YOULGRAVE or YOULGREAVE
Recorded as ‘Giolgrave’ in the Domesday Book of 1086 as belonging to Henry de Ferrers and being worth sixteen shillings.
The two most common spellings of the village name are Youlgreave and Youlgrave. A sign at Friden is spelt Youlgreave but the sign on the road up from Alport is spelt Youlgrave. OS Explorer OL24 is spelt Youlgreave but local people appear to use Youlgrave and this is also how the name is pronounced. See Youlgrave or Youlgreave for a compiled list of alternative spellings.
Origins of the village nickname of Pommy are uncertain but thought to probably be connected with the local band. When instruments were first purchased, only a few members of the band knew any music, so parades were not particularly tuneful, but more of a repetitious ‘Pom, pom, pom’. Another version of Pommy is of a pig resting on a wall serenading the band as it passed by.
As with many other villages in the area Youlgrave was heavily involved in the industry. Mawstone Mine even re-opened after the First World War in anticipation of increased demand, only to cease production permanently in 1932 after an explosion in killed five of the six miners working underground and three of the rescue party.
In the centre of the market place is a huge circular water tank or conduit head, known locally as ‘The Fountain’. Since 1829 this supplied soft water to the villagers, initially at an annual charge of 6d. It was built following a campaign by the ‘Friendly Society of Women’, who demanded a cleaner, healthier and more efficient supply of water and was infinitely better than carrying the water up from Bradford Dale.
Thimble Hall was originally a one-up, one-down cottage with a ladder for a staircase; no bathroom or kitchen nor even running water and said to have been home to a family of eight around a hundred years ago. A Guinness World Records Certificate names Thimble Hall in Youlgrave as 'the world's smallest detached house' at 11ft 10 in x 10 ft 3 in and 12 ft 2 in high.
The Victorian Co-operative store is now a Youth Hostel but the names of departments are kept on dormitory doors. A few years after the Cooperative Store closed it featured in the film "The Virgin and the Gipsy", after the novel by D.H. Lawrence, which was made in the village and referred to as Congreave in the novel.
The parish church of All Saints is the second largest in the Peak District after Tideswell. It has several fine tombs, a Norman font and an unusual carved 12th century figure of a pilgrim with staff and wallet. The stained glass East window was made by William Morris to a design by Edward Burne-Jones.
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