About Alport

Situated off a very busy main road, Alport can sometimes be totally passed by if you’re driving fast enough. It’s a very small, quaint and attractive Peak District Village, a hamlet situated close to Youlgrave and Monyash. It lies at the confluence of the River Bradford and the River Lathkill and the oldest house is Monks Hall. There are no pubs, cafes and shops, but it is a haven for walkers and is very picturesque, with one of the loveliest walks in the Peak District from Lathkilldale to Monyash.

Alport is named after the portway Road, which ran through the settlement, and in Saxon times it had the prefix ‘al’ added which means old. The stone houses, which still reside there and make up most of the village have extremely pretty gardens and date back to the 17th and 18th centuries. There is still much evidence of lead mining, which took place in the 18th and 19th centuries. To prevent the mines from flooding the waters, a sough was constructed called Hillcarr. Work began in 1766 and it became the largest sough in the country. It ran for 4 1/2 miles from Alport to the River Derwent at Rowsley and cost £32,000 by the time it was finished in 1787. This was an extremely expensive amount of money at that time but such were the profits to be made from the lead mining, that it paid for itself within two years.

The River Lathkill meanders through the village in a series of weirs and meets the River Bradford coming from Youlgrave. One of the most picturesque photographs of the Peak District can be taken of an old corn mill, in a near idyllic setting, among the trees below a clear pool. A mill was recorded here in 1159 and it may have been the same one mentioned in the Domesday book, 70 years earlier, standing at Youlgrave. The breast wheel can still be seen in position at the end of the building, furthest from the River, 21 feet in diameter, standing at a break in the valley floor, which coincides with a knick point, a natural site for taking power from the River.

In 1881 River Bradford disappeared underground for several years and as with other rivers in this rich limestone landscape of the white peak, it channelled its own route underground and came up in a different place, taking the route of the Hillcarr sough to the River Derwent. After sealing up the chasm through which the River has joined the sough, it reappeared again, as normal, aboveground.