A loved ruin poised for an exciting comeback
Saving Aqueduct Cottage
Situated along the banks of the Cromford Canal, in rural Derbyshire is a beautiful, much-loved Grade II listed building called Aqueduct Cottage. Once a rural idyll for generations of families, the derelict cottage is an enchanting reminder of a time gone by. The place has a magical charm that stirs the hearts of all who come across it, and with good reason.
It’s idyllic location, on the fringe of the ancient Lea Wood, was once part of the Nightingale estate and Florence Nightingale is thought to have visited when she lived at the Lea Hurst. Its construction was part of the 19th century industrial development of the Lower Derwent Valley, now a UNESCO designated world heritage site.
Stories of the families who lived at the cottage have been collected and transcripts of interviews with its occupants provide fascinating tales of day to day life spanning a 100 year period. With no connected services and only two bedrooms, family life was basic, cramped and sometimes harsh, and survival meant a reliance on the land for food and water. Despite the tough conditions, generations have made the cottage their home and on these pages you can read their memories.
This site has been created to preserve and share the story of this important heritage and to raise awareness of the mission to save and re-purpose the cottage. After almost 50 years of neglect, it is about to embark upon a new chapter in its 200 year history.
In 2016, thanks to the NLHF funded DerwentWISE landscape improvement programme, a team of volunteers, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and the Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust, began working on a plan to restore and re-purpose the cottage.
We very much hope that you enjoy learning about this exciting venture and feel inspired to give us your support!
Volunteer Project Manager
"The cottage was the dividing place between work and play, between fairy tale and reality, and we were bound for fairy tale"
- Alison Uttley
"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together"
Vincent van Gogh
Aqueduct Cottage is located on the Cromford Canal at its junction with the Lea Wood Arm, between Whatstandwell, two miles to the south, and the canal terminus at Cromford, two miles to the north.
The nearest public car park is High Peak Junction Car Park on the road between Cromford and Lea Bridge. From the car park, cross the footbridge (over the River Derwent) . Upon reaching High Peak Junction, turn left and continue along the Cromford Canal towpath. Aqueduct Cottage is a few hundred yards on the left.