Skip to main content


Peveril Castle dominates the little town of Castleton, Derbyshire, from its position high atop a ridge in the Peak District National Park. It is now owned by English Heritage, having been for centuries part of either the Crown Estates or the Duchy of Lancaster. Mostly in ruins, what is left seems to project raw power. Here you can see the remains of the Norman keep which replaced an original wooden structure in the early 12th century; you can see that the keep has lost most of its exterior gritstone cladding, revealling the rough limestone blocks and rubble filling.

If you make the steep climb from the English Heritage entrance building and visitor centre at the base of the hill, you are rewarded with some of the most impressive views in the Peak District, from Cave Dale to MamTor to Back Tor and the Hope Valley. In order to enter the keep of Peveril Castle, you must now climb a spiral staircase on its southern side; the original floors have long since gone, but you can consult a series of data boards which will tell you the story of life in the keep, as experienced by Peveril of the Peak, his family and their servants. There are some fine Norman windows, and some of the stones have been dressed with a broad chevron pattern. The upper story of the keep would likely have included the solar; private, more comfortable quarters for the lord of the castle and, especially, the female members of his family.

The castle did have its moment of glory in history, however. King Henry II of England received his fellow monarch, Malcolm IV of Scotland here, in 1157, to receive the Scots pledge of fealty. For this somewhat craven act, King Malcom was created Duke of Huntingdon by Henry.

There is still a local link to the Royal family and their properties in this area. The Royal toast, given at the end of official functions in the U.K. is, simply 'The Queen'. However, because of her dual function in the County of Lancashire (the county town of which is Lancaster), and in areas which were historically associated with the Duchy of Lancaster, namely, Merseyside and Greater Manchester (just over the ridge, to the west of Peveril Castle), the unique, official toast is given as, 'The Queen, Duke of Lancaster'.

There is, of course, the matter of ‘Peveril of the Peak’, one of the Waverley Novels by Sir Walter Scott, which was written in 1823. It is his longest work, and gives you the feeling that he was being paid by the page. The kindest thing you can say about the novel is that it is no ‘Ivanhoe’!

Originally posted to shortfinals on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 07:05 AM PST.

Also republished by History for Kossacks and Derbyshire and The Peak District.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site