Darley Bridge

Set beside the banks of the River Derwent, Darley Bridge has a sheltered location in the bottom of the valley, protected from the elements by the heady heights of Stanton Moor, Masson Hill and Darley Hillside

Access to Darley Bridge from the main A6 is over an ancient bridge which has both rounded and arched arches and is one of the oldest to cross the deep, dark waters of the Derwent. Darley Bridge is also the only crossing point of the Derwent between Rowsley and Matlock. The Toadhole turnpike road was laid in the late 18th century to make use of this crossing, with the former turnpike road running east across the moors to Chesterfield.

The Derwent Valley Heritage Way is a long distance walk which follows the banks of the river Derwent on its journey south from Derwent Reservoir to the north of the county. It passes through Darley Bridge after heading down through Chatsworth Park on its way to the mills and Heritage sites further downstream.

A gated road leads through meadows from Darley Bridge to the little village of Oker.

There is a cricket ground close to Darley Bridge which has a claim to fame. In 1975 this small ground was the venue for the John Player County match.

Darley Bridge has two pubs, the Three Stags Head and the Square and Compass, located either side of the river.

A short walk from Darley Bridge will take you to Churchtown which is another area of Darley Dale, containing early houses, an ancient church but an even older yew tree which is said to be more than 1,000 years old. Around the base of the Darley Yew which has a girth of some 33 feet are tablets of stone erected to commemorate outstanding actions in the Second World War. In 1863 the upper branches of the tree were lopped off. This created uproar resulting in a strange letter being published in The Times newspaper, written in such a way that the tree was the author. Quote: “I am a helpless and much ill-used individual…..”

The oldest monument in St Helen’s Church is thought to be that of Sir John Darley, custodian of Peak Castle in the reign of Edward II. Church Lane is also known as Ghost Lane following the murder and robbery hereabouts of a Scottish pedlar centuries ago.

Other places of interest which are close to Darley Bridge are the Red House Carriage Museum, the Whitworth Institute with landscaped gardens and Peak Rail which operates steam trains through the valley, Darley Dale station being about half a mile away.