The vanished places of the Goyt Valley

On these pages I’ll include places that were lost following the construction of the twin reservoirs of Fernilee and Errwood. Ranging from the small one-room school which once stood within the hamlet of Goyt’s Bridge, to the large gunpowder factory which now lies beneath the cold waters of Fernilee. Contributions are always very welcome, so please do get in touch.

The arch mystery

Gary’s photos of Errwood Bridge emerging during the 1984 drought show it had two arches. But all the pre-flood photos I’ve seen only seem to show the one. Bill Brocklehurst solves the mystery.

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Locating the bridge

Gary’s photos of Errwood Bridge emerging from the waters of Errwood Reservoir during the drought of 1984 sparked a lot of interest. I’ve included some maps, and a ‘then & now’ fade, to show its position.

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Goyt’s Bridge emerges

A unique collection of photos show Errwood Bridge emerging from beneath the water during a long dry spell in the autumn of 1984. It was one of two bridges in Goyt’s Bridge. But this wasn’t saved.

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Mystery building

A mystery building alongside The Valentine has even Bill Brocklehurst stumped. And he’s lived and farmed in the Goyt Valley for most of his life. Perhaps it was Mrs Pickup’s shop…

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The valley in 1930

A collection of grainy photos shows the Goyt Valley just before construction work started on Fernilee Reservoir. Help identifying some of the more obscure images would be appreciated!

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Buxton’s railways

The arrival of the railways to Buxton in 1863 meant that increasing numbers of visitors could enjoy the tranquil beauty of the Goyt Valley. But it was a story of mixed fortunes for Paxton’s twin stations.

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Fernilee Toll House

Fernilee Toll House once stood beside the Long Hill Road between Buxton and Whaley Bridge. Today, there’s very little sign this attractive building ever existed. Which is a great shame.

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The packhorse bridge

A wonderful painting of the packhorse bridge captures the picturesque beauty of the Goyt Valley. It now spans the Goyt about a mile upstream, where it was moved in 1965.

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Taxal Bridge

A photo captioned ‘View of footbridge over stream (possibly Goyt Valley) c.1854’ was a fascinating find. But identifying where it once stood wasn’t so easy. Could it have been the one over the Goyt at Taxal?

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Cheshire tithe maps

Alec has discovered a wonderful website that reveals a lot about the history of the Cheshire side of the Goyt Valley. Including the position of the second Stonyway Toll House.

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Goyt’s Moss Farmhouse

Another photo from the 1960s album shows Goyt’s Moss Farm in ruins. Which is odd as that this would mean it had been derelict for some 30 years. Perhaps the photo is earlier than I thought.

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Milestones update

I don’t know whether it’s my failing eyesight, but I didn’t notice inscriptions on both the milestones on the Old Macclesfield Turnpike. But they were well-hidden.

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Stonyway toll gate

This toll booth was one of five on the first Buxton to Macclesfield turnpike, forcing poorly-paid locals to pay a small tax for passing through the gates. Unsurprisingly, they were highly unpopular.

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Withinleach Farm

A writer in 1810 describes an ancient settlement close to Withinleach Farm. Today the farm is just a pile of stones beside the path to St. Joseph’s Shrine. It’s yet another Goyt Valley mystery.

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Goytsclough postcard #2

An even older photo of Goytsclough shows the paint mill ruins in greater detail. It hopefully brings me one step closer to discovering where the giant waterwheel once stood.

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Goytsclough postcard #1

An old postcard of Goytsclough provides another small but tantalising clue in the puzzle over the giant waterwheel that once powered both the stone quarry and the later paint mill.

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Finding Goytsclough cottages

A new ‘then & now’ fade of one of my favourite old photos of the valley helps pinpoint exactly where the cottages at Goytsclough once stood. And it’s not where I thought!

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Long Hill mystery

Don asks about the foundations which lie just over the fence, coming down from the Long Hill road towards the Goyt Valley. I wonder whether it may once have been a toll house. But who knows?

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Fernilee from the air (1934)

A 1934 aerial view of the Fernilee Reservoir construction site reveals some fascinating detail, including the ruins of the Gunpowder Mill, as well as the line of the old Cromford & High Peak Railway.

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Castedge spring; then & now

A new ‘then and now’ fade features one of my favourite photos of the Goyt Valley; Kathleen Nall collecting water at the natural spring outside her family home, Castedge Farm Cottage.

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