Shining Cliff Woods

A Beautiful Place to Make Whisky

We do reference our location quite a lot! But in actual fact it was finding it that ultimately led to us thinking that a distillery in Derbyshire could work. We are fortunate that we walk straight out of our gates into Shining Cliff Woods also known as “Schymynde -Cliffe” in medieval times. It was one of the seven royal parks within the Duffield Frith, belonging to Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster. The woods are a designated site of Significant Scientific Interest (SSSI), legally protected due to the valuable flora and fauna, breeding birds and hairy wood ant that it supports. It is one of the few remaining woodlands forming part of the medieval hunting forest of Duffield Frith.

“I and mine, Give Thee and Thine, Milneshay and Shining Cliff, Whilst Grass is green and berries ryffe.”

The Grith Fyrd Pioneers

Today part of the woods is still under the ownership of the Grith Fyrd Pioneers, meaning peace army in old English. This was a radical alternative educational movement in England in the 1930’s which took unemployed men and used them as a basis for creating a self-sufficient land-based community. They set out to combat the 3 evils of the day:

– Monstrous labour
– The state of passivity and absorption
– The loss of the incentive of self-expression and creativeness

Leisure activities included morris dancing, wood-carving and folk-singing. Today the movement is focussed on opportunities for self-realisation, social responsibility and a responsibility to protect the natural environment.

The woods today has so much to offer throughout the seasons and is a wonderful place to walk. We sell OS maps of the area in the distillery shop to help you make the most of the local walking and you can even book a stay in the Shining Cliff youth hostel. E. info@shiningcliffhostel.co.uk