Sunday, 23 January 2011

The Derwent Valley; Ambergate

Above the town of Belper, is a pub called The Hill Top, perfectly positioned to give panoramic views over the Derwent Valley.  In addition to the river itself, the valley is occupied by the A6 and the mainline railway, both of which give access to the north from Derby. This train line is the one which I travelled on my day trip to Sheffield. 

There are settlements all along the road, including the large village of Ambergate, which grew up around the confluence of the river Derwent and its tributary, the Amber. The Amber, obviously, forms one part of the present name of this village. The remainder came in 1820, with the opening of a turnpike road between Belper and Cromford. The toll gate which stood on the junction of the present day A6 and A610, was named Amber Gate.This, of course, quickly encompassed the settlement too.

Incidentally, the stone posts of the gate still remain, though not in their original location. They were preserved and now stand near to the White House Inn on the A6.

Once home to a row of large lime kilns and, in 1876, the site of the newly opened Richard Johnson and Nephew wireworks, Ambergate's modern claim to fame is that it was the first place in Europe to have a fully operational electronic telephone exchange. (1966).


  1. I love these green hills and some landscapes look like a patchwork.

  2. It always amazes me how peaceful and rustic the English countryside remains contrasted with the throbbing hustle and bustle and hi tech nature of the cities and large towns. I particularly like the lighting and composition of the first picture - absolutely beautiful.

  3. Lovely green photos, great compositions. They enlarge nicely. We like the blue page too. Thanks Hilary.

  4. Now we have found out. Helene. Nice name. Nice green photos. Thank you!