Castleton is a small village that is surrounded by a wealth of natural beauty and history dating back to some of the earliest parts of English history.
Now one of the last remaining medieval castles in the UK to have survived in any meaningful way, Peveril Castle was initially a present from William the Conquerer to William Peveril for supporting the Norman Invasion of 1066.
It was one of many castles the soon to be Baron would receive from the newly-crowned King William I, leading to rumours long after his passing that he was the illegitimate son of the King.
What is known is that despite many Norman strongholds being built out of timber for easy construction and transportation, Peveril Castle was designed to be made out of stone.
The castle became the centre of William Peveril’s domain, the Peak, which under the will of King Henry I became an independent lordship in its own right and Castleton became the centre of the lordship.
By 1114 however, the older William Peveril died and was succeeded by his son, William Peveril the Younger, who made the catastrophic error of supporting King Stephen against Empress Matilda during the Anarchy of the early 12th Century.
He was stripped of his vast estates, and they were given by the newly-crowned King Henry II to himself, and it remained within the royal family until it was passed to John of Gaunt, the richest nobleman in England in the late 14th Century.
By 1561 one it had long been abandoned and fallen into decay, but still became an important monument in the area, being the star of Sir Walter Scott’s novel Peveril of the Peak.