Derbyshire’s very own ‘Gretna Green’

Bugsworth Basin

For nearly 300 years, thousands of couples eloped to a small Derbyshire village, as Barrie Farnsworth reports.

THE small settlement of Peak Forest – its population at the last census (2011) was just 335 – might not have the strangest of names… but, then again, there’s no forest around it and there are no mountain peaks close by. What is also strange – yet utterly fascinating – is that it has the first Church of St Charles the Martyr ever built, whose special privileges ensured that the village became known as the ‘Gretna Green of England’ as couples from all over the country came to get married there for almost three hundred years…