The Derbyshire Derwent

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright November 2008, David Lally; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.


The River




The Derbyshire Derwent is the most southerly and second longest of four rivers in England which bear the name. The others are in Yorkshire, Cumbria and on the Durham Northumberland border.



It is the longest river in Derbyshire and forms the backbone of the county,



At 50 miles long, the Derwent does in fact run virtually the entire length of the county. Rising in the peat bogs of Bleaklow it forms the border between Derbyshire and The City of Sheffield (South Yorkshire) from near to its source to just south of the Howden Dam. It ends at the Trent which at that point forms the border between Derbyshire and Leicestershire.



With a catchment area of approximately 1,200 sq Kilometres it drains about half the area of the county.



The Source




As far as I am aware there is no official source of the river . I would place it in Swain's Greave just to the west of Barrow Stones:



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SK1396 : A water course near Barrow Stones by John Fielding
As photographed by John Fielding in February 2008.



SK1396 : The source of the River Derwent by Bill Boaden
It would seem someone else agrees with me.





The Mouth




There can be no mistake about where the river ends



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SK4530 : Derwent Mouth by David Lally
As photographed by me in November 2008





Tributaries




The tributaries will be pointed out in the square by square view of the river below. They are perhaps worthy of another article in the future.



Grid Squares and Images




The Derwent flows through approximately 120 grid squares (some of these twice!). In most of these pictures of the river already exist.



It is my aim that all of these squares will, in time, have at least one picture of the river on the geograph site.



If you do submit any, please let me know via the email link on my Profile so I can add them to this article.



In some square pictures of the river abound and I have not included them all, rather just one or two of an interesting feature. I hope I offend no one by omitting one of theirs.



Do look at the full size images, in particular because there may be information you find interesting in the description. The comments in the article are mine and I have not "copied" any from the images, except where I refer directly to doing so.



The Upper Derwent Reservoirs




The stretch of the river where it now forms these three lakes is the most famous, and consequently the most photographed.

I have not included in my list of squares all those that these features cover. I have attempted determine which the un-dammed river would have passed through. In time I hope to perhaps confirm (or disprove) my guesses by referring to historical maps.



The Squares and the River


The Upper Derwent Valley - The Source to the Ladybower Dam






SK1396




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright




SK1396 : A water course near Barrow Stones by John Fielding
If you agree with my definition of the source then there is just this one picture of the river in this square. Just one of many peat groughs in this part of the Dark Peak.









SK1297




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright




SK1297 : Swains Greave by Dave Dunford
In the centre of this picture by Dave Dunford the various water courses join to form a definite main flow.




SK1297 : Swains Greave looking to Swains Head by John Fielding
Here, in the distance, the valley through which the river exits Swains Greave to start its journey to The Trent can be clearly seen.









SK1397




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright




SK1397 : High Peak Moorland, near Swains Head by Pete Chapman
In this chilly picture by Pete Chapman the Derwent Valley begins to form.




SK1397 : The First Definite Derwent by David Lally
The river leaves Swains Greave.







After entering back into this square from SK1398 the Derwent enters another level and boggy area and meanders through it almost like a river in its old age on a low-lying flood plain.



SK1397 : Moorland Meander by David Lally SK1397 : A Boggy Derwent by David Lally SK1397 : V-shaped Ripples by David Lally SK1397 : Over the Derwent to Swains Head by David Lally






SK1398




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
The young Derwent just edges into this square. This is an important square as it is here that The Derwent becomes the border between the County of Derbyshire and The City of Sheffield. It is also here that it begins have a southerly direction, It is destined to go no further north than this.




SK1398 : The River Derwent at Its Most Northerly Point by David Lally SK1398 : A Young River Derwent by David Lally SK1398 : A typical Dark Peak stream by David Lally








SK1497




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright




SK1497 : Ruined sheepfold, Upper Derwent by Dave Dunford
Another picture by Dave Dunford, there is now no doubt we have the makings of a river.




SK1497 : River Derwent by Chris Wimbush SK1497 : The Derwent at Humber Knolls by David Lally








SK1496




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright




SK1496 : Upper Derwent by Dave Dunford
The river continues to gain flow.




SK1496 : Upper Small Clough by Dave Dunford
As side cloughs empty into it.









SK1596




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
The Derwent is now the dominant feature of the square.




SK1596 : A Young Meander by David Lally SK1596 : Upper Derwent Valley by Dave Dunford SK1596 : Confluence of Lower Small Clough and River Derwent by Dave Dunford SK1596 : River Derwent by Dave Dunford SK1596 : River Derwent at Lands Side by Chris Wimbush








SK1696




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright




SK1696 : Upper Derwent from Oaken Bank by Dave Dunford
The Derwent has by here formed the classic young river valley, with steep sides and interlocking spurs.




SK1696 : View of the upper Derwent valley from Horse Stone Naze by Neil Theasby SK1696 : A Kink in the Track by David Lally SK1696 : River Derwent and view towards Oaken Bank by Alan Heardman








SK1796




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
The river just edges into this square.




SK1796 : All the Derwent in SK1796 by David Lally SK1796 : The Derwent by David Lally SK1796 : The Derwent from Under an Oak by David Lally








SK1695




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
This is the first square through which the river flows north to south. This will be its predominant direction now until it has passed through Derby and approaches its end.




SK1695 : Upper Derwent Valley from Oaken Bank by Dave Dunford
This picture looks south with the direction of flow. The name of the hillside is perhaps significant "Oaken Bank". The name Derwent is believed to originate from the Celtic for something along the lines of "valley lined with oaks".




SK1695 : Slippery Stones Pack Horse Bridge by John Fielding
It is bridged for the first time. Though as this image's description explains this bridging point is only fifty years old - the bridge itself is much older.




SK1695 : The Bridge at Slippery Stones by David Lally SK1695 : The River Derwent by David Lally








SK1694




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright




SK1694 : Small Waterfall by David Lally SK1694 : Stepping Stone Crossing by David Lally SK1694 : Monitoring Weir by David Lally








SK1794




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright




SK1794 : The River Derwent Viewed Through Pines by David Lally SK1794 : The River Derwent by David Lally



SK1794 : Howden Dam from Cold Side by John Fielding
Here the river begins to widen and slow to form the Howden Reservoir.









SK1693




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright




SK1693 : Howden Reservoir by James Boulter








SK1692




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
About half of the Howden Dam wall is in this square. Although the dam wall is also in SK1792, I don't think that the river would have flowed into that square.



Just to the north of the dam the Derwent was joined by the River Westend from the west. The valley of that river now forms the large inlet in the reservoir which is mainly in SK1693




SK1692 : Howden Reservoir - Windy Corner View by Alan Heardman SK1692 : Howden Reservoir - Dam Wall View by Alan Heardman SK1791 : Howden Reservoir  from  Abbey Bank by Peter Barr



SK1792 : Island in Derwent Reservoir by Espresso Addict
The Derwent Reservoir starts at the foot of the Howden Dam wall, there is no intermediate channel which you might call the river. But I think it would have flowed to the west of this small island.




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In this square the Derbyshire / Sheffield border breaks-off to the east. From here on its Derbyshire all the way!



The tributary from the east is Abbey Brook.









SK1691




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright




SK1691 : Cyclists at Derwent Reservoir by Espresso Addict








SK1791




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright




SK1791 : Derwent Reservoir by Dave Dunford








SK1790




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright




SK1790 : Derwent Reservoir. by Richard Webb








SK1789




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
The most photographed square so far. It contains the Derwent Dam wall and the Fairholmes car park.

Unlike at the foot of the Howden Dam, there is below the Derwent Dam a short stretch of channel which one could describe as the river.




SK1789 : The Two Towers by michael ely SK1789 : The River Derwent by David Lally








SK1788




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright




SK1788 : Ladybower Reservoir - Bridge End Car Park View by Alan Heardman








SK1888




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
In this square the river once flowed through the village of Derwent. I believe that the packhorse bridge now at Slippery Stones in SK1695 was originally sited here.

Follow the link to the square to see some interesting pictures of what remains of the village as seen when the reservoir is low.




SK1888 : Ladybower Reservoir by Roger May








SK1887




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright




SK1887 : Upper Ladybower reservoir by Trevor Rickard



SK1987 : A Sheep on Whitestone Lee Tor by Steve Partridge
This one by Steve Partridge is from SK1987 but shows the river/reservoir in this square and SK1888 really well (the sheep looks good too!)









SK1987




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
There are some nice shots of the river/reservoir taken from this square (as above), and now thanks to Peter Barr a couple of the river/reservoir in it.


SK1987 : Ladybower reservoir by Peter Barr SK1987 : Still waters on Ladybower Reservoir by Peter Barr






SK1986




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
A well photographed square. Here the Derwent is joined from the west by the River Ashop and, probably as a result of that confluence, is nudged to the east - this is of course now somewhat obscured by the fact that both river valleys are filled by the Ladybower Reservoir. It is also difficult to tell if the Ladybower Brook, which joins from the east would have met the Derwent in this square or SK2086, I think it would have been in this square and that the Derwent would not have run through SK2086.



The village of Ashopton occupied this square and SK2086 but is, of course, now drowned. Unlike its more famous former neighbour of Derwent its remains have never been revealed at time of drought.




SK1986 : Ladybower Reservoir by David Pickersgill
A nice view of the Ashopton Viaduct carrying the A57 over the course of the River. It is difficult to imagine just how tall the support piers of this structure are as they are nearly completely submerged. The viaduct was constructed (for obvious reasons) before the reservoir was allowed to fill, see this photo: LinkExternal link






SK2085 : Ladybower Reservoir from Bamford Edge by John Darch
This shot by John Darch gives a very good overview of the valley through this square and SK1985.









SK1985




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1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
Another square popular with geographers, not surprising as most of the Ladybower Dam wall and the western of the two spectacular outfalls are seen here.




SK1985 : Ladybower Reservoir west-draw off tower by John Fielding
By my estimations this image is looking directly along the line that the river once took.




SK1985 : Duck near Ladybower Western overflow by Steve  Fareham



SK1985 : The Tailbay by Roger Temple
Released from the confines of the reservoirs, the river continues on its way.




SK1985 : Waterfall on the Derwent by Martin Speck

KML

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