Derbyshire has a wealth of old roads, lanes, tracks, hollow ways and paths, some dating back thousands of years. It is a network which links a fascinating variety of sometimes enigmatic monuments, from fortified hilltops and stone circles to ruined abbeys and hermitages, ancient churches and tumuli.
The Old Roads of Derbyshire traces the development of these roads, from prehistoric ridgeways, Roman ‘streets’ and medieval pilgrimage routes to the growth of the turnpikes, and finally to leisure use by cyclists and hikers. Travellers of all kinds are included: ‘jaggers’ with their packhorse trains, pilgrims, drovers, pedlars and tramps, and passengers in stage coaches and wagons, as well as the essential infrastructure of bridges and inns.
The Derbyshire Portway is explored as an example of an ancient route which was old before the Romans arrived, but was used well into the eighteenth century, and one that can still be followed today. A detailed walking guide, fully illustrated with maps and photos, is provided for the sixty-plus miles of its route, from the River Trent, near Nottingham, to deep into the Dark Peak.