Nestling in the Via Gellia valley, Bonsall, in the picturesque county of Derbyshire, Tufa Cottage was built around 1830 as a gamekeeper's cottage for the Gell Estate. Constructed from tufa it is said to be the only house in the UK built from this rock. Only found in a limited number of locations in the UK, tufa is calcified moss that has grown on volcanic lava. On some of the early photographs that follow, the source of the rock can be seen behind the house. Appearing in many guide and history books and also on TV in The Heart of the Country, Tufa Cottage is a well known landmark even if you ignore the appearance in Haunted Houses of Derbyshire!

Tufa Cottage Apiary has now moved from hives spread around the garden into a 'Bee House'. The Via Gellia valley is quite cold and damp during the winter months and not liked by honey bees so the Bee House has much improved the over wintering. Although Bee Houses are popular in the colder areas of europe, there are very few, if any (?), in the UK and information is very limited even on the internet. Some very interesting information was found however in The House Apiary by John Spillar, written around 1952. Being within the Peak National Park honey from the Via Gellia area is of course delicious and during August I take the bees on their annual holiday to the heather moors, still within the Peak National Park just north of Chatsworth House. The Heather Honey from this area is of course second to none!

The new holiday cottage at 11 Main Street in Middleton-by-Wirksworth is a former Derbyshire quarryman's cottage built in the early 19th century with views over the surrounding countryside and Black Rock. The well equipped, comfortable, cosy accommodation is available all year round for short breaks and longer bookings.

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Tufa Cottage, Cable Car etc
Holiday Cottage
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