Derby's Heritage Part 35 - Both Sides Of The Derwent
w/e 25 November 2012
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490
Heritage Walk Header

We ended Part 34 saying we would return to the River Derwent between the new Riverlights building and the Crown Court but when we returned we found that access to the Riverside Gardens was blocked and the route we intended to follow led only to an alternative entrance to the bus station. This resulted in quite a bit of to-ing and fro-ing in order to capture the images below. (Although we were not able to access the Riverside Gardens on this occasion, images from a previous visit in 2006 are available here.)

Oak Tree Memorial

Cycling is not allowed in the Riverside Gardens even when access is possible but there is an alternative route for this mode of transport from Exeter Bridge down the opposite side of the river from where we were able to view the new building, the on-going work in the gardens and our intended route.

MemorialSo backtracking to Exeter Bridge we followed the cycle route instead and in gardens on this side of the river we came across a memorial at the foot of a young oak tree. It read "This oak tree donated by the Royal Society of St George was planted by the Mayor of Derby Cllr. R. Webb assisted by Admiral Sir David Haslam on 21st October 2005 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Admiral Lord Nelson's victory at the Battle of Trafalgar and to serve as a living memorial to all those from the County of Derbyshire who have given their lives whilst serving at sea."
The Weir

Whichever side of the river you are on the weir is an impressive sight and the churning water drowns out the other noises of the city centre. It is here too that Kingfishers are sometimes seen along with Grey Wagtails, long tailed birds with grey upper feathers and a yellow underside - but not today!
Holmes Bridge

As we continued down the river bank we passed under Holmes Bridge named after the former Holmes Copper Rolling and Slitting Mills.
River Derwent

Beyond Holmes Bridge the river is a lot calmer than near the weir and the alternative cycle route continues down the road on the left hand side. Our intended route was to have been along the footpath through the trees on the right hand side which is where we'll pick it up in the following images - as I said, this part involved a lot of to-ing and fro-ing but when the Riverside Gardens reopen, it will be a lot easier.
Riverside Path

This then is the path we would have followed with Bass's Recreation Ground to the right had our original plans not been thwarted.

The path leads to a footbridge over the river which is where the alternative cycle route rejoins the main path.
Bass's Recreation Ground

Looking back from the path across Bass's Recreation Ground we can see the city centre with the skateboard park in the middle distance. The Recreation Ground is the former site of Holmes Mills which was originally built in 1734 but was demolished in 1860. Michael Thomas Bass MP gave the freehold of the site to Derby seven years later and at one time of day this public open space contained an open-air swimming pool but this was filled in after the Second World War.
Five Arches Bridge

Although still close to the city centre, the area by the river flanked by a selection of tree species (left) is home to a wide variety of wildlife including the Short Tailed Field Vole. The path crosses a water channel (right) - the Mill Fleam - where Freshwater Crayfish have made their home. From near to the Mill Fleam we get our first view of part of the next bridge spanning the river. This was built in 1840 - 41 to carry the North Midland Railway and is called Five Arches Bridge.

I hesitate to say where we will continue in the next part after the experience this time but we hope to be continuing along the river and heading towards Pride Park.
 Back to Part 34
 The Derby Heritage Walk Index
Continued in Part 36

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