I. THE PEAK DISTRICT
 THE wide-spreading moors of the Pennine chain stretch
southward into Derbyshire. The whole of the county
north of Castleton is a mountainous tract, called the
Peak District; it consists for the most part of high
and barren moorland, where sheep find scanty pasturage.
Here and there high peaks rise above the rest, as the
wild and rugged Kinderscout, with its tors, pools, and
crags, and Mam Tor, which is nearly as high; none of
these peaks is quite 2000 feet in height, but the
district is so broken, rocky, and wild that it is truly
Deep, narrow valleys cross the moors, river valleys,
with noisy mountain torrents dashing through them;
while thick wood grows down the sides of these glens to
the water's edge, and high crags rise among the trees.
All the curious sights of the Peak District are not to
be seen above ground. There are large and lofty
caverns,—chambers opening into the very heart of the
mountains; some of them penetrating, room after room, a
distance of more than half a mile. To explore these
caverns one must have guides and torches; and
surprising it is to see, within, every fantastic shape
hanging from the roof or rising from the floor; now a
fringe, deep and broken, now a miniature forest in
stone, and now strange shapes of bird or beast.
 Have we got into a palace of the gnomes, and do they
spend their years in thus adorning their chambers?
The same unwearying artist has hewn these caverns out
of the solid rock, and beautified them to suit his
fantastic taste; a workman whose name you would little
suspect. Soft as rain is and hard as some rocks are,
there is none so hard but the rain will in time make a
way through its substance. The mountain limestone of
which these mountains are made is full of cracks; the
rain does not all flow off the sides of the hills; much
of it sinks through these cracks, down and down,
wearing away the lime as it goes, and carrying the
atoms along in its course. Sometimes the water forms
for itself quite a wide channel; indeed, in limestone
districts it often happens that a broad stream, a
river, flows in at the mouth of. a cavern, makes its
way underground, and does not appear again for miles,
and all this time the water has been wearing away the
stone-and enlarging the caverns.
The water does not carry away quite all the lime it
wears from the rocks. Every tiny drop that falls from
the roof of a cavern carries its own grains of lime.
Some grains it leaves on the roof; some grains drop
upon the floor. This goes on for ever, night and dayr
until at last the lime on the roof has made a little
shoot, like an icicle, and the lime on the floor
another little shoot rising up to meet it. There are
many drops falling, side by side, and, in the course of
ages, there is formed a sort of fringe, which hangs
from the roof, as icicles might, while similar forms
rise from below. These limestone droppings grow very,
very slowly,—it has taken many hundreds of years to
make the strange figures in the caverns. Those on
 are called stalactites, and those on the floor,
stalagmites; two long names which come from a word in
the Greek language, meaning "to drop."
The Peak Cavern and Bagshaw Grotto are the largest in
This mountain limestone contains a treasure besides the
building stone, which is so excellent that some of it
was carried to London to build the handsome Parliament
Houses; this treasure is veins of lead ore, which occur
from the Peak, southward, as far as Wirks-worth, a
great lead-mining place.
The Odin Mine, the Speedwell Mine, and the Bradwell
Mine are in the Peak.
II. THE DALES
DERBYSHIRE, like Yorkshire, is famous for its beautiful
dales. But in Derbyshire the Peak sends its spurs south
instead of east; these long spurs reach into the middle
of the county and separate the river valleys.
The Derwent valley is thus enclosed between hills, and
a very beautiful valley it is, containing Chatsworth
Park, the Duke of Devonshire's place. Farther south is
Matlock, among hills; Abraham Heights, which the
visitors climb upon donkeys, and High Tor, a giant crag
with a steep face, are the best known heights. Matlock
is a fashionable place, crowded with visitors in the
summer, who come to drink, and to bathe in, the warm
waters of the spring.
When the underground recesses become too full of water
to hold any more, the water is forced out in
 springs: and when the water is forced up in this way
from a great depth, the springs are warm; for the
deeper we get into the earth's crust, the warmer it
becomes. The water of these springs has often an
exceedingly unpleasant taste, for the underground
stream which at last breaks out in a spring does not
carry lime only with it, but iron, or sulphur, or
magnesia, or soda, or whatever substance it passes
through. The waters of Matlock are good for consumptive
and rheumatic patients.
There are two other watering-places with mineral
springs in the lovely Wye valley, Bakewell and Buxton.
The most delightful of the dales of Derbyshire is
Dovedale. The Dove is a tributary of the Trent which
flows from Dove Head, near Buxton, where it rises,
until it joins the Trent, between the two counties of
Stafford and Derby. Here, the cliffs overhang the*
river, making dark, deep-looking pools; there, they
open out; the woods come down to the river's brink,.
great crags jut out, and the blue stream gurgles over
boulders at the bottom: now it is a wide river, and now
so narrow and shallow, that it is crossed upon
III. THE COAL-FIELD AND DERBY
EAST DERBYSHIRE is a mining district; the coal-field
which begins at Leeds stretches southward through the
whole of Derbyshire, as far as the town of Derby: a
line between that town and Nottingham shows where
 it ends. The mining towns lie thick in this district,
sometimes five or six miles apart, sometimes nearly
touching one another, in a zigzag line from north to
There are blast furnaces in many of them, for iron ore
is found with the coal, and is smelted in these
Chesterfield, a large town, is the centre of a mining
district: Staveley lies to the north of it; Ashover and
Claycross to the south. In the latter towns iron is
worked, as it is also in a group of iron towns farther
south,—Swanwick, Ironville, Codnor Park, and Ripley.
There are large cotton mills at Belper, on this
coalfield; Glossop, quite in the north, on the borders
of the Lancashire coal-field, is the centre of large
cotton works, and is the chief manufacturing town in
the county. The mills of Arkwright, who invented the
"spinning-jenny," are at Crompton.
The land between the Dove and the Derwent is chiefly a
corn-growing district, with green pastures by the
rivers. The little bit of the Trent valley, about ten
miles, where that river runs through the south end of
Derbyshire, is also a rich green pasture land.
Derby stands on the Derwent, which is a tributary of
the Trent, and the chief river of the county. Derby
means "the town of the Derwent," and the "by" in the
name shows it was at one time a town held and named by
the Danes. It is a busy town, where many things are
made; porcelain, stockings, lace, and, most important
of all, silk.
There is a bridge crossing the Derwent at the north end
of Derby town, and from this bridge you get a
 view of a long brick building on the west bank, or,
rather, on a little island in the river. This, you are
told, is "John Lombe's silk mill."
A silk mill is the place where raw silk is prepared for
the weaver by spinning or twisting, or throwing, as it
is called in the trade.
The raw silk comes in hanks from Italy, France, Bengal,
China, and some other countries; the silk is called raw
after it has been reeled off the cocoons.
Silk in this state, raw silk, is what is brought into
England now; but in John Lombe's day the silk came
thrown, or spun into threads ready for the weaver. How
to throw silk was the secret he set himself to find
He went to Italy to see the machines used there. The
Italians would not allow him to enter their mills, so
he bribed two workmen to let him in secretly, and hide
him where he could watch all that was going on. He
watched by day and sat up at night to make drawings and
write an account of what he had seen.
He had just finished when the Italians found him out,
and would have killed him, but he and his two helpers
escaped to a ship and sailed for England.
In time, he built his mill on this island in the
Derwent (1717), and English throwsters did their work
as well as those of Italy.
The silk goods made in Derby are: ribbons, fringes,
and other trimmings; sewing silk, cords, tassels,
gloves, and stockings.