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Bakewell Town Center

Bakewell is a small market town and civil parish in the Derbyshire Dales district of Derbyshire, England, well known for the local confection Bakewell pudding (often mistaken for the Bakewell tart). It is located on the River Wye, about thirteen miles (21 km) southwest of Sheffield. In the 2011 census the civil parish of Bakewell had a population of 3,949.[1] The town is close to the tourist attractions of Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall.

Although there is evidence of earlier settlements in the area, Bakewell itself was probably founded in Anglo Saxontimes, when Bakewell was in the Anglian kingdom of Mercia. The name Bakewell means a spring or stream of a man named Badeca (or Beadeca) and derives from this personal name plus the Old English wella. Bakewell Parish Church, a Grade I listed building, was founded in 920 and has a 9th-century cross in the churchyard. The present church was constructed in the 12th and 13th centuries but was virtually rebuilt in the 1840s by William Flockton. ByNorman times Bakewell had gained some importance: the town and its church (having two priests) being mentioned in the Domesday Book and a motte and bailey castle was constructed in the 12th century.

A market was established in 1254, and Bakewell developed as a trading centre. The Grade I listed five-arched bridge over the River Wye was constructed in the 13th century, and is one of the few surviving remnants of this earlier period. A chalybeate spring was discovered, and a bath house built in 1697. This led to an 18th-century bid to develop Bakewell as a spa town, in the manner of Buxton. The construction of the Lumford Mill by Richard Arkwrightin 1777 was followed by the rebuilding of much of the town in the 19th century.

Bakewell pudding is a jam pastry with an egg and ground almond enriched filling. It is not to be confused with Bakewell tart, which is a completely different confection, made with shortcrust pastry, an almond topping and a sponge and jam filling; Mr Kipling also made “Cherry Bakewells”, often also known as Bakewell tarts. The origins of the pudding are not clear; however, the generally accepted story is that it was first made by accident in 1820 when the landlady of the White Horse Inn (now called the Rutland Arms Hotel) left instructions for her cook to make a jam tart with an egg and almond paste pastry base. The cook, instead of stirring the eggs and almond paste mixture into the pastry, spread it on top of the jam. When cooked the jam rose through the paste. The result was successful enough for it to become a popular dish at the Inn, and commercial variations, usually with icing sugar on top, have spread the name.

Three shops in Bakewell offer what they each claim is the original recipe. The Bakewell Tart Shop & Coffee House sells four different variations of the confection, including: “Bakewell Tart”, “Iced Bakewell Tart”, “Moist Bakewell Tart” and “Traditional Bakewell Pudding”;[13] whilst The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop and Bloomers of Bakewell both sell a “Bakewell Pudding”.

Bakewell attracts many domestic and international tourists. Monday is popular with visitors as the traditional market is held in the town on this day. The cattle market is housed in a new purpose built agricultural center, across the river from the main part of the town. A medium-sized stall market is held in the town center.

A major employer within the town is the Peak District National Park Authority, based at Aldern House on Baslow Road. The National Park Authority is tasked with conserving and enhancing, as well as promoting understanding and enjoyment, of the local area. Opposite Aldern House is another major employer, Newholme Hospital, an NHS cottage hospital providing outpatient clinic services to the local community. A campaign in the town, involving local tradespeople, has failed to prevent the establishment of a branch of Costa Coffee in the town.

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