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The recreation grounds on High Tor had existed since a lease was granted in 1822 to High Tor Recreation Grounds Company by Peter Arkwright, who was also a director of the Company. Its limestone crags tower over the River Derwent and this is one of the most spectacular scenes in the county. Ebenezer Rhodes description, written almost 180 years ago, waxed lyrical about the recreation grounds...'This stupendous cliff ... to which the mass of wood, and the deep silent stream that lay enveloped in a dark shadow in the dale below, formed an imposing contrast' ('Peak Scenery', (1824) E. Rhodes, pub. London by Longman) The valley is at its narrowest here, and the equally high Masson hill towers above the opposite side of the valley. A century or more ago High Tor was known as Eagle Crag because Fish Eagles used to nest here.