Tissington is a place that most of you will not have heard of. It is a small village in the heart of Derbyshire, just north of Ashbourne, with a population count of under 200 people. It is one of the prettiest, most unspoilt villages in the county – some say the entire country, where 70% of its houses are grade listed.
It isn’t a new village, Tissington dates back over a thousand years and was even mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Tizinctun. The name Tissington comes from the Olde English word Tidsige’s meaning a farm or settlement so it had quite humble beginnings. Today however, it is made up of the most beautiful collection of limestone cottages and the predominant point of interest in the village, Tissington Hall. This idyllic village is owned and run by the FitzHerbert family as it has been since the reign of Elizabeth I. How’s that for family history?
What To Do
View Tissington Hall
Tissington Hall is owned by the FitzHerbert family and has been since 1465. The family still live here today and open up their home to the public for arranged tours and weddings. The current hall is a Jacobean building built in 1609 by Francis FitzHerbert in the newer fashion architecture of the time, replacing an earlier moated manor house on the other side of the road which guarded the Norman church of St Mary’s. It is one of only 300 homes in the country that can boast that fact that the descendants of the original builder still live there, which is an impressive feat given that 400 years have passed by.
Visit During The Well Dressings
Tissington is famous for its Well Dressings in which an estimated 50,000 people visit the village. Six wells (children’s well, coffin well, ,hall well, hands well, towns well and Yew Tree Well) are decorated during the week of Ascension Sunday. This tradition dates back to the 14th century following the villages escape from the Black Death, which the villagers attributed to the purity of the water in its wells and have celebrated them ever since.
Take Tea at Herberts Tearooms
Herberts is situated in the Old Coach House, which was renovated and converted into the tearooms in 1997. It now employs three full time staff and ten part time, bringing much needed jobs to this small village. The tearoom is a quirky, vintage styled place to stop for refueling before continuing on your explorations.
Following the closure of the former railway line which ran between Ashbourne and Buxton, it was decided to remove the trackbed and turn it into a trail to be enjoyed by cyclists and walkers. It was considered an experimental scheme and was one of the first of its kind here in England but since opening in 1971 it has been a massive success. The Tissington Trail is a 13 mile path which runs from Ashbourne to Parsley Hay at which point it joins up with the High Peak Trail. Surrounded by beautiful British countryside, this traffic free path attracts huge numbers of people throughout the year and thanks to its crushed limestone surface, is even suitable for wheelchair users.
Edward and Vintage Sweet Shop
This quaint sweet shop is a complete blast from the past. Edward and Vintage sell a range of retro sweets and confectionary that you won’t have seen since the days of your childhood, in the most beautiful olde worlde setting. The shop is run by owner Dave who tops off the wonderful experience of visiting his shop with outstanding customer service. Pop in for a look around this gem, you won’t be disappointed!
When To Go
This is the time of the Well Dressings, not to be missed!
This is a lovely village to visit at any time of year but I particularly love the look of it at Christmas. Every door is decorated with a wreath and the feel of the village is quite different from the rest of the year.