Skip to content
Home » Middleton by Wirksworth

Middleton by Wirksworth

Middleton-by-Wirksworth is a small village in the Derbyshire Dales, England. It is located on a hilltop overlooking the Derwent Valley, about 5 miles south of Wirksworth. The village has a population of around 500 people, and is known for its history, its beautiful scenery, and its friendly community.


Middleton-by-Wirksworth has a long and rich history. The first recorded mention of the village was in the Domesday Book of 1086, when it was known as “Middletune.” The village was originally a small farming community, but it began to grow in importance in the 17th century, when lead mining became a major industry in the area. The village was also home to a number of stone quarries, which produced the famous Hopton Stone.

In the 19th century, Middleton-by-Wirksworth became a popular destination for tourists, who were drawn to the village’s beautiful scenery and its proximity to the Peak District National Park. The village also became a center for the arts and crafts movement, and a number of artists and writers settled in the area.


Today, Middleton-by-Wirksworth is a thriving community. The village has a number of shops, pubs, and restaurants, and it is a popular destination for walkers, cyclists, and nature lovers. The village is also home to a number of historical buildings, including the Grade I-listed St. Michael’s Church, the Middleton Stone Centre, and the Derbyshire ECO Centre.

Things to do

There are a number of things to do in Middleton-by-Wirksworth. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Visit the Middleton Stone Centre, a museum dedicated to the history of stone quarrying in the area.
  • Hike or bike along the High Peak Trail, a long-distance trail that passes through the village.
  • Visit nearby Carsington Water, a reservoir with a variety of leisure activities.
  • Explore the village’s many historical buildings, including St. Michael’s Church and the Middleton Stone Centre.
  • Enjoy the village’s friendly atmosphere and its beautiful scenery.
  • Check out the beam engine and visitor centre at Middleton Top
  • Take a walk along the old railway with great views and points of interest.

Middleton Top

Middleton Top , just above Middleton-by-Wirksworth is a popular tourist destination in the Peak District National Park. It is located on a hilltop overlooking the Derwent Valley, and is home to the Middleton Top Visitor Centre and Beam Engine.

The visitor centre tells the story of the Cromford and High Peak Railway, which was one of the first long-distance railways in the world. The beam engine, which was built in 1829, was used to haul wagons up the Middleton Incline, a steep section of the railway. The engine is still in working order, and can be seen in action on special open days.

In addition to the visitor centre and beam engine, Middleton Top is also a popular starting point for walks and bike rides along the High Peak Trail. The trail is a traffic-free route that follows the former route of the Cromford and High Peak Railway, and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

If you are looking for a fun and educational day out in the Peak District, then Middleton Top is a great place to visit. The visitor centre and beam engine are fascinating attractions, and the High Peak Trail is a great way to explore the beautiful countryside.

Here are some additional facts about Middleton Top:

  • The Middleton Top Engine House is the last surviving complete winding engine house built by the Cromford & High Peak Railway Co.
  • The engine was in use until 1963 hauling wagons on cables up the 708 yards of the 1 in 8¾ Middleton Incline.
  • The beam engine is still in working order, and several times a year there are open days when you can experience it running.
  • The High Peak Trail runs for 17.5 miles from High Peak Junction, near Cromford, to Dowlow, 6 miles south of Buxton.
  • The trail is a popular destination for walkers, cyclists, and horse riders.

image credit: Dave Bevis / Middleton-by-Wirksworth – view from Hillside / CC BY-SA 2.0