The vanished places of the Goyt Valley
On these pages I’ll include places that were lost following the construction of the twin reservoirs of Fernilee and Errwood. Ranging from the small one-room school which once stood within the hamlet of Goyt’s Bridge, to the large gunpowder factory which now lies beneath the cold waters of Fernilee. Contributions are always very welcome, so please do get in touch.
The Goytsclough Paint Mills provided employment for around 20 people. Crushed baryte was packed in bags and taken by wagon to be loaded onto the High Peak Railway.
Stone from Goytsclough Quarry was used to pave both Regent Street and Oxford Street in London. Today, few signs remain of an industry created in the 17th century by the founder of Pickfords Removals.
“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…”
“Victorian visitors travelled many miles in their horsedrawn carriages, not just to see the wonderful Goyt Valley in summer, but to admire and enjoy the gardens with their variety and beauty. Then to take tea…”
Old OS maps show a ‘Coal Pit’ between Errwood Hall and Castedge Farmhouse. The entrance to the mine has long since been blocked and is now covered by thick undergrowth.
All that remains of Castedge Farmhouse today is a pile of stones showing the muddled outline of a once attractive and fairly substantial stone building.
The stones allowed pedestrians to cross the River Goyt between Gatehouse Cottage and Goytshead Farm. Wildmoorstone Brook flowed into the Goyt at this point, from high on the moors.
The small packhorse bridge which stood for centuries in the heart of Goyt’s Bridge has miraculously survived. Though not many people who stroll past it may realise it.
There were two bridges in Goyt’s Bridge. The one that features in all the photos and postcards is the picturesque packhorse bridge. This bridge stood close to The Gatehouse & Gardener’s Cottage.
Although marked on old OS maps as Errwood Cottage, it’s usually known as the ‘Gatehouse & Gardener’s Cottage’, and was situated beside the gates at the foot of the lane leading up to Errwood Hall.
I’ve always been curious about the small, picturesque suspension bridge shown in some old photos of the valley, wondering when it was built, what happened to it, and where it was situated.
One favourite trip was up the old Roman road, The Street, then across the fields to visit the small shrine of St. Joseph’s, before calling in at the coal mine on the way back for a lesson on its origins.
Sarah is searching for Errwood Farm where her grandparents once lived. But although she thinks it was the lowest-lying farm not to be submerged, she’s been unable to locate the ruins.