Saving Aqueduct Cottage

Situated along the banks of the pretty Cromford Canal, in rural Derbyshire is a beautiful, much-loved ruin called Aqueduct Cottage. Once a rural idyll for generations of families, the derelict cottage is today an enchanting reminder of a time gone by. The place has a magical charm that stirs the hearts of all who come across it, and with good reason.

It’s idyllic location, on the fringe of the ancient Lea Wood, was once part of the Nightingale estate and Florence Nightingale is thought to have visited when she lived at the Lea Hurst. Its construction was part of the 19th century industrial development of the Lower Derwent Valley, now a UNESCO designated world heritage site.

Stories of the families who lived at the cottage have been collected and transcripts of interviews with its occupants provide fascinating tales of day to day life, from the 1880’s to the 1970’s. With no modern day facilities, survival meant a reliance on the natural landscape, a message which echoes increasingly in today’s contemporary world.

This site has been created to help share the story of this important piece of local heritage and to provide you with an insight into this unique piece of social history.

The aim is also to raise awareness of the mission to save and re-purpose the cottage. After almost 50 years of neglect, the cottage is about to embark upon a new chapter in its 200 year history.

In 2016, thanks to the NLHF funded DerwentWISE landscape improvement programme, a team of volunteers, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and other specialist organisations, began working on a plan to restore and re-purpose the cottage.

We very much hope that you will enjoy learning about this exciting venture and be inspired to help us. The cottage has a wonderful story to tell, and we would like to preserve it for all to enjoy!

Ron Common,
DerwentWISE Volunteer

"The cottage was the dividing place between work and play, between fairy tale and reality, and we were bound for fairy tale"
- Alison Uttley

Old historic picture of Aqueduct Cottage
Cottage History

Learn about the cottage's history in more detail with detailed documents from the past

Flowery image of Aqueduct Cottage

See old and present day pictures of the cottage in our new gallery page

Volunteers helping at Aqueduct Cottage
Get Involved

Get involved with the project and help us raise awareness of it's importance

Cottage location

Aqueduct Cottage is located on the Cromford Canal at its junction with the Lea Wood Arm, between Whatstandwell, two miles to the south, and the canal terminus at Cromford, two miles to the north.

The nearest public car park is High Peak Junction Car Park on the road between Cromford and Lea Bridge. From the car park, cross the footbridge (over the River Derwent) . Upon reaching High Peak Junction, turn left and continue along the Cromford Canal towpath. Aqueduct Cottage is a few hundred yards on the left.

Contact Us

call us

+441173 881188

office location

Sandy Hill, Main Street, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 4LR


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Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

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