Between 1790 and 1810, there was an increasing number of diversions to existing roads, with river valley routes more in favour. The earlier route between Belper and Cromford went via Crich and Holloway and was a traditionally built turnpike road [dating to 1766] that kept near to the top of the hills [see SMR 99063]. Fifty years later the new route was quite an engineering feat, since it involved stabilising the Derwent river bank, raising the road above the dast-flowing water, and attempting to prevent the occasional floods from damaging the surface. The result is a twisting, longer, and more expensive road which, on the other hand, successfully eliminates any steep gradients. (1)
The first meeting of the Belper to Cromford Turnpike Trust was held on 19th May 1817. A private coach road had been developed by Strutt (probably in association with Hurt and Arkwright), which ran along the west bank of the River north of Belper, at least as far as the Halfpenny Bridge at Ambergate [see SMR 28801]. In 1817 it was commented upon how sensible it would be to make a public road up the valley. The final route chosen for the Belper to Cromford Turnpike was clearly on the east side of the river, from Broadholme, with some significant road widening at the Belper end, near what is now known as The Triangle. It was only with the construction of this road in 1817 that people were able to travel up the whole valley from Derby to Cromford. (2)
Article in serial: Radley, J & Penny, S. 1972. 'The turnpike roads of the Peak District', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 92, pp 93-109. p. 97; and fig. 1 for map.
Unpublished document: Morris, M (Mel Morris Conservation). 2005.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 3393 5337 (5410m by 9056m)
CROMFORD, DERBYSHIRE DALES, DERBYSHIRE
WIRKSWORTH, DERBYSHIRE DALES, DERBYSHIRE
ALDERWASLEY, AMBER VALLEY, DERBYSHIRE
BELPER, AMBER VALLEY, DERBYSHIRE
CRICH, AMBER VALLEY, DERBYSHIRE
RIPLEY, AMBER VALLEY, DERBYSHIRE
World Heritage Site
Derwent Valley Mills
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Record last edited
Jul 18 2023 11:43AM
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