The woodland paths around the estate provide an opportunity to explore the original routes visitors walked when the 'savage garden' was first laid out.
Since 1780's the enclosure of 60 acres on Masson Hill led to the development of what was then called a ‘savage garden’. This was a reflection of the age when Shelley, Wordsworth and other great names promoted the wonderment of nature and the beauty of the environment. Early visitors to the developing spa town of Matlock Bath were encouraged to walk up the hill. Zig-zag paths were laid to ease the gradient leading to the Rutland Cavern and later, the Victoria Prospect Tower. All were planned to open up the spectacular vistas of the Derwent Valley below and the surrounding splendour of the Peak District.
Today, the once stony paths are well maintained and provide routes to the Victoria Prospect Tower, and down to the Summer House, the Great Rutland Cavern and Tavern where you can sit and enjoy a drink or an ice cream overlooking the village below.
As you stroll through the woodlands remember these paths have been walked for over 230 years and many of the trees are older still. As part of our woodland management scheme new trees are planted when old ones have to be removed. This ensures future generations of visitors and the resident birds and animals can enjoy the magical woodland environment in years to come.