When looking into places to stay in Castleton to allow you to explore the beauty of the Peak District, many people will choose to explore the historic ruins of Peveril Castle that overlook the village.

The history of Peveril Castle is a fascinating exploration of the changes happening in England from the Battle of Hastings in 1066 to the end of the 14th century when its barony was given to the Duchy of Lancaster, who own and administrate the site to the present day.

One of the most important places near to Peveril Castle that it would oversee is The Forest Of High Peak, which covered 180 square miles and gave its name to the rural village of Peak Forest.

It was initially established by William the Conqueror as a ‘happy hunting ground’ that he could personally use. It was initially split into three different wards enclosed by a low wall, known as Campana, Hopedale and Longendale, which met in the middle at Edale Cross.

The Forest was considered part of the Honour of Peverel, which included Peveril Castle, soon to be the administrative centre of Derbyshire, which managed the strict laws regarding poaching, cultivation of the land and trespassing for the displaced people who lived in and around the forest’s open tracts.

The story of the Forest matches that of the Castle that oversaw it. King Henry II confiscated both in 1154, King Richard I gave it to John the Count of Mortain before it passed back to the crown and King Edward II gave it to Piers de Gaveston for a brief time and later to John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey.

After he died, it was passed to his wife Philippa of Hainault and finally to John of Gaunt, who due to a lack of interest allowed the laws to slacken around the 14th century.

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