Grindon, Staffordshire

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Grindon view north.jpg
Looking northwards from Grindon, into the Peak District National Park
Staffordshire UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Grindon shown within Staffordshire
Population 221 
OS grid reference SK085545
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LEEK
Postcode district ST13 7xx
Police Staffordshire
Fire Staffordshire
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
List of places
53°05′16″N1°52′28″W / 53.08765°N 1.87454°W / 53.08765; -1.87454 Coordinates: 53°05′16″N1°52′28″W / 53.08765°N 1.87454°W / 53.08765; -1.87454

Grindon is a small village in the Staffordshire Peak District of England.(grid reference SK085545 ).

Staffordshire County of England

Staffordshire is a landlocked county in the West Midlands of England. It borders with Cheshire to the northwest, Derbyshire and Leicestershire to the east, Warwickshire to the southeast, West Midlands and Worcestershire to the south, and Shropshire to the west.

Peak District Upland area in England

The Peak District is an upland area in England at the southern end of the Pennines. It is mostly in northern Derbyshire, but also includes parts of Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire. An area of great diversity, it is split into the Dark Peak, where most of the moorland is found and the geology is gritstone, and the limestone area of the White Peak.

Ordnance Survey National Grid System of geographic grid references used in Great Britain

The Ordnance Survey National Grid reference system is a system of geographic grid references used in Great Britain, distinct from latitude and longitude. It is often called British National Grid (BNG).



Grindon is situated near the southern end of the Peak District National Park. It is at the top of the western edge of the limestone bank of the Manifold Valley, south of Butterton and opposite Wetton on the eastern side of the valley. A comparison of two views north from the village gives some indication of the bleakness of this area in winter. The nearer village, left of centre, is Butterton, while the far skyline is of Derbyshire.

Limestone Sedimentary rocks made of calcium carbonate

Limestone is a carbonate sedimentary rock that is often composed of the skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral, foraminifera, and molluscs. Its major materials are the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). A closely related rock is dolostone, which contains a high percentage of the mineral dolomite, CaMg(CO3)2. In fact, in old USGS publications, dolostone was referred to as magnesian limestone, a term now reserved for magnesium-deficient dolostones or magnesium-rich limestones.

Butterton village in the United Kingdom

Butterton is a small village in the Staffordshire Peak District of England. It overlooks the Manifold Valley and Ecton Hill, which rises 1,212 feet above sea level. Butterton lies 5 miles east of Leek and roughly 8 miles from Alton Towers theme park. The village is just west of the limestone area, and so is mainly built of local sandstone. It contains a Grade II listed church. In the centre of Butterton there is an unusual ford where the Hoo Brook runs along the village street.

Wetton is a village in the Peak District National Park, North Staffordshire, at the top of the east side of the Manifold Valley. The population recorded in the 2001 Census was 157. At the time of the 2011 Census the population was recorded under Ilam. This article describes the location, some of the main features of the village, and a number of places of historical or general interest in or near the village. These include Long Low, Wetton, a prehistoric burial site unique to England.

The river crossing between Grindon and Wetton is known as The Weags. The slope down to the Manifold is very steep on both sides, with several hairpin-bends on the road. A little downstream from The Weags is the confluence with the River Hamps, which flows from Waterhouses, and is the main tributary of the Manifold. Opposite this is Beeston Torr, a rock face popular with climbers.

River Hamps river in the United Kingdom

The River Hamps is a river in Staffordshire, England. It is tributary of the River Manifold, which itself flows into the River Dove near Ilam. For its entire length the river flows through the Peak District National Park.

Waterhouses, Staffordshire village and civil parish in Staffordshire, England

Waterhouses is a village in the south of the Staffordshire Peak District. It is around 8 miles from Leek and Ashbourne, being nearly the halfway point between the two towns on the A523 road, which roughly follows the southern boundary of the Peak District National Park. Waterhouses is also a civil parish, created in 1934 when the parishes of Calton, Cauldon, Waterfall and part of Ilam were merged; previously the village of Waterhouses was on the boundary of Waterfall and Cauldon parishes. The hamlet of Winkhill is also in the parish. The population of the civil parish at the 2011 census was 1,134.

This section of the Manifold, and also the Hamps, runs dry for much of the year. The Manifold goes underground near Wetton Mill, and rises at Ilam.

Ilam, Staffordshire village in United Kingdom

Ilam(pronounced "Eye-lam") is a village in the Staffordshire Peak District, lying on the River Manifold. The population of the civil parish as taken at the 2011 census was 402.

The Village

Much of the village is built of gritstone. There is a Parish Church and until recently a public house (The Cavalier) now a private house, but few other facilities.

Gritstone A hard, coarse-grained, siliceous sandstone

Gritstone or grit is a hard, coarse-grained, siliceous sandstone. This term is especially applied to such sandstones that are quarried for building material. British gritstone was used for millstones to mill flour, to grind wood into pulp for paper and for grindstones to sharpen blades. "Grit" is often applied to sandstones composed of angular sand grains. It may commonly contain small pebbles.

The main industry is farming, now supplemented by tourism. However, the village is, by modern standards, remote and "off the beaten track". Also, much of the land in the locality is either moorland (to the west) or the steep slope down to the River Manifold. Farming is relatively unproductive, mainly suited to sheep and cattle.

All Saints Church

All Saints Parish Church Grindon Church 1.jpg
All Saints Parish Church

The Parish Church is a typical village church with a tower topped with an elegant spire which makes a conspicuous landmark from across the Manifold Valley. From this it received the nickname "the Cathedral of the Moorlands". The present building was built in 1848. The first church in Grindon was built in the 11th century as a chapel of ease for the Parish of St Bartram, Ilam. [1] One of the rectors of Grindon parish was Anthony Draycot who served from 1540 to his imprisonment in 1560. Draycott was the judge at the heresy trial of Joan Waste. [2]

Anthony Draycot was an English Roman Catholic churchman and lawyer. During the reign of Queen Mary he held a diocesan position as chancellor; his role in condemning numerous Protestants to death is detailed in Foxe's Book of Martyrs.

Joan Waste or Wast was a blind woman who was burned in Derby for refusing to renounce her Protestant faith.

The Church is decorated with an interesting selection of stone carvings both inside and outside. While most of these are human heads, there are other animals, such as those climbing down the window frame on the south-west corner of the tower.

The War Memorial tablet inside the Church shows those of the village who fought in World War I. 23 men served, of whom 5 were killed and 18 returned to the village.

The Parish, in the Diocese of Lichfield, is in the Alstonefield Deanery, and now part of a Parish group. The Vicar lives at Waterhouses (December 2008). The associated Parishes are Calton St. Mary; Grindon All Saints; Okeover All Saints; Waterfall St. James and St. Bartholomew; Blore Ray St. Bartholomew; and Cauldon St. Mary and St. Laurence. [3]

History and tourism

Grindon was served by a railway station which was opened by the Leek and Manifold Valley Light Railway on 27 June 1904, whilst being entirely operated by the North Staffordshire Railway. The village was a little distance from the station, and the fact that the line followed the valley bottom whereas the settlements served by the railway were mostly on the hill-tops above was a contributory factor in its demise. The line closed in 1934, but in 1937 the route was reopened as the Manifold Way, a fully tarmacked 8-mile walk- and cycle-path which runs from Hulme End in the north to Waterhouses in the south.

The severe winter of February to April 1947 brought particular hardship for moorlands villages like Grindon. Relief was brought by air, but one RAF Halifax aircraft crashed into the moors near Grindon during a severe blizzard. A memorial to the crew and passengers is in the Church. [4]

Additional photos

These pictures show some examples of the carvings around the porch of All Saints Church building.

There is a wide variety of carved heads around the building, both inside and outside.

Most of the windows, at leaast along the Nave, have the scroll carvings but a window with carved heads may be seen above the clock.

The sundial is above the porch, which is the south door entrance.

Two interesting carved animals are climbing down one corner of the tower. The sense of movement shows the skill of the artisans.

These carved heads are on each side of the porch.


  1. Church of England A Church Near You web site
  2. Gordon Goodwin, ‘Draycot, Anthony (d. 1571)’, rev. Andrew A. Chibi, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 28 Feb 2009
  3. Waterfall Benefice web page Archived 22 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine .
  4. A Church Near You Grindon history page

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