Harpur Hill

Harpur Hill is a small village on the outskirts of Buxton. A person who lives in this area is called a Harpur Hillian or a Harpur Hill Billy. It is home to a pub, a park, a working men's club, two churches and a primary school. It also contains part of the University of Derby as well as the base for Buxton rugby union club who also have their headquarters here on Sunnyfields road. The tops of Buxton rugby clubs goalposts are actually the highest in the country!

In 1938, Harpur Hill was used as an underground munitions store by the RAF and tunnels were dug out to house ordnance and munitions. When the RAF left, the tunnels were converted and used as a mushroom farm but when they closed again a few years later, they were sold to a group of local businessmen trading under the business name of Stowtime. The warehouse was built for dry wines and spirits, and it was used as a cold store for cheese.


Lomas Distribution was a notable haulier as well as a number of local hauliers who provided transport for these goods and the business became so successful, it was bought out by Christian Salvesen, who was a major employer in the area. There was a time that many people in Buxton were seen out and about in the Peak District, in company issued freezer coats because they were so cosy and warm. Salvesen recently sold the site to French transport company, Norbert Dentressangle.


Many of the bunkers can still be seen in the surrounded hillside and there is also a health and safety laboratory situated not far from the Hill and when the red flag is flying at the lab, an explosion is imminent but luckily this hasn't happened quite a long time. The railway has been constructed here to reconstruct the Old Jubilee line, London underground trains that were used to reconstruct the 7/7 London Tube bombings.


St James church at Harpur Hill is a small and committed congregation, which gathers at the hundred year old church building every Sunday to worship God in a quiet, informal and traditional Anglican style. It is built at the head of the Valley and offers wonderful views over the surrounding hills but it also receives the full force of the winds, especially in the winter, because it is higher than the town of Buxton itself, but the warm welcome within St James more than compensates for the weather. Inside the church is light and airy and accommodates 120 people and consists of the chancel, nave and vestry. At is typically Anglican in its furnishing.


Harpur Hill Methodist church is a chapel, which opened in 1889, when the village was very small with less than 100 houses, mainly for quarry workers in the limestone industry. It stands in the middle of the village and is the only one in the Buxton circuit of the Methodist church with a burial ground. Now, with the building of council and private housing estate at both ends of the village, Harpur Hill has grown to become a suburb of Buxton and more houses are being built at present and more development will take place in the coming years. The church has a hall which accommodates 50 people and is used regularly by the Women's Institute, and local fun bunch, The Rainbows and the church of St James is just down the road and the two churches hold some united services and a joint community coffee morning, which is held in the chapel on the third Thursday of each month.


Opposite the chapel is the village war memorial which is a grade 2 listed monument made from a rough hewn piece of limestone. The local primary school is on Trent Avenue and this is where the residents association meets monthly. There is also an active Scout group with over 70 boys over the three sections, who for over 20 years have met in the hall at the chapel but have now moved into their own Scout hall and continue their good work for young people there.


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