and formal gardens. Why not buy some fresh provisions from the shop and walk the short distance to the extensive grounds for a picnic in the park?
Whether you are just passing through, or intending to use Pilsley as a base for exploration, it is a lovely village in which to pause and take stock of the delights that this area has to offer.