From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present

Derwent Village

Lost Village
53° 22′ 48″ N, 1° 43′ 12″ W

  • History
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
Derwent Village is located in the northern end of the Ladybower Reservoir in Derbyshire and was flooded after the creation of the dam.

All the buildings in the village were demolished by autumn 1943 after the creation of the Ladybower dam and the village finally flooded in 1944 along with the remains of the Derwent Hall. Derwent’s packhorse bridge that spanned the River, near the main gates of Derwent Hall, had been removed stone by stone was transported and rebuilt at the head of Howden Reservoir at Slippery Stones. It now forms part of the paths and cycle tracks around the Derwent Valley reservoir,s as it was designated a monument of national importance. The church tower of Derwent slowly disappeared below the water by 1946.

The church held its last service on 17 March 1943, but the bell from the church was re-hung in St Philip's Church in Chaddesden, built in 1955. Bodies from the graveyard were exhumed in 1940, then reburied in the village of Bamford. The church spire was left intact to form a memorial to Derwent. Sadly it was destroyed on the15th of December 1947, for safety.

The remains of the village has been revealed when the reservoir levels fell dramatically in 1976, 1989, 1995, 2003 and 2018.

In 2018, the appearance of the village due to low water levels has caused unprecedented crowds to visit the rarely visible site. On 3rd of November, a man had to be rescued by a mountain rescue team after getting stuck in extremely thick mud around the ruins of the village. It has been reported that the site has vandalised by some people visiting, the park rangers have been forced to stop visitors removing items from the site. Graffiti has been scrawled on some of the remains.

Despite being flooded, a few houses survive above the waterline, and there remains a civil parish of Derwent.

The Derwent Valley Museum, located on the Derwent Reservoir dam, is run privately by Vic Hallam, tells the history of the Derwent valley and of Derwent and Ashopton as well as the tale of RAF Squadron 617 'The Dam Busters' and its training for Operation Chastise during the Second World War.

The only marker of the location of Derwent is the village's War Memorial, it stands above Ladybower Reservoir at to the west of the village.