Goyt Valley memories

On these pages I’ll feature people with personal memories of life in the Goyt Valley before the construction of the two reservoirs. Simply click on the ‘Read more’ links to view any story. All contributions would be very gratefully received. To get in touch, simply use the site contact page.

Shank’s mare to Goyt’s Bridge

An account of a walk in the late 1890s from Buxton, via Burbage, Derbyshire Bridge and Goytsclough, to Goyt’s Bridge and Errwood Hall. It includes some wonderful detail.

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The High Peak Railway (1880)

The Cromford & High Peak Railway ran through the Goyt Valley from 1831 to 1892. Mike has discovered a fascinating report from the Victorian writer, Strephon, of a trip along the entire route.

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The Valley of the Goyt (1880)

Another of Strephon’s wonderful articles describing his walks through the Goyt Valley. This one tells of a circular walk from Buxton, via Goyt’s Bridge and Derbyshire Bridge, taken in early 1880.

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Down the Valley in 1881

Our 19th century travellers are “soon in the deep cool solitude of the Goyt valley, beautiful with colours that the miserably inadequate art of word-painting is utterly lost to reproduce.”

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An 1880 excursion to Errwood

A writer in 1880 describes the Goyt Valley: “Boughs interlace above; the bare-bell, the fox-glove, and the blade-like fern are at out feet; at our side the beautiful campanula…”

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Goyt’s Bridge in 1932

A shorter version of the 1932 cine film of Goyt’s Bridge set to music, showing views around the stepping stones and packhorse bridge, with glimpses of Gatehouse Cottage…

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Life below stairs

“These rich Lords and Ladies had a London Home and also one near Manchester. It was called Errwood Hall and there were five Lords and Ladies and a Priest…”

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Visiting the powder mills (1874)

“In the valley at the foot of towering heights, clad with trees and verdure, there are situated the Fernilee Gunpowder Mills, occupying a very extensive area.”

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Errwood Hall party (1895)

“A very interesting and pleasant gathering took place at Errwood Hall last Wednesday week, when Miss Grimshawe and Mrs Preston entertained the tenantry and tradesmen of the district to dinner.”

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Visiting Errwood Hall in 1883

By a reporter May 23rd 1883: “Errwood Hall, for such is its name, is a modernised building of dressed stone, with rooms of considerable size and number…”

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Goyt memories; Crichton Porteus

Taken from a 1954 edition of the ‘Peakland’ magazine, Crichton recollects how the coming of the twin reservoirs led to the destruction of both Goyt’s Bridge and Errwood Hall.

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Over the hills with a tandem

The Goyt Canyon opens suddenly out of the limestone hills, and for some eight miles to Taxal provides an exquisite ‘coast’ through sylvan scenery as rare as it is unexpected.

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Fernilee Reservoir inauguration

This 1932 film records the inauguration ceremony for the construction of Fernilee Reservoir, with Stockport Corporation big-wigs standing apart from the navvies.

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Goyt’s Bridge before the flood

This silent film was one of two taken in 1932, during the construction of Fernilee Reservoir. It features the hamlet of Goyt’s Bridge, which now lies submerged beneath Errwood Reservoir.

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Goyt memories: Paul Mason

My dad told me about the time a pig ran off along the path going up to the hall. It ran over the edge and droped in the ravine. My grandad managed to get it out and clamed it for himself!

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Cycling the Goyt Valley (1932)

I passed Goyt’s Bridge Farm, which is to be demolished, and entered the lower stretch of the valley, where the second reservoir will be. They have already begun work by the Powder Mill.

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