This cache is hidden in celebration of my granddaughter Lulu’s first birthday,
On her father's side she is a descendant of the Vernons and the Hills who have lived and worked in and around Peak Forest for over 300 years .
From Norman times the Liberty of Peak (the area around what is now known as Peak Forest) was the centre of the royal deer forest, which had its own set of laws and regulations. In the 17th century when the chapel of King Charles the Martyr was built here, probably illegally and outside the jurisdiction of any Bishop, the Priest acquired extensive extra legal powers. As ‘Principal Officer and Judge in Spiritualities’ of the Peculiar Court of Peak Forest he was able to marry any couple immediately without the usual requirement of banns, residence qualifications and consents. Peak Forest became known as the ‘Gretna Green of England’.
Just when an 1804 Act of Parliament put a stop to these ‘foreign marriages’, family records show that the inn at Peak Forest became home to 3 generations of the Hill family. During the 19th century the inn was known variously as the Stags Head (1823), then the Three Stags Heads (1857) and by the time of the 1861 census it was the Devonshire Arms. The Dukes of Devonshire have three stag heads on their armorial shield.
Because Lulu’s father is Chef Patron of one of the current Duke of Devonshire’s public houses, you can see why we have an interest in this entry in the 1871 census showing Lulu's forbears. While George Hill (5 times Great Grandfather to Lulu) is innkeeper of the Devonshire Arms at Peak Forest, his relative and Lulu’s 4 times great uncle Samuel Vernon had the Devonshire Arms in the next village up the road in Sparrowpit. Both of these inns were owned by the Duke of Devonshire.
After visiting this cache go on up the road to the cache at Sparrowpit, ‘I Want to be Wanted’ (GC26F32), placed in celebration of Lulu’s birth.
Listen to Stanley Holloway singing ‘I’m Getting Married in the Morning’ here