Toad's Mouth – Sheffield, England - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

Sheffield, England

Toad's Mouth

The view from this giant Stone Age toad is unexpectedly beautiful. 

Toad’s Mouth is an ill-defined area of land near Hathersage in Derbyshire, England named for a slightly modified but largely natural piece of rock called “The Toads Mouth Rock.” No one knows exactly when the toad’s eye was carved onto the rock formation (it only has one) but it has been suggested to be mesolithic in origin. 

It’s unusual that a view is given a name, but if driving from Sheffield as you turn the first sharp right corner after  The Toad’s Mouth Rock you are confronted with what is aptly named “Surprise View.” The vista spans two valleys, and is framed by the impressive cliff face of Mam Tor in the distance.

The other attraction of Toad’s Mouth is the millstones. There are sites where millstones and grindstones were made all around in the northern part of the Peak District but this place has hundreds of stones in all phases of completion. In the 17th  to 19th centuries these stones would have been transported, by horse and cart, about 9 miles to Sheffield, some carried a further 15 miles to the inland port at Bawtry. They were then shipped down the River Idle and then via a canal dug by the Romans to the River Trent for trans shipment to the rest of the country and even as far as the Netherlands. Why so many were never finished is not known. 

Know Before You Go

Park at the Surprise View Car Park. To see the Toads Mouth Rock walk down the hill towards Sheffield until the road crosses the small stream. For Surprise View and the millstones walk uphill to the sharp right hand bend. The millstones are on both sides of the road.If travelling by train use Grindleford Station and take the pleasant walk along the valley (about 45 minutes) past Padley Chapel.