Derwent Valley Heritage Way 3 – Grindleford to Baslow

I walked the first 5 miles of the Derwent Valley Heritage Way on Monday 1 August 2016, and the second 3 on Tuesday 25 April 2017 – if you want to find them on northernvicar, click on Derwent Walk on the right hand side of this screen. On Wednesday 30 May 2018 I drove to Baslow and parked by the Village Hall – SK 258722 – with the plan of walking a circle – the return leg being along the Heritage Way. A rather damp and foggy afternoon, but honeysuckle lifted the spirits. Up through the village and then up to Wellington’s Monument – 417 feet in the first mile. Enjoy the blossom and the buttercups. I enjoyed the bench.

The Wellington Monument was provided by Lt Col Dr E.M. Wrench of Baslow in 1866, in memory of F.M. Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington. There is an earlier Nelson Monument a couple of miles to the east. There is information about both here. Then I walked along Baslow Edge, across the road, and along Curbar Edge. It’s a ridge of gritstone, and the views would normally be lovely.

I crossed the A625 and went down through The Haywood to Grindleford church – SK 246779 – I’ll blog this as the next one. Part of this route is the Peak Pilgrimage – website – perhaps I’ll do that when I finish this Walk (at this rate the Second Coming will come first). Grindleford Community Shop is in the church vestry – and they do not close at 5. I appreciated tea and cake, and the loo.

I joined the Heritage Way by this wonderful signpost, and walked on the east side of the River Derwent through Horse Hay Coppice and Froggatt Wood into Froggatt itself. A Grade II C17 bridge.

Then on the west side of the river and along to Curbar, crossing the A625 again at Froggatt New Bridge. There is a display board advertising the Culver Weir project – with audio trails and all sorts of material on their website, but I can’t get it to work. Another case of money (I wonder how much money?) spent on digitisation and websites that, after a few years, seem to die (or at least get very ill). At least a book can be safely stored away, easily accessible. I found this website which says that the records are stored in Calver and at the County Record Office, and you can watch one of the youtube videos here. Then going onto youtube there are a selection of other videos – search for “Calver Weir”.

The Listing website says the “Calver weir, goit and the water management system [are] associated with Calver Mill. The mill itself is a Grade II listed building. The existing mill building represents the latest phase of the cotton mill but earlier mill buildings on the site are documented and mapped from at least 1752. The weir is situated in the River Derwent approximately three quarters of a kilometre downstream from the mill – [I wish Heritage England would use English miles]. The goit (water channel) runs almost parallel to the Derwent from New Bridge in the north, to the wheel house in the south. The weir was built in the first half of the 19th century by the family of Sir William Heygate, to serve Calver cotton mill. It is built of large squared grit stone blocks and forms an elongated reversed S, a shape designed to minimise the impact of flood waters. This weir replaced an earlier one close to the current site. A retaining wall, also of gritstone blocks, survives along the western bank of the river and would have served to prevent the erosion of the bank from the water as it flowed, at an angle, from the weir. … The goit provided a managed flow of water that enabled the amount of water which reached the mill wheel to be controlled, reducing the impact of flooding on the operation of the mill. The original goit appears to have been cut sometime between 1799 and 1804. … Map evidence shows clearly the changes in the water management system over time.” To be honest you can’t see much of this as you walk along, and visitors are not welcome at Calver Mill. Searching for photos, I found a collection of John Piper photos, now in the Tate – website. Before I got to Calver Mill (which is just across the river from Curbar) I passed through Stocking Farm Caravan site – I do find these sites unattractive. The loo block had a notice pointing out it is only for people staying there – what a different attitude to the church at Grindleford – and the old barn was once used for worship.

There is an underpass under the A623, then the last bit across fields brought me to the attention of the cows. I talked to them as I walked. Into Baslow, over the bridge – Grade I, 1608 – passed the church (already blogged), and back to the car. A 10 mile walk – 4 of them along the Derwent Valley Walk.



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