Peak District History
The earliest settlers in the Peak date from the Mesolithic, or Middle Stone Age, between 6,000 and 7,000 years ago.
The Iron Age, about 3,000 to 2,000 years ago, is marked in the Peak landscape by the hillforts. The most famous of these hillforts is undoubtedly Mam Tor.
The Peak District actually gets its name from the Dark Age, Saxon settlers of the area. Those Saxon and Viking settlers were also the founders of many of the Peak’s villages and towns.
It was William Peveril who was responsible for the construction Peveril Castle, which lords it over the planned township of Castleton. The great landowning families, such as the Eyres, the Leghs, the Manners and the Cavendishes, constructed their mansions in the valleys beneath the hills.
Apart from the use of water power for corn mills, the start of the Industrial Age in the Peak District really began during the lead boom which started in the 18thcentury. The Peak District became Britain’s first National Park, on April 17, 1951.