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River Bradford



Bradford Dale is a short but attractive dale near Youlgrave in Derbyshire, home to many nationally rare plants. The river Bradford commences south of Middleton by Youlgrave, but the dale only becomes of consequence at Middleton where a track leads down to the river through woodland with bare limestone outcrops, passing the moss covered remains of a mill and an old pumping station.
The track, signposted 'The Limestone Way', leads past a historic landmark, 'Fulwood's Rock', where during the Civil War Christopher Fulwood, who had been trying to muster the men of Tideswell to the Stuart cause, attempted to hide when surprised by a party of Roundheads. He was discovered and mortally wounded. The track is a mass of yellow celandines in the spring.

The most charming part of the dale is perhaps the series of crystal clear pools formed by the Bradford Dams, jutting pieces of land marked by distinctive metal sluice gates, downsteam of the old pumping mill where the river widens.

Stone terraced gardens run down to the river Bradford, marking the outskirts of Youlgrave. Here the river flows over a fording spot inhabited by ducks and the riverside patg crosses a bridge and changes sides, staying close to the river as the valley widens and proceeds towards the tiny hamlet of Bradford. Just below Bradford is an attractive single arched bridge built of native limestone. The river then flows on to meet the river Lathkill at Alport.