Updated 8 Jun 2007

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 449


Taken 1952.
The runner beans against the house on the left are growing well with bean sticks ready, in a natural public-proof sun-trap facing West. The towpath on the other side of the canal splits, one going under and one over the Bridge.

The tithe map of 1841 shows a wharf here at Whatstandwell on the opposite, northern side of the canal to Eden House. In 1945 one of the last boats was tied up there, still floating and apparently in good condition, but looking somewhat neglected. As the local Canal Inspector Edward Sampson lived nearby until his retirement in 1958, this was a convenient and safe place to tie up the boat.
[Credit Friends of Cromford Canal/Fred Copeland]

Difficult to believe this is the same Eden House that stands on top of a railway tunnel!

This OS map (2nd Edition, 25"=1 mile) shows the Location of Eden House

Cromford Canal,
taken from Whatstandwell Bridge

The area can be seen well on a 1908 postcard, showing 4 roads, a railway, a river and a canal all within 250 yards of the main bridge at Whatstandwell. The photo is taken from Whatstandwell Bridge over the canal, looking South. Telegraph posts show the line of the railway. On the right is Eden House: ...built directly over the short railway tunnel. In 1811 the house was part of Hurt's wharf, and it is thought that the owner refused to allow it to be knocked down when the railway was built, so the railway tunnelled under it instead. Hurt was the Squire of Alderwasley, and also proprietor of the iron forge between here and Ambergate by the River Derwent.
The Cromford Canal, by Hugh Potter, page 38, ISBN 0752428020

The Hurt referred to would be Francis Hurt 1781-1854, who married Elizabeth Arkwright (grand-daughter of Sir Richard) in 1802, see The HURT family of Alderwasley

The Midland Railway Co were obliged to do business with him in order to obtain some of his land on which to lay the lines of their routewhich ultimately connected London with Manchester. The story of the laying of that line has been expertly dealt with by Bill Hudson in "Through Limestone Hills". Francis Hurt insisted on a clause in the contracts entitling him to the privelege of having any train stopped at Whatstandwell station for his personal convenience.
The Hurts of Alderwasley by Derek Wain, ISBN 1843060426
"Through Limestone Hills" by Bill Hudson, ISBN 0860932176.

Hugh Potter writes:
....the photograph is in fact taken at Whatstandwell, from the bridge on the road up to Crich from the Derwent Hotel. The house on the left is an old wharf building. That on the right is the house that is directly over the railway tunnel. The scene is little changed today except that the house on the left has been re-roofed with a pitched roof over the flat area, and of course the boat is no longer there! This is not a picture I have seen before, and photographs of the canal with boats are very rare (this was a maintenance boat in its last years - formerly a coal boat).
Hugh Potter
Archivist, Friends of the Cromford Canal

Taken 2007 by Stuart Flint.
Eden House is apparently still there although the larger buiding in the front of it has been demolished and a house now stands set back.

Taken 2007 by Maureen Griffiths.
Eden House railway tunnel under house next to Cromford Canal.
[The line really does go right under Eden House!-webmaster]

Photo taken:24 May 1952
Source:Copyright C M & J M Bentley HT2707

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