A PLUM LOCATION
There are legends of a fierce battle that took place in Padfield. Whether it was a conflict between local tribes, Britons and Romans, Angles and Saxons or English and Danes is not known, but each story ends with the death of Almand, a local leader, and with the sun setting as the blood ran down Redgate, hence its lurid name.
In 1793 John Lees built a water-powered cotton spinning mill on Padfield brook at the foot of Redgate. Adjoining the mill he built his own house - Padfield Brook House. The Mill is no longer here but the house, stables and lodge still remain. John Lees also built Lees Row, a charming terrace of cottages, for his workers. In the 1930’s it changed hands on a game of cards in the Peels Arms.
In the 19th century plum trees grew in the Etherow valley. When the mills closed during wakes week in early September, millworkers and visitors from far and wide would come to harvest the plums and enjoy themselves. The tradition of the Plum wakes was revived in 1994 by Padfield Residents Association and the stalls and attractions bring many visitors to the area. One of the most popular events is a race up steep Redgate carrying a sack of coal. This particular event was also held in the 1950s and 60s between rival coal merchants.
To the south of you stands Mouselow, or Castle Hill. A Scheduled Ancient Monument, it may have been an Iron-Age fort and also a Mediaeval Motte & Bailey Castle. The commanding views from the top make it an ideal defensive site. An archaeological dig took place in the early 90’s which unearthed several Iron Age artefacts now on display at the museum of Buxton.
A small Independent Chapel was built here in 1828 by Padfield residents who previously had to walk to Tintwistle to worship. In 1901 the trustees raised money to extend the Chapel, adding vestries and a porch. Then in 1973 it became Padfield Independent Congregational Chapel when the community linked with the Congregational Church in Charlesworth.