The moors of the Peak District provide some of the finest walking country in England. The pleasure of rambling across them is enhanced by a knowledge of their history, ranging from prehistoric times and the middle ages to their conversion for grouse shooting and the struggle for the 'right to roam' in modern times. This distinctive landscape is not an untouched, natural relic for it has been shaped by humans over the centuries. Now it is being conserved as part of Britain's first National Park; much of it is in the care of The National Trust. The book covers all periods of time from prehistory to the present, for a typical moorland walk might take in the standing stones of a prehistoric stone circle, a medieval boundary marker, a guide stoop dated 1709, the straight walls of nineteenth-century enclosure, a row of Victorian grouse butts, a long line of flagstones brought in by helicopter, and very much more besides. Some of this physical evidence remains puzzling, but most of it can be explained by assiduous research in local record offices.
The author has not referenced the documents, as that would have made the book twice as long, but the bibliography provides leads to where the information may be found.
David Hey is Emeritus Professor of Local and Family History at the University of Sheffield. He is President of the British Association for Local History and the Chairman of the British Record Society. He has also served as the South Yorkshire and North-East Derbyshire Area President of The Ramblers' Association. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including A History of Penistone and District (2002) for Wharncliffe Books. He grew up in the Penistone district.