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Monument record MDR8051 - Bridge Hill House (site of), Bridge Hill, Belper

Type and Period (2)

  • (Georgian to Second World War - 1794 AD to 1939 AD)
  • (Georgian to Second World War - 1794 AD to 1939 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • World Heritage Site Buffer Zone

Full Description

Bridge Hill House, Belper, was probably the grandest of the six houses attributed to William Strutt, FRS and amateur architect (1756-1830), eldest son of Jedediah Strutt. The original site is thought to be that of a capital mansion at Beaurepaire (ancient term for Belper) belonging to Edmund Crouchback, the Earl of Lancaster, brother of Edward I. Extensive foundations on the site with fragments of carved stone from the building built into one or two local houses. However theStrutts came to Belper in the 18th century and begain to errect their series of cotton mills. Jedediah Strutt is thought to have employed the architect Samuel Brown of Derby as executant. In January 1793 it was recorded that 'Mr George (George Benson Strutt) is beginning to build himself a noble house on the bridge hill, just above the watering troughs'. The house was completed in 1794 and is an enlarged version of Milford House, designed by William for his father a year or two before. It was built in two storeys of millstone grit sandstone from a nearby quarry in the family's ownership and had a five bay front, the central three being pedimented. The low hipped roof was set behind a low parapet. Each return side sported a shallow bay of two bays and rose to an extra half storey behind, to accommodate staff quarters. A later single storey addition of c. 1800 was built to the west, back from the fa├žade on rising ground. In the later 19th century, this had an impressive loggia and conservatory added to it. There were eight principal bedrooms and five reception rooms. Offices, stables and coach houses lay to the east of the house. The Strutt family continued to live at Bridge Hill until 1931. However, descendants chose to live elsewhere after that time and the house remained largely unoccupied following a sale of contents in December 1931. It was finally demolished in 1938-9 and the site began to be redeveloped for housing from around 1950. (1) Some structural remains, possibly relating to outbuildings, stables etc. survive in the gardens of houses built on the site. (2) An archaeological watching brief was carried out by ARCUS in 2006 during ground-level reduction for a proposed house to the rear of 34 Lodge Drive. During the watching brief the footings of outbuildings associated with Bridge Hill House were discovered. The basic layout of the building, or a range of buildings, was rectangular, with a transverse corridor running behind the entire frontage. The rear area was subdivided into rooms or pens that were accessed by the corridor, and were apparently supplied with feed chutes from a higher terrace to the rear. Drainage was also provided along the length of the corridor into a brick culvert running away downslope. The layout of the building suggests that it was built as a piggery, which is most likely associated with the former Bridge Hill House. It probably changed in use and form between 1794 and the 1930s, when it was demolished. A bottle-washing plant is recorded at the site during the late 19th and early 20th century, which was substantiated by a number of salt-glazed stoneware bottles dating to this period that were found during the watching brief. (3)

Sources/Archives (5)

  • --- *Internet Web Site: 2008. Bridge Hill House, Belper, Derbyshire, UK.
  • --- Article in serial: John D. Wood & Co. (Auctioneers). 1931. "Bridgehill House", Belper, Derbyshire, Catalogue.
  • <1> Article in serial: Craven, M. 2002. 'Those other country houses. III: Bridge Hill House, Belper', Derbyshire Life and Countryside. Vol 67(3), pp 81-82.
  • <2> Photograph: Thorley, R. 2003. Photographs of remains of Bridge Hill House.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Baker, S (ARCUS). 2006. Archaeological watching brief on land to the rear of 34 Lodge Drive, Belper, Derbyshire.



Grid reference Centred SK 3426 4824 (96m by 109m) (Approximate)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR2701

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External Links (0)

Record last edited

Mar 26 2022 8:15PM

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