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Even though this village is over 1,000 feet above sea level, the quiet limestone village of Biggin can be entered by a gentle descent from all sides, (particularly from the main Buxton – Ashbourne route) as its spreads unevenly over a shallow saucer. The village has a strange lay-out to this village in that the council houses (now mainly owner occupied) are seperated from the rest of the village by a few hundred yards, and it seems it is the policy of the Planning Authority (the National Park Authority) tokeep it that way and to refuse in-fill, which would seem to most to be more logical.
The village is currently well known for its proximity to the Tissington Trail, just at the top end of the village an extremely popular former railway line running southwards and downards for a total of about 15 miles to Ashbourne. The White Peak cycle route, which is also part of Sustrans Route 54, and which primairly consists of off-road routes, whether bridleways or former railway trails, passes through the village linking two bridleways at each end of the village.
It is also superbly situated for walking with numerous footpaths and bridleways in the vicinity and at the bottom end of the village at Dale End, Biggin Dale starts.(bpaul, picture here showing the sign for Biggin Dale) The is a National nature Reserve, through which a footpath runs on is way to the River Dove, meeting the Dove at Beresford Dale. Biggin Dale, a little over one mile long is usually dry although in wet winter weather water boils up usually about half way alongs it length. Three quarters way down, there is an old lead mine, which children in particular like to explore. Its about 50 feet in lengh. Theer are some lovely wild flowers in the Dale particularly in spring when cowslips and gorgeous early purple orchids can be seen.
Biggin Hall is a really imposing one with fine exterior and lovely wooden pannelled interior, that a number of years ago became a Bed and breakfast establishment, and has in the last three decades been gradually moved upmarket into a County House Hotel by the owner James Moffett. Here non-residents can visit for cream teas, lunches and absolutely amazingly good value and high quality evening meals, when space permits.
Until recently Biggin most villagers were employed in agriculture, although a number work at the nearby brickworks and until recently others worked at the Hartington Creamery, famous for its Stilton Cheese There are quite a number of dry stone wallers living in the village, including one who has been National Dry stone Walling Champion two years on the trot, who now, together with his son, who won the amateur National Drystone Walling championship, aceepts commissions for work abroad, particularly in the United States.
Biggin has so far not gone down the route of second homes and holiday cottages, with the majority of residents probably having been born in the village, otherwise the houses being occupied by local residents. There are substantially more families than in other villages, and this village can truly be described as a working village, as is reflected in the custom of the Waterloo Inn.
There are some Nissan huts situated just on the lower side of the Tissington Trail. These are now used for various purposes, one currently as a rercording studio, but they were erected as prison of war camps, either during or immediately after the second world war. (German prisoners were not re-patriated immediately after the cessation of hostilities.) The presence of these prisoners does not seem to have caused the vllage any undue concern, and indeed they proved useful in the terrible winter of 1947, when they helped with the snow drifts that were up to 10 feet high. There is a pinfold still be to be seen in Biggin, close to the village hall. It has in fact recently had its walls rebuilt. The pinfold was where stray sheep and cattle would be kept and only released upon payment of a fine.