Occupying the site of a former gritstone quarry, Highoredish offers stunning panoramic views of Ogston Reservoir and the countryside eastwards. The site has heathland plants including heather and bilberry.
Standing in front of the bench looking straight ahead at 12 o’clock you can see the twisted spire of The Church of St Mary and All Saints Chesterfield, in the middle distance.
At 1 o’clock there is a good view of mediaeval Bolsover Castle nestling just below the horizon.
Turn your gaze a little to the right to find Hardwick Hall.
Turning to around 3 o’clock, on the very far horizon, on a clear day you can just make out Lincoln Cathedral some 35 miles away.
Nearer to home, on the hill in front, is Ashover and Milltown Quarry. Limestone appears to have been quarried here from the 1880s and Fluorspar and Calcite were also commercially extracted. The Ashover Light Railway was used to transport material down to Clay Cross. The quarry was worked until 1936 and apart from a brief working life during the war years has remained closed ever since. A new quarry was started up to the west of the old one and was in use until 2003.
The name Highoredish may be of Saxon origin, “heah” meaning “high” and “ord” in Old Saxon meaning “point”, “long ridge” or “fort” and the suffix “ish” or “isk” meaning household, ministry or religious service. Another indicator that this may be a Roman and Saxon site is that “Cold Harbour” is a Saxon name for an abandoned Roman shelter and Highoredish sits on Coldharbour Lane.
The 1547 Pipe Role Scrolls (taxation records) for North Derbyshire list John Oredysshe and there are variations of this name such as Ordidge found all along Ryknild/Ryknield/Icknield Street, the Roman Road stretching 112.5 miles from Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire to Templeborough in South Yorkshire.
This place is recorded as High Oredish in 1722.
The track is narrow and steep in places and drops away steeply on the left side. It can be slippery and overgrown. An alternative route is to retrace your steps along the lane, taking a left turn into Berridge Lane. Continue down the Lane, passing Berridge Lane Farm on the left, until you reach a wooden gate on the right. This marks the start of Berridge Lane Nature Reserve where you can re-join the trail at QR plaque 5.
Descend the steps. At the bottom of the steps continue along the path through bracken and small trees. You will pass a bench on your right with views over Ogston Reservoir. Just after the bench follow the public footpath sign, taking the path to the left. You will pass two more benches on the right. At a footpath junction close to the wall boundary with the road, take an indistinct path to the left. Follow it round to a further footpath sign and take the steep wooded path left to join Berridge Lane (or alternatively take the level path to the right, joining Berridge Lane. Turn left and continue down Berridge Lane.)
If you are taking the short walk, turn right off Berridge Lane along the drive for Highoredish Farm. Behind the farm, climb the stile and follow the path to the left-hand corner of the wood ahead. Take the stile into the wood and follow the path all the way down to White Carr Lane. Turn left and after 50 yards turn right at a footpath sign, down a field boundary. Turn right at the hedge and follow the path. You will find QR plaque 4a on a signpost by a wooden bridge over a tiny stream.
The longer walk continues down Berridge Lane, round a right-hand bend, passing Berridge Lane Farm on your left. Continue down the hill to a wooden gate on the right, marking the entrance to Berridge Lane Nature Reserve. Here you will find QR plaque 5.