Winster is a former lead-mining village in the Derbyshire Dales about 5 miles (8.0 km) from Matlock and 6 miles (9.7 km) from Bakewell at an altitude of approx 250 m. The village, which lies within the Peak District National Park, has a large number of listed buildings. The village has two churches, two pubs, and a Village Shop (owned by the community) which includes a Post Office. Winster was mentioned in the Domesday book in 1086 when it was owned by Henry de Ferrers, a Norman solier who was rewarded handsomely with land following the Battle of Hastings. A workhouse at Bank Top (grid reference SK239602) was opened in 1744. By the 1770s it could house 40 inmates.
Winster village was the main centre in this area for lead mining in the past and reminders of this industrial heritage include mining cottages and the great Miners Standard pub just outside the village, named after the old dish miners used to measure lead ore.
Set within beautiful Derbyshire limestone countryside and within easy reach of the Limestone Way, the High Peak Trail and ancient stone circles atop Stanton Moor, Winster, makes a superb holiday base. Attractions within easy reach include the many things to do in Matlock and Matlock Bath, Rowsley and Haddon Hall and Lathkill Dale Nature Reserve near Youlgreave. Visitors can also easily dip into the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and trail to the east with heritage attractions at nearby Cromford.
Historic buildings in Winster west of the Matlocks are a draw for visitors. The village contains a selection of pretty 18th century cottages known as Winster Bank, once homes to quarry workers and miners. Other historic buildings in Winster include the 17th century Dower House the Winster Market. Nearby Winster Hall, now a fine hotel, is Georgian and said to be haunted.
Two great Winster pubs are located in and around the village. The Old Bowling Green pub in Winster village dates from 1472 and is a superb free house inn serving fine food, wines and a choice of real ales. Just outside Winster towards Grangemill village is The Miners Standard pub, a 17th century free house pub full of character and also serving fine homecooked food and real ales. The Miners Standard contains a display of old lead mining equipment. The pub takes its name from a dish used by lead miners to measure lead ore. A wood burning stove and numerous reminders of the areas lead mining heritage feature within the Miners Standard pub near Winster.
Things to do and See Locally
Winster Market House
Winster Market House dates from the late 17th/early 18th century. The Market House was the National Trust’s first property acquisition in the Peak District as far back as 1906 making it rather special. Inside an information room features plus a scale model of Winster village.
Haddon Hall is a fortified medieval manor house dating from the 12th Century, and is the home of Lord and Lady Edward Manners whose family have owned it since 1567.
Described by Simon Jenkins in 1000 Best houses as “the most perfect house to survive from the middle ages”, this remarkable old house is surrounded by terraced Elizabethan gardens
February/March – Shrove Tuesday – Pancake races at 2pm on Main Street
June/July – Winster Wakes
Winster’s Parish Church is the Church of St John The Baptist, and a week-long annual carnival called Winster Wakes starts on the first Sunday on or after June 24 (the patronal day of St John The Baptist). The Main Street is closed briefly on the Sunday for the Wakes Parade, and for much of the following Saturday afternoon, when there are stalls and entertainment (including Morris Dancing) in the street.
July – Secret Gardens of Winster (16th/17th July 2016)
Gardens open from 1:30 to 5:30pm. There were 23 gardens open in 2015
August – Bakewell Show
Bakewell Show is one of the oldest agricultural shows in the UK being almost 200 years old.
Over the years it has evolved from a strictly agricultural event where local farmers would vie with the gentry for championship titles, to a show that reflects the diversity of farming and the countryside today. bakewellshow.org
Further details of events in and around Winster can be be found at the highly informative, locally run website of winster.org
A taste of Buxton: