Above: Set on remote moorland close to the border between Derbyshire and Cheshire, the pub was often cut off during severe snow storms – sometimes for weeks at a time. (Click map to enlarge.)

Above: For a long time the Cat & Fiddle held the record for the highest pub in England at an altitude of 1690 feet. Until someone discovered that the Tan Hill Inn in Cumbria was slightly higher at 1732 feet! The name of Matthew Beetham can clearly be see above the entrance door. He is listed on both the 1901 and 1911 census returns.

The Cat & Fiddle Inn

The Cat & Fiddle Inn is one of the most famous pubs in the country, often featuring on news reports when it’s cut off by winter snow storms. It lies close to the source of the River Goyt and was on the border of the land purchased by Samuel Grimshawe in the early 1830s. Samuel soon found himself in dispute with the Earl of Derby who maintained that it was on his land. But Samuel eventually won his case.

Four families appear on the census records – The Wains, Cottrells, Truemans, and lastly the Beethams (see photo above). Today, the pub is a popular meeting point for both walkers and motorcyclists. And it’s easily accessible from the walks featured on this website, including walk 11 which starts from Derbyshire Bridge, and walk 15 from Errwood to Goytsclough.

Click here for more information about the Cat & Fiddle, including some old newspaper clippings about the Duke of Devonshire’s visits in the mid 1800s.

Page update

Corrie has very kindly allowed me to scan her collection of old postcards of the Cat & Fiddle. They include some wonderful examples (click card on the left to enlarge), with some fascinating detail. Click here to view them all.

Surname First name Born Relationship Occupation Birth place
1841 Census
Wain John Marsden c.1810 Head Publican Taxal
Wain Edward c.1811 Brother Grocer
Ollerenshaw Priscilla c.1815
1851 Census
Wain John Marsden c.1810 Head Innkeeper Taxal
Wain Priscilla c.1815 Wife
Bottoms Elizabeth House servant
1861 Census
Cottrell Thomas c.1812 Head Buxton
Cottrell Anne c.1836 Daughter
1871, 1881, 1891 Census
Trueman Joseph c.1835 Head Innkeeper & farmer 12 acres Wildboarclough
Trueman Elizabeth c.1837 Wife Wildboarclough
Trueman Emily 1859 Daughter Barmaid Wildboarclough
Trueman Sarah E 1862 Daughter Waitress Wildboarclough
Trueman William c1870 Son Taxal
Trueman Martha c1875 Daughter Taxal
Trueman Amos c1872 Son Taxal
1901, 1911 Census
Beetham Matthew c.1858 Head Sheffield
Beetham Georgina c.1859 Wife Buxton