The Full Wiki

More info on River Derwent, Derbyshire

River Derwent, Derbyshire: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

The river in its highest stretch, on Howden Moor close to the source
Derwent Reservoir, with river water cascading over Howden Dam, and Howden Moor in the background
The river at Calver
The river at Matlock Bath, as seen from the Heights of Abraham cable car
The valley of the Derwent upstream of Whatstandwell
The river just south of Duffield
The river outside the Council House in Derby
The Derwent is a river in the county of Derbyshiremarker, Englandmarker. It is 50 miles (80 km) long and is a tributary of the River Trent which it joins south of Derbymarker. For most of its length, the river flows through the Peak Districtmarker.

Much of the river's route, with the exception of the city of Derbymarker, is rural. However the river has also seen many human uses, and between Matlockmarker and Derbymarker was one of the cradles of the Industrial Revolution, providing power to the first industrial scale cotton mills. Today it provides a water supply to several surrounding cities, and its steeply sided valley is an important communications corridor through the uplands of the Peak District.

Because of its scenic qualities, the valley of the River Derwent sees many tourist visitors. The upper reaches pass through the Peak District National Parkmarker, whilst the middle reaches around the old spa town of Matlock Bathmarker attracts tourists because of its souvenir shops and amusement arcades, together with attractions such as the Heights of Abrahammarker and its cable car.

The name "Derwent" is Celtic and means "a valley thick with oaks".


The River Derwent rises on Howden Moor, on the flank of Bleaklowmarker and some east of Glossopmarker. It flows through the Upper Derwent Valleymarker with its three consecutive reservoirs. In order downstream these are the Howden Reservoirmarker, Derwent Reservoirmarker and Ladybower Reservoirmarker. Howden Reservoir is also fed by the River Westendmarker, whilst Ladybower Reservoir is also fed by the River Ashopmarker. In both cases the former confluences of the two tributaries with the River Derwent are now submerged below the respective reservoirs.

Further south, the Derwent passes by the village of Bamfordmarker, where it is joined by the River Noemarker. Below this confluence, it flows through Hathersagemarker, Grindlefordmarker, Calvermarker and Baslowmarker, and through the estate of Chatsworth Housemarker, before it is joined by the River Wye at Rowsleymarker.

After passing through Darley Dalemarker, the Derwent reaches Matlockmarker, where, at an oxbow, it collects the great millstream Bentley Brookmarker. It then flows past the villages of Matlock Bathmarker, Cromfordmarker, Whatstandwellmarker and Ambergatemarker, where it is joined by the River Ambermarker.

Below Ambergate, the river flows by the town of Belpermarker and the villages of Milfordmarker and Duffieldmarker. It then enters the city of Derbymarker near Darley Abbeymarker and flows through the centre of the city. The river ends at Derwent Mouthmarker, east of Shardlowmarker, where it flows into the River Trent. Its waters ultimately reach the North Seamarker via the Humber Estuarymarker.

Natural history

The River Derwent is the habitat for many different animals such as otters , birds, insects, fish and crayfish. It is also a habitat for many wild flowers, as exemplified by the Lower Derwent Trail.

River uses

The lower river from Derwent Mouth upstream as far as Derbymarker was made navigable under an Act of Parliament of 1720, and this stretch opened to navigation in 1721. Traffic ceased about 1795 and the navigation was acquired by the owners of the competing Derby Canalmarker. The river is no longer considered navigable, although the upper river is widely used by kayakers and canoeists who enjoy the fast flowing water and the slalom course at Matlock Bathmarker.

The river was also used to power many cotton mills in the stretch of the river between Matlock Bathmarker and Derby. Amongst these was Richard Arkwright's Cromford Millmarker, the world's first water-powered cotton spinning mill, and an important early site in the development of the Industrial Revolution. Arkright's innovation, along with several local competitors, is remembered today by the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Sitemarker.

The reservoirs of Howdenmarker and Derwentmarker in the upper valley were built in the early 19th century to supply the cities of Sheffieldmarker, Nottinghammarker, Derby and Leicestermarker. The adjacent Ladybower Reservoirmarker was completed in 1945 to cover increasing demand. Treated water from these reservoirs flows down the long Derwent Valley Aqueduct parallel to the river. The river also indirectly supplies Carsington Reservoirmarker, with the water taken from the river by a pumping station at Ambergatemarker in times of high flow. When flows are low water is released back into the river via the same of tunnels and aqueducts, thus allowing greater abstraction rates upstream in the drier summer months. Today all these reservoirs are managed by Severn Trent Water.

The valley of the Derwent provides an important communications route. Between Derby and Rowsleymarker the valley is followed by the A6 road, which was the main road from Londonmarker to Manchestermarker until the creation of the motorway network, and is still a busy single-carriageway road. The former Midland Railway's lines from Derby to Sheffield and Manchester also followed the Derwent, the former as far as Ambergate and the latter as far as Rowsley. The Sheffield line still operates as part of the Midland Main Line, but the Manchester line was severed north of Matlock in 1968, and the section from Ambergate to Matlock now forms the Derwent Valley Line, a single-track branch line. Between Ambergate and Cromford, the river, road and railway are also paralleled by the Cromford Canalmarker, which was once connected to Manchester across the High Peakmarker by the early Cromford and High Peak Railway.


The River Derwent provides the name for the oldest hockey club in Derbyshiremarker. Derwent Hockey Club was established in 1897 and played its matches on the banks of the Derwent in Darley Dalemarker, before relocating to Wirksworthmarker.

See also


External links

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address