In the heart of the beautiful Derbyshire Dales and in the midst of lovely countryside, Kirk Ireton is a charming, unspoilt little village, dating back at least as far as the Bronze Age. It boasts a lovely old church dating from the 12th Century, a small traditional village school, tiny but very well stocked village shop, and the famous Barley Mow Inn. The village is quite secluded, in a delightful rural setting, yet only a short drive from Ashbourne, known as the ” Gateway to the Peak”, and a few minutes away from the small market town of Wirksworth.
The Barley Mow, renowned for its real ale and unique atmosphere, is situated in a stunning 17th Century Jacobean grade 11 listed building, just a stones throw from the cottages. Completely unspoilt, an inn for 200 years, the layout has remained the same in this tall gabled inn with roaring fire, slate-topped tables, antique settles and with real ales and cider served from casks behind a wooden counter. The famous landscape painter George Turner lived here from 1900 – 1910.
Originally the stables, the small but brilliant, friendly and well stocked community village shop is set next to the pub. As well as the usual groceries, the shop sells cakes made by a lady in the village, local eggs, artisan bread, newspapers, etc,etc. Dry cleaning is collected, special meals and meat from the local farm shop can be ordered and all the local news is found here-well worth a visit!
The tiny Holy Trinity Church (originally St Lawrence’s) dates back to Norman times. A lovely old church, built of the local warm sandstone, It has an interesting custom known as ‘roping for weddings’, when the village children put a rope across the road and the bride and groom are not allowed to leave until a toll has been paid by the groom in silver. The village still celebrates a Wakes Week, which starts on Trinity Sunday, the church’s patronal festival. A procession of villagers is led by a local brass band from The Barley Mow to the church for thanksgiving. Various events take place during ‘Wakes Week‘, culminating in the village fate on Saturday. If your visit were to coincide with this festival you would be able to sit in the front gardens of Heather or Honeysuckle and enjoy superb views of the Morris Dancers, the maypole, carnival floats, and of course the brass band!
Heather and Honeysuckle Cottages are ideally placed at the head of the village with far reaching views down the village and over to the hills beyond. Set in pretty cottage gardens, they each have private off-road parking and secluded and private terraces to the rear. Perfectly situated to explore the myriad of local footpaths and country lanes, wander around the churchyard, chat to the locals or simply hide away, relax and enjoy the tranquillity.
Kirk Ireton is situated a couple of miles from the old and interesting small market town of Wirksworth, with its narrow streets, Heritage Centre, maze of interesting alleyways, interesting old buildings and delightful independent small shops, pubs and cafes. Every year at Spring Bank Holiday, Wirksworth holds its Well Dressing ceremonies and carnival, and in September the town hosts its prestigious annual festival. Here talents of local, national and international artists, along with performances of all descriptions are celebrated. A little further afield is Ashbourne, Bakewell with its celebrated puddings and of course the very famous Chatsworth and Haddon Hall, scene of many famous films and TV series. Within walking distance of Kirk Ireton is Carsington reservoir – sailing, walking, cycling, eating and shopping in a stunning setting – what more could anyone possibly want?