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Belper

Location

Derbyshire Map

OS Ref: SK 344 478

Last Visited: 2009

East Mill

East Mill

For those of us of a certain age, the name Belper will always be associated with the often tired and emotional George Brown, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party in Harold Wilsonʼs day, whose constituency it was.

It is easily dismissed as one of that string of East Midlands industrial towns which one hurries through in order to get to the Peak District. This would be a mistake as it has an interesting history and is not without its charms.

Long Row

Long Row

With plentiful local deposits of coal and ironstone, there had been forges in the area since at least the 13th century. It became well known for nail making, and there is still an old nailerʼs workshop to be seen in Joseph Street.

In 1784 what was the second water-powered cotton mill in the world was built here, the first being at nearby Cromford, and the town is still dominated by the the East Mill built in 1912 as an extension to the original mill site.

The workers houses, particularly the picturesque Long Row with its unusual sloping roof lines, are now very desirable properties, popular with commuters into Derby.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Belper
      Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Handbook
      http://www.derwentvalleymills.org/belper/
    • Belper
      Wikipedia Article
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belper

River Gardens

Location

Derbyshire Map

OS Ref: SK 346 482

Last Visited: 2011

The Bandstand and the Fountain

The Bandstand and the Fountain

The Belper River Gardens started life in 1905 when George Herbert Strutt, who had just sold the nearby mills, gave some land to the Belper Boating Association so that they could build a boathouse for recreational boating.

This proved so popular that in the following years, Strutt decided to create a formal garden on the land between the river and the man-made channel, cut in 1776 to provide water to Struttʼs South Mill.

Mill Leat Belper River Gardens

Mill Leat Belper River Gardens

The river was dredged to enlarge the boating pool and increase the size of the gardens; the boathouse was repositioned and rebuilt closer to the mills, and a tearoom was provided.

The gardens assumed more or less their current form in 1911, after further changes and improvements had been made.

The local authority took over the gardens in 1966, and since 2006 a programme of extensive improvements has been carried out by the owners, Amber Valley Borough Council in association with the Friends of Belper River Gardens. The gardens re-opened in August 2009 after the reconstruction of the promenade.

External Links and References