PEAK, THE, a high table-land in the north of Derbyshire, England, included in the Pennine range of hills. The name, however, is extended, without definite limits, to cover the whole of the hilly district north of Buxton. The table-land reaches an elevation of 2088 ft. in Kinder Scout. The geological formation is millstone-grit, and the underlying beds are not domed, but cup-shaped, dipping inward from the flanks of the mass. The summit is a peaty moorland, through which masses of rock project at intervals. The name of this high plateau has from the 17th century been identified with " peak," the pointed or conical top of a mountain, but the very early references to the district and certain places in it show clearly, as the New English Dictionary points out, that this connexion is unwarranted. The name appears in the Old English Chronicle (924) as Peaclond, of the district governed from the castle of Peveril of the Peak (sec DERBYSHIRE), and also in the name of the cavern under the hill at Castleton, Peac's Arse. Peac, it has been suggested, is the name of a local deity or demon, and possibly may be indentified with Puck. For the etymology of " peak," point, etc., and its variants or related words, " pick " and " pike," see PIKE.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)