Peak storyteller spins a yarn or two online

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A storyteller has set up a web page in a bid to unlock the secrets of the hidden Peak District.

Simon Unsworth has launched a page called ‘The Hidden Magic of the Peak, on Facebook.

The page contains details of the many stone circles, burial mounds, caves, standing stones and mystical sites that he has encountered in the Peak District over the years.

However he claims the page won’t just be a collection of dry historical facts. Simon, who has also been leading Nottingham’s successful Ghost Walk for more than 20 years, is including lots of information about the folklore and stories of the area, as well as walks to get visitors to the sites, photographs, video and pub recommendations.

He said: “When I first started walking in the Peak District, the first places I headed to were those really ancient sites that always seemed to me to have a real air of magic and mystery to them.

“I soon realised that there were a great deal of these kinds of places in the Peak and many of them were not far off the beaten track, but few people seemed to know about them.

“Many people may be aware of the bigger stone circles of Arbor Low and the Nine Ladies, but far fewer know about Rowtor Rocks, Doll Tor and Nine Stones Close, all of which are within a mile or two of their better–known neighbours.”

Simon, of Long Eaton, sayidthe Facebook site is not just about places in the Peak, but about the people and stories of the Peak too.

“In common with a lot of places, the Peak District has lost or forgotten a lot of its folklore and stories, but there’s still so much there to be rediscovered,” he said.

“For example we have ‘T’Owd’ Man of Bonsall and Wirksworth, or the Arthurian connections with Lud’s Church in the Staffordshire Peak.

“Looking at place names can reveal an awful lot too. We get the name ‘Hob’ appearing in a lot of places, such as ‘Hobs Hurst House’ or ‘Hob Hall’ and ‘Hob Hill’ over Wirksworth.

“The word ‘Hob’ refers to the presence of a Hobgoblin or ‘Bogeyman’, which is also referred to in the name ‘Boggart’s Inn Farm’, also above Wirksworth – so it would seem that, in the past, Wirksworth was something of a popular place for Hobgoblins and their ilk.”

View the site by visiting www.facebook.com/hiddenmagicofthepeak

It is open for followers to post their own discoveries from around the Peak too and, as the site grows, Simon hopes to be able to lead walks around some of the places he has written about later this year.

To tell us your favourite stories of the Peak District, email news@matlockmercury.co.uk. Comment at www.matlockmercury.co.uk