Above: The lane from Goyt’s Bridge snakes around from the left before crossing the bridge and heading up the Valentine to Fernilee. (Shawstile Farm is top right.)

It was only recently that I discovered an aerial photo showing a small stone bridge that now lies beneath the waters at the northern end of Fernilee Reservoir (view post). The photo was one of a series taken in 1932, during the construction of the reservoir, and featured in a short video I put on YouTube (click to view).

The bridge spanned the River Goyt, close to Fernilee Gunpowder Mill, connecting the lane running down from Fernilee and the Buxton to Whaley Bridge Long Hill road (known as the Valentine), with the track that ran along the other side of the valley, south towards Goyt’s Bridge and Errwood Hall.

The bridge answered a lot of my questions about how people managed to get from one side of the valley to the other, without having to pass through a dangerous explosives factory. So I was delighted when Peter got in touch, saying he had a photo showing the bridge in more detail.

Above: The Goyt flows under the stone bridge (click to enlarge).

Peter explained:

My father (born 1903) lived with his Granny in Kettleshulme from ca.1910 to her death in 1918, and he loved the area. I’ve got a photograph he took of Taxal and its church from somewhere above on the opposite side of the valley (not so far away or as high as Windgather Rocks). Would you like it?

I’ve also found a nice shot of the Powder Mill Bridge. My father bemoaned the flooding of the valley, of which he had such fond memories. He was a great walker, and knew all the area as only a walker can.

There’s no date on the photo of the bridge. But the one of Taxal Church (below) is dated 1929. I’d guess both would have been taken at a similar time. At this date the gunpowder mill would have been in ruins since its closure in 1920. And it would be another three years before work started on the reservoir.

Above: A photo of Taxal Church taken by Peter’s father from close to the Long Hill road (click to enlarge). There’s more on Taxal Church and its ‘pugilistic parson’, the Rev. Evans, on this post.

Page tags (click for similar posts): Bridges | Fernilee Reservoir | Gunpowder Mill | Taxal