Peacock History

Steeped in history, The Peacock in Bakewell… (Inn-keeping with tradition).

In 1841, Francis Machin is described as the Innkeeper here aged 55, along with his wife Hannah and their family; Harriet, Elizabeth and Ann, little Betsy aged 12, and Anthony Machin who was a grocer here.

The market day was held on a Friday and a fat-cattle market every Monday fortnight at this period. Fairs were held for horses and cattle on Easter Monday, Whit Monday, 26th August, the first Monday after the 20th October and the 11th of November. In 1843, Queen Victoria visited Bakewell. The inn is not without its ghosts, a lady being one. In 1851, Hannah Machin aged 63 was innkeeper here with her daughter Harriet aged 30, and niece Elizabeth, along with visitors staying here she employed Henrietta Melland as a servant and William Hirst as an ostler who attended to the horses.

By 1857 Rutland House in Bakewell was occupied by James Syson Nibbs, an inventor of lamps and also a manufacturer of them who had previously lived in Baslow. These lamps were used by Florence Nightingale during the Crimean War.

In 1861, George Banks who was born in Hartington, was living here with his wife Ann from Woodthorpe, and their two little boys John and George. At this period they employed 3 servants and it was common practice for cattle dealers and farmers to lodge here. The address being the Cattle Market.

In 1863 saw the arrival of Thomas Higgott as an Innkeeper and farmer here, the previous year Bakewell Station had opened and two inns had opened up close by to cater for the navvies, one being the Three Flying Chilvers, and also The Pineapple.

In 1871, Tom Higgott lived at the Peacock with his wife Esther, and ‘young Tom’ their son. They employed two servants, and William Marsden on the farm. The Peacock in 1872 is described as follows; 5 rooms on the ground floor, 8 rooms on the second floor, stables, coach house, cow house, pantry, yard and garden. The owner of the property of this period was Harriet Wager (nee Machin) of Bakewell. It was later sold to John Foster who took over here on the 4th April 1873. He later sold it to the Duke of Buckingham. John Foster is aged 46 in 1881, born in Boston, Lincolnshire, he lived here with his wife Matilda, and sister Jane. By 1891 he had remarried Sarah Ann and employed two female servants. The Peacock was soon after leased to the Chesterfield brewery. John Foster remained here until his death in 1905, the year and elephant went berserk with a travelling circus on the 20 acre field.

Market improvements involve auction sales of cattle. In 1914 these sales were let to Messrs. Bagshaw which firm still operates them. Over the last 3 centuries the Peacock has paid mine host to local and traveller afar, how ever as we enter a new era, Graham and Vicky continue to offer the fine traditional welcome we associate at the Peacock, good food and fine ale. We trust you will enjoy your visit.