Belper Bridge was built by Benjamin Marshall (although the specification was signed both by Benjamin and Isaac Marshall) under the direction of Thomas Sykes (County Surveyor of Bridges 1786-1816). It is a triple arched ashlar bridge with rounded cutwaters. The modern pedestrian walks have iron parapets and are cantilevered out. It replaced an earlier bridge swept away in storm. (1)
Three-arched bridge of 1796 with modern cantilevered deck (original parapet removed). Stepped voussoirs and rounded rusticated cutwaters with flat piers above. (2)
There is believed to have been a medieval ford at Belper Bridge that was replaced by a bridge in about 1380 and there is a reference of 1387 to the 'pontem de Beaure'. This appears to have been replaced in the 15th century, as a warrant was issued in the reign of Henry VI 'to pay twenty pounds towards building a new bridge over the Derwent for the benefit of the tenants of Beaurepaire'. Belper Bridge was a county bridge, and was further repaired in 1714. According to Derry (1890), the bridge was taken down in 1791, when a carved stone was taken from it and incorporated in the gable of a house in Belper Lane. The stone is that described by Pilkington in 1789, who notes: 'Upon the bridge … over the Derwent .. Are fixed the arms of John of Gaunt by whom it is supposed to have been built'. The specifications for the new bridge, dated 1795, are reproduced by Derry and include the note that the contractors agreed to support 'the present Tempory [sic] bridge in repairs till the other is passable'. The new bridge was completed in 1798. An alternative date for the destruction of the bridge is given by Jewell (1998) who states that the bridge was rebuilt between May 1796 and December 1798 following its collapse due to a great flood in 1795. (3-5)
In 1976 the Strutts rebuilt the Bridge which had been destroyed by a flood in 1795. The new bridge was completed in 1797. (6)
A Saltway used by packhorse crossed the Derwent at Belper, and using place name evidence, such as Salters Wood and Saltersflatt give suggestion to the original course of the route. (7)
Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. List entry number 1087394.
Unpublished document: Morris, M (Mel Morris Conservation). 2004. Study to Identify Candidate Buildings for Grant Assistance and a Review of Conservation Area Boundaries, Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.
Article in serial: Derry, T. R.. 1890. 'Some notes on Old Belper and Old Belper books', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 12, pp 1-23.
Bibliographic reference: Jewell, R. 1998. Memory Lane. Belper, Ambergate and District.
Unpublished document: Derwent Valley Mills (DVM) Nomination Steering Panel. 2000. Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage List Nomination Document. p 102.
Unpublished document: Morris, M (Mel Morris Conservation). 2005. Summaries of Historic Transport Networks in the Derwent Valley World Heitage Site.
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Centred SK 3448 4812 (28m by 53m)
BELPER, AMBER VALLEY, DERBYSHIRE
World Heritage Site
Derwent Valley Mills
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Record last edited
Jul 25 2019 12:34PM
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