Welcome to The Anchor Inn, in the township of Litton. There has been a farmstead on this site since the mid sixteenth century, as it is situated by an ancient highway (Castleton Lane) that led from Castleton to The Anchor Inn.
Litton is nearly 1000 feet above sea-level in the land of stone walled fields, it has old limestone dwellings on a road graced by little greens. At one end of the village is a small church with just a nave and chancel. Its name has travelled far, for it was the original home of the ancestors of the Earl of Lytton. Nowadays, a farmhouse stands on the remnants of their old home, and was the birthplace of William Bagshawe, the Apostle of the Peak, who was a nonconformist and is currently buried at Chapel-en-le-frith.
The Anchor Inn was a prominent Farmstead, and because of where it is situated became an alehouse in 1699. It was tenanted during this time by the Bramwell family, who had lived in the Tideswell vicinity for many generations.
In 1749, the road outside which leads from Chapel-en-le-frith became a turnpike, resulting in The Anchor Inn becoming a popular calling place for carriers and pack horses. However, by the early 1780's, until the advent of the railway, The Anchor Inn was a principle coaching Inn.
1788 found the Sheffield Coach calling here every Monday, Wednesday and Fridays at midday. The Buxton and Sheffield Telegraph also called here on the same days from 1800.
The Anchor Inn also catered for all the locals in the area, amongst their regular occupants were; miners, framework knitters, flax dressers, shoemakers, butchers and farmers.
Wakes Week and Well Dressings
Wakes Week is a tradition that dates back to the 1600s and was reintroduced in 1946. Tideswell has celebrated Wakes Week for over 750 years – accompanied by the tradition of Well Dressing. Wakes Week starts the Saturday nearest the saints’ day for St John the Baptist – usually late June.
Well dressings are made by making a picture from flowers, leaves and a variety of natural objects, inserted into a panel of clay. Before work can begin, the clay is packed into a shallow frame and left to soak for a few days, generally in a stream, river or village pond. The whole village comes together to create various well dressings (four at last count) and these are displayed around the village from very early on the first Saturday of Wakes Week.
Wakes Week itself is a week of festivities – including the crowning of the Wakes Royalty, a traditional torchlight parade featuring the Tidsa Brass Band (who play a unique tune called the Tideswell Processional), and the appearance of a mummers group called the Tidsa Guizers. The Guizers perform a local mummers’ play known as Tidza Saw Y’eds. This recounts the tale of a Tideswell farmer whose cow gets her head stuck in a gate. The farmer tries to solve the problem by sawing off the cow’s head but then a doctor comes along, sews the animal’s head back on and she is miraculously restored to life. The Guizers also traditionally recite the local ballad known as The Drunken Butcher of Tideswell. Below are examples of previous well dressings.