Above: A postcard view of Errwood Bridge (click to enlarge.)

The other two bridges in Goyt’s Bridge (click either to enlarge): The ancient Packhorse Bridge above, and Shooter’s Clough Bridge below.

Some time back I received a message from Chris Belton asking whether I recognised this photo (above) taken by her father back in 1958 that had been captioned ‘Goyt Holiday’ (click here to read her message on the Guestbook). Chis explained:

“The photo shows a bridge over a stream but seemingly not Goyt’s Bridge. I can sort of remember it, it was a delightful place, the sort my parents sought out for picnics. That’s me running away from the camera to hide on the bridge. But of course too young to remember where. I don’t remember them ever visiting that area (Goyt) or talking about it, but that’s what it says on the back.”

I told Chris that I didn’t recognise the scene. It clearly wasn’t the Packhorse Bridge, or the other smaller bridge seen in the hunting party photos – where Shooter’s Clough runs into the River Goyt. And I’d never heard or read about any other bridge, or seen any photos. So I assumed this bridge must be further down-river. But it now seems this was the main bridge in Goyt’s Bridge.

My interest in the Goyt Valley means I’ve looked at quite a few old maps showing Goyt’s Bridge before it vanished beneath the waters of Errwood Reservoir. And the closer I looked, the more it seemed there must have been another bridge over the River Goyt (see map above).

It was Jazz Man from the Whaley Bridge Local History Forum who confirmed that Chris’s photo was the missing third bridge.

This photo shows a wonderful view of Goyt’s Bridge (click to enlarge). The Packhorse Bridge is just out of sight on the far left. It’s just possible to see the twin square arches of Shooter’s Clough Bridge in the centre. The River Goyt runs from left to right. It now seems that the third bridge – and the largest of them all – is hidden in the valley further to the right.

Chris’s Dad’s photo shows a small car park on the far bank. Again, it’s not possible to see this in the panorama above. But it’s clearly there if you examine the old map above. The photo must have been taken from near to Shooter’s Clough Bridge.

I can’t find any name for the bridge, so I’ve called it ‘Errwood Bridge’ as it stands near to Errwood Cottage and the road up to Errwood Hall. So mystery solved!

Page updates:

Above: Chris has emailed to say she’s discovered another photo of the same bridge on the Whaley Bridge Local History Forum. That’s Errwood Cottage on the left (click to enlarge). It’s a really picturesque scene, and shows what was lost when the valley was flooded.

And another!…

Above: I just found another photo of the same bridge. It’s in Gerald Hancock’s ‘Goyt Valley Romance’. I always assumed it was the packhorse bridge, but it’s definitely the larger bridge beside Errwood Cottage. I’ve scanned it from the page, so it’s not very good quality. It shows a group of Edwardian tourists admiring the view. (Click to enlarge.)

Rising from the waters!

Above: According to the Whaley Bridge Local History website, this photo shows Errwood Bridge rising above the waters during the drought of 1994. It does look a bit narrow, but I can’t think where else it could be.

Click here to view more photos of the bridge rising from the waters during the drought of 1984. But far better quality than the one above.

Page update: 21st October 2022

Many thanks to Diane for letting me scan these two photos of her and her brother and friends playing in the Goyt just below Errwood Bridge in the late 1950s. It looks quite a drop from that small ledge down onto the rocks! (Click either photo to enlarge.)

Topic tags (click for similar posts): Bridges | Goyt's Bridge