Historic and interesting buildings within walking distance from the Mill.
The map shows the locations of the historic Buildings.
1. Belper Bridge
2. Derwent Valley Visitor’s Centre
4. Penny Bank
5. The Talbot Inn
7. First Police Station
8. Nailer’s Cottage
9. Bridge Hill House
10. Long Row School
11. River Gardens
12. The Railway
1. Derwent Bridge was opened in 1798 and the illustration of 1900 shows the scene before the East Mill was built. It was constructed with three graceful arches at a cost of £2180 by Issac and Benjamin Marshall. A former ancient bridge, damaged by flood in 1795, was subsequently removed. Road widening in 1960 changed the bridge to its present appearance.
2. The Derwent Valley Visitor Centre is situated on the ground floor of the North Mill. It provides tourist information and contains a museum covering the impact of the local textile industry following the birth of the industrial revolution. The opening hours are displayed outside the Visitor Centre.
3. Dalley Farm and Cross Road Farm (not illustrated) at Blackbrook are examples of several model farms built by the Strutts to develop modern farming methods.
4. Penny Bank The Belper Penny Bank, founded in 1818, opened on this site in 1854. The front extension was added in 1911.
5. The Talbot Hotel was built about 1660 on the site of an older inn on land owned by the Earl of Shrewsbury, whose crest was a Talbot dog. On the opposite side of the road, close to the bridge, is a cottage. This was converted in 1870 by George Henry Strutt into a cottage hospital for convescent mill workers. There is another Information Panel by the cottage, overlooking the weir.
7. Belper’s first Police Station was built in 1848 and housed the county Headquarters from 1857 to 1859. It is now a private residence. The police transferred in the 1960s to a new station situated off Field Lane.
8. The Clusters and Long Row area were homes for millworkers and supervisors and are clearly defined by size and location. Some buildings were demolished to make way for the railway. The illustration shows a nailer’s workshop in Joseph Street.
9. Bridge Hill Housewas erected in 1793 by George Benson Strutt. It was lived in by succeeding members of the Strutt family, the last being George Herbert Strutt after his second marriage. It was demolished in the 1930s and is now the site of several private residences.
10. Long Row School was built by the Strutt family and opened in 1818 for five hundred and thirty pupils. Using the Joseph Lancaster theory, one teacher could educate up to a thousand children through a system of monitors (older pupils passing on their knowledge, based on religious morals, to younger ones). The school has been partially rebuilt and added to at various times. The illustration shows the frontage of the present building.
11. The River Gardens opened in 1905, was the home of the Belper Boating Association. The following year an arboretum with an attractive tea house was built. The gardens and children’s play area are now well maintained by Amber Valley Borough Council and seasonal boating is available. A comprehensive Information Panel is situated in the gardens.
12. The railway runs a long a one mile cutting through Belper and was built between 1838 and 1840 by George and Robert Stevenson. The cutting, walled in Gritstone and spanned by eleven bridges, carries the track through and below the level of the town. The first station was at Goods Road, to the south of the town centre, and the present one was opened in 1878.
13. Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has a site on Wyver Lane. OS map reference SK 345493. This important wetland nature reserve beside the River Derwent provides a year-round haven for birds, from curlew and common sandpiper in summer to wintering redwing and wigeon. In spring frogs and toads migrate to the pools to spawn, while in summer dragonflies and damselflies dart around the water’s edge. There is no access onto the reserve itself, but the wildlife can be viewed from the lane and the bird hide provided.
14. Christ Church was built at the instigation of George Henry Strutt and was dedicated in 1850. It was designed by H.I. Williams in the Early English style using local stone at a cost of £3000. The substantial stone vicarage built later was the gift of George Henry Strutt.