Due to popular demand, local horror writer Darcus Wolfson brings us a second guide to the alleyways of Buxton:
Luckily, due to the rather relaxed and patchwork nature of Buxton’s town planning history, I am pleased to be able to offer you another thrilling selection of secretive routes through suburbia. However, before we embark on this urban journey, I recommend that you look at the top five alleys in part one, if you have not already done so. The first five remain the premier choice. The next five are a continuation for those of you who are eager for more ginnelling.
I should reiterate my warning from part one about exploring secluded areas alone or at night. I would also like to apologise for referring to them as gimmels in part one. Several local people corrected me; they are infact ginnels.
On with the exploration!
10) West Road to Spencer Road “One Ash”
A petite yet charming track from one lengthy suburban road to another, this ginnel is worthy of mention for its mystery nickname. Whilst here, a nice lady called Polly suggested to us that there was once a solitary ash tree situated here. For a budding horror writer like me, the ash tree is a symbol of mystical significance. Today, this alleyway seems a bit mundane so perhaps the magic left along with the tree.
9) Green Lane to Temple Road
Things happen down alleyways and revisiting them can bring back memories, hopefully pleasant ones. I have only seen a live badger twice and both occasions were down this ginnel, much to my enchantment. The shy creatures are known to reside in nearby Grinlow Woods and they must use this cagey method of access into Buxton Community School where they gather titbits left behind by the pupils. This passage has been utilised more commonly as a sneaky place to have a fag by generations of students.
8) Lascelles Road to Marlborough Road
I stumbled upon this snicket by accident whilst looking for something else. Its slender and inconspicuous opening is easy to miss and judging by its neglected undergrowth, seldom used. It isn’t even on the Google map. Trudging through the mud, I scratched my head at this hidden world just a stone’s throw from the A53. I felt like David Attenborough exploring a remote jungle and half expected to get struck by poisonous blowdarts from a lost tribe. This ginnel may be in danger of vanishing completely.
7) Palace Road to Lightwood Road
This is probably the longest back passage in Buxton and offers a discreet route from one side of town to the other. It runs behind the train station so it should also appeal to railway nuts. This ginnel had a reputation for being creepy, even in broad daylight. In recent times, however, several large buildings than once dimmed its gloomy length have been demolished making it more open and less foreboding.
6) Terrace Road to Hardwick Square West “Jacob’s Ladder”
A few readers have suggested that this should have been included in the first five so I feel compelled to compensate by making it number six. It is perhaps the most well-known alleyway in Buxton, being very visible near the town centre. The steep rise is probably where it gets its name in the absence of any obvious religious link. For the ultimate ginnelling experience, climb to Hardwick Square using this route and descend from the mount via Trinity passage (no.4)
Darcus Wolfson is a local writer, film-maker and paranormal investigator. Based locally, his work and writings are often inspired by the strange phenomena that occurs right here in the Peak District and Buxton area.
Darcus had his first book published ‘Hidden Places on Earth’ in 2013.
You can follow his adventures at facebook.com/darcuswolfson and find out more about his current work and how you can get involved in his upcoming film project.