Visiting Dovedale – Past and Present

Pupils from Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Ashbourne have been exploring Dovedale through 18th and 19th century pictures, maps and travel writing. 

90 pupils from the school visited Dovedale in March 2011.  They sketched, photographed and wrote about the Valley, comparing the differnces in visiting it today with the past. 

60 pupils from Year 7 and Year 9 created visitor guides while pupils from Year 8 made mixed media art inspired by their fieldtrip. They learnt new techniques and incorporated weaving, batik and marbling into their finished pieces. 

The project culminated in an exhibition at the National Trust Visitors Centre at Ilam, which ran from 13 – 25 May. The project has been a partnership between Buxton Museum, the Peak District National Park and teachers from Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School.  It was funded by Renaissance East Midlands.  

Extracts from the pupil’s visitor guides

“Reynard’s Arch is a true wonder, a rough, ragged arch in the middle of a huge chunk of mossy stone like a giant’s mouth wide open. Inside the arch is smooth but the rest is ragged with lots of ledges and cracks….. The arch gives such mysterious feeling  to anyone who may wander past it and I feel dwarfed and small.  It feels very spooky and abandoned.” (Y7)

“A vast grassy bank carpets most of the narrow path leading up to Reynard’s Arch, a massive natural arch dominating the shady landscape. Woodland debris and loose, crumbling limestone cover the majority of the rugged path – making the long journey up to the face of the arch treacherous and intimidating.”  (Annabel Hibbert, Y9)

“It feels like I am in a green medieval forest amongst the tangled bushes and crushed trees below the high pointy cliffs.  I feel cold and enclosed as the path narrows to a thin, winding gravel line. The cliffs push in on the path and the trees hang over you as though they are trying to grab you. Ilam Rock is a massive skyscraper next to Pickering Tor. They climb up and up. They make you feel cold and scared.” (Y7)





Year 8 Art work


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