is a village in the Derbyshire Dales
on the edge of the Peak District
It is five miles from Matlock
and 18 miles from Derby
. Bonsall has a long history of lead mining
, along with its neighbouring town of Wirksworth
probably going back to Roman times, and is even mentioned in the Domesday Book
The village lies on the Limestone Way, at the head of its branch to Matlock. The village lies on the edge of the Peak District National Park, the border of which bisects the 'Uppertown' suburb. Approaching the village is done via a very steep 1:5 hill, which leads down to Via Gellia (A5012) and nearby Cromford. This road is known as the 'Clatterway', or occasionally the 'Col du Bonsall'.
The village church is dedicated to St James. There is a C of E primary school.
A market cross lies in the village centre, probably dating from the Mediaeval period. Bonsall applied for a market charter some three hundred years ago, but was rejected.
Textiles and lead mines
Bonsall inhabitants have been involved in the textile industry, pre- and post-Arkwright
. In around 1850, Bonsall was a farming village surrounded by lead mines and busy outworker frame-knitting workshops. Many people also worked in the cotton spinning mills at Cromford
and the Via Gellia
. In early modern times it was on an important salters' route, and was a staging post on the road between Derby and Manchester
Bonsall is still a working village, involved in agriculture, heavy goods transport and a range of forms of information technology. However, most people in the village travel to larger conurbations such as Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield for work.
For two years after October 2000, there were 19 sightings of UFOs
in the area. On October 5 2000
, Sharon Rowlands caught one sighting of a circular object on film. The circular object showed a similarity to a circular object seen on the STS-75
Columbia Space Shuttle
mission in early 1996 .
Since 2002, the landlord of the Barley Mow pub conducts UFO walks every Bank Holiday, and this has featured on BBC's 'Country File'.