work exploring the visual representation of folklore, myth and custom and related vernacular culture


cannonball soup (2023)

lover's leap (2023)

danse macarbe (2022)

trooping the colour (2022)

a better day (2020)

another england (1995-2000)

sixteen (1999)

the new game (1995)

bonfire (1990)

A Postcard From Lover's Leap

For over 150 years Buxton's Lover’s Leap and the picturesque limestone gorge at whose entrance the precipice stands, were praised by travel writers; described in florid terms by poets; sketched, painted and photographed by artists; and celebrated as slice of the sublime just a short walk from the centre of this Peak District town.

The legend attached to Sherbrook Dell, of young lovers leaping the void in an escape to be married, gave name to a location that was to provide one of the few sites in the otherwise ‘barren and cheerless’ landscape surrounding Buxton able to satisfy the ‘picturesque tourist’ in their search for the sublime

Today, whilst the legend survives in collections of Derbyshire folklore, Lover’s Leap itself is overgrown, largely forgotten and overlooked by those who speed past its hidden entrance, as they navigate the narrow curves of the busy A6 along Ashwood Dale on their approach to Buxton.

A paper on the visual history of the site was presented at the R.P.S. Historical Group Research Day, at Sheffield Hallam University, May 2022.

An illustrated chapter exploring the history and influnence of both legend and landscape will be published in the peer reviewed, online journal 'The Revanant', Autumn 2023.

Composite, false colour images of Lover's Leap and Sherbrook Dell accompanied by photographs of related material culture from the artists collection.

* Map reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under CC-BY-NC-SA - See HERE

Lover’s Leap and The Entrance to Sherbrook Dell

Waterfall Lovers’ Dell Buxton, Pub by W.D. Sutton, 1858

Ordinance Survey, 25 Inch Derbyshire, Sheet XXII, Surveyed 1877-78 (*)

'Lover's Leap &c' Handbill, published by Joseph Bates, Buxton. C1864

Stepping Stones at the entrance to Sherbrook Dell

Lover’s Leap, Buxton from 'Excelsior Album of Buxton' and ‘Sutton’s Album of Buxton’ c1870

‘The Lover’s Leap’ by Marcus Stone, Illustrated London News, 1873

View from the entrance towards the Waterfall

Stereoscopic Gems of America and Foreign Scenery, Universal Stereoscopic View Co. c1880

'Lover's Leap' from Pen and Ink Sketches of Scenes and Incidents in Buxton, W. G. Baxter, c1870

Inside Sherbrook Dell

Lower and Upper entrances to Lover's Leap, posted 13th March 1917 and 12th Sep 1907.

Lovers’ Leap, Ashwood Dale. Ward, Lock & Co’s Buxton, The Peak, Dovedale. 13th Edition 1913/14

Lover's Leap from the beach

’Lover’s Leap’ by W.E.J. Dean, Royal Crown Derby. C1935

Colour postcards of the waterfall, unposted (l) and 16th July 1904 (r)

View down the Sherbrook towards the River Wye

'Certain Doings at Blackpool' RP Postcard, posted 23rd July 1906.