Bridge over River Derwent, Froggatt

Recent Photograph of Bridge over River Derwent (Froggatt)

This picturesque little bridge at Froggatt has just two arches, giving it the appearance of looking slightly unbalanced! The smaller nearby arch is rounded, whilst the larger arch is pointed, and the eye is continually drawn to the right of it, expecting to see a twin of the rounded one on the other side!

All can be explained however, as apparently the round arch nearest to us is part of a bridge erected in 1653, when possibly there were two similar sized arches, and the river bed was narrower than it is now. The river got wider after the Calver Cotton Mill Dam was built in the 18th century, and the pointed arch was constructed to accomodate it[1]. There is a date stone under the arch of 1780, making it contemporous with the Mill, built in 1778 by John Gardom and John Pares.

The roadway across the bridge is very narrow - but is just wide enough for a bus to pass over it; and there is a place for pedestrians to step out of the way in the triangular "quoin" between the two arches. Nevertheless, in spite of its quaint appearance and semblance of antiquity it is still a ‘youngster’ in comparison with the bridge upstream at Grindleford. A ‘Gryndleford Bridge’ was recorded as early as 1359, although the present bridge is in fact more recent (1758).

The difference may be in the fact that no attempts have been made to widen the carriageway for present day traffic. Instead, a Froggatt “New Bridge” was built in recent times further downstream, to take the present B6054 “Froggatt Edge” (Sheffield to Calver) road across the river.

(Information provided by Rosemary Lockie)

[1] Edwards, Brian - Calver, Curbar and Froggatt in Old Photographs. Published by Northend, of Sheffield, 2004. ISBN: 0-9525064-9-1.

Image contributed by Rosemary Lockie on 22nd August 2001.
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