Solomon’s Temple is a folly situated to the South of Buxton. It’s also known as Grinlow Tower so you’ll find both names on the ordnance survey map. We aren’t very familiar with Buxton so thought we’d have a walk around it from Poole’s Cavern today. We also took in the “Blue Lagoon” at Harpur Hill Quary but more of that later.
The site of Grinlow Tower is packed with history. The land around the tower is pock marked with the remains of old mine workings, lime kilns and spoil heaps. The tower itself is as you’d expect at the highest point. The current tower was built in the 19th Century to replace a ruined structure that stood in the same place. This older tower was built by Solomon Mycock, hence the name Solomon’s Temple. Interestingly the tower sits on a Bronze Age barrow. you see I told you, lots of history.
The Victorian rebuild of the tower took place in 1896 with the people of Buxton providing much of the required cash. Victor Cavendish, Ninth Duke of Devonshire provided a sizeable donation and opened the tower when it was completed. This isn’t a huge tower and is easy to climb via the spiral staircase inside. The steps are narrow so try not to pass on the stairs.
After walking from Buxton to the tower through the Poole’s Cavern Country Park and back again we drove to Harpur Hill to see the famous “Blue Lagoon”. Or more accurately the vividly tinted caustic lake in the disused limestone quarry. The lagoon is apparently very popular for swimming. However this is discouraged because chemicals in the water can cause all sorts of health problems especially if you get it in your eyes or swallow it. Indeed you’d probably get quite a good chemical skin peel from a quick paddle! Inviting it may look but we wouldn’t advise you taking a dip.
Accessibility at Solomon’s Temple
Climbing the temple staircase is fairly easy so long as you take care though the steps are narrow. It is only 6 meters (20ft) tall. More of a problem is the slog up the hill from Buxton. Especially if like today it’s a little warm. Good exercise though and well worth the effort for the views it affords.