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Monsal Head Then and Now

Monsal Dale, Derbyshire

Location Guide

From a high viewpoint known as Monsal Head you have good view along two sections of the Monsal Dale, separated by a railway viaduct. These 4 photographs, all Photochromes, produced around 1905, show it as it was then, with the railway in use.  The river is the River Wye, we saw this river when it was smaller in another image BuxtonThe Gardens. 

Like the majority of Britain since this time forestation has occurred and there are now trees blocking many of the views or substantial parts of them.

The railway that went across the viaduct and then into a tunnel to the left of the view above is no longer in use, and the tunnel now just has large doors on, the viaduct is being used now, the rails having been removed, for walkers following the Monsal Trail.

The Monsal Trail primarily runs on a former railway line, it is eight and half miles long and runs from one mile south east of Bakewell at Coombs Road, to the head of Chee Dale at Buxton. The railway closed in 1968, and the line remained unused for twelve years before being taken over by the Peak National Park. Most of the tunnels have been closed, but alternative routes have been provided. The station car parks at both Bakewell and Millers Dale are convenient for those walkers who come by car to explore the magnificent scenery of the Wye Valley. While walking along the railway line is quite level there are 4 diversions including climbs over steep hills.

This view is from was from a little further along looking back towards the same viaduct.

This is the view to the right of the viaduct from Monsal Head.

Just over 100 years later and we have today ...

..... a lot more trees

Forestation now makes it more difficult to see the viaduct from the viewpoint

The wider view from Monsal Head

The view to the right of the viaduct

Signboard, paths catch some people out in that there are two paths going down from
the viewpoint and its the one away from the viaduct that goes to it.

The position the Photochromes were taken from is a little lower and more direct on to the viaduct, this would be on the path that runs down to the viaduct. However as you go down here you have trees completely in front of you so that view is no longer available.

Above this is a small the road and on the other side of the road is a higher level near to the level of the B road running just behind. From this position you can get the photo below, which is nearer to the angle looking up the valley.


The Now images were taken in 2010.

Location:  Monsal Head, Monsal Dale, Bakewell, Derybshire

Grid Reference: SK184715 Ceremonial County: Derbyshire

Map Link: Multimap Google

Aerial photo: Multimap Google

Getting there: From the A6 east of Buxton, at Ashford in Water take the B6465 to Monsal Dale.

Access: 2 x Public car parks at the top, one of which is short stay, with several viewpoints.
Website: Monsal Head
Other Useful Websites: Monsal Trail  Monsal Trail leaflet Monsal Trail Wikipedia
Postcode: Telephone:
Opening Times: All year round

Charges: Car park charges - pay and display

Nearby Locations:
Other Location Pages: Then and Now Locations     Derbyshire Then and Now Locations 
Other Relevant Pages: Then and Now Photography    Viewpoint photography

Photochrome Photo Archive for more Photochrome images from this area.








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By: Keith Park  Section: Photography Section Key:
Page Ref:  Monsal_head Topic: Comparative Photography  Last Updated: 08/2010


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