History of Bakewell

1st June 2022
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200 years ago, Bakewell was made up of narrows streets and timber framed buildings with thatched roofs, evidence suggests that the town was founded in Anglo Saxon times.

The town was originally called Baedeca’s wella, which meant Baedeca’s Springs. The name was first mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 924, it is thought that there must have been a Saxon who settled by the warm springs which rose at Bakewell and the town was named after them.

Photography Credit: ©collections.st-andrews.ac.uk

Bakewell Historical Sights

In the same year of 924, Edward the Elder ordered a fort to be built in Bakewell overlooking the River Wye, it then became a town well known throughout England because of his presence. Not long after a Motte and Bailey Castle were built to guard the river crossing, which skeletal remains you can still see today.

Close by stands All Saints Church, a grade one listed building which was known to be found in 920, and was even mentioned in the Domesday Book. Built on a hillside site overlooking the growing town of Bakewell, it is now one of the finest medieval parish churched in England, bursting with history.

Old House Museum is hidden away behind All Saints Church and is the oldest house in Bakewell. Originally a Parsonage dated from 1534 and is one of the best-preserved 15th century houses in the country. Now a Museum housing curious objects through time, even an elephants foot! It is somewhere that is most definitely worth visiting.

Photography Credits in order: ©letsgopeakdistrict.co.uk, ©parishmouse.co.uk, ©thetimes.co.uk

Bakewell Market

Bakewell is famous for its weekly markets that started all the way back in the 13th century, in those days there were very few shops and so if a person wished to buy or sell anything they had to go to the market to trade. Soon it became a flourishing market town where people from all over flocked to visit. This still continues today with Market Mondays making the town a particularly busy place when the stalls and livestock market is open for business.

Due to the increased traffic over the River Wye from people visiting the town and market, in the 1200's a stone bridge was built. The five arched bridge is now one of the best-known landmarks in the Peak District and is one of the oldest in the country and has been classed as a designated ancient monument.

The modern layout of the town only came about in the 19th Century when Rutland Square was created, including the Rutland Arms. It is claimed that Jane Austen stayed here in 1811 when she based Lambton, in Pride and Prejudice, on Bakewell, and Pemberley on Chatsworth House.

Bakewell Tart History

Bakewell, you could say, is best known for a confection made by mistake. In around 1860, a cook at the Rutland Arms was baking a jam tart but misunderstood the recipe and in turn created what is now known as the Bakewell Pudding. Now, almost every visitor to the town samples this culinary delight.

There are many a Bakewell Pudding shop in town where you will be able to get your hands on this famous pudding, no one really knows which is the original bakery! But, don't worry if it isn't for you then there will be other delights on offer.

You can simply find history in every nook and cranny of this remarkable town, if you simply look hard enough.

Photography Credit: ©lovebakewell.com

Looking for somewhere to stay?  If you are planning a visit to Bakewell, we have a number of hotels, inns and holiday cottages in the Derbyshire area that are perfect for a countryside break. View our collection here.

With so much History within Bakewell and its surrounding areas, we have curated a Things To Do in Bakewell that is perfect in advising the must see sites.

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