The stone bridge you can see was originally built at Goyt’s Bridge – which is now beneath Errwood Reservoir. The bridge was removed and rebuilt in this spot to save it from destruction. Do you recognise it in the image below showing it in its original position?
According to historic records, the bridge was built further down the valley, at Goyt’s Bridge, in around 1762, on an ancient salt route. Teams of ponies would cross at this point in the valley, transporting salt from Cheshire into Derbyshire.
The lead pony in a train would wear a bell attached to its harness. This bell warned other trains to wait at passing places, and sometimes advertising the approach of the pony train to potential customers. You can see a pony bell like this on display at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery.
Water flows from moors, through rocks and into the valley, crossing the boundaries of Derbyshire and Cheshire to form one of the sources of the river Mersey. Once the river would have snaked all the way through the Goyt Valley but it now feeds two large reservoirs. It continues past the hamlet of Taxal and the towns of Whaley Bridge and New Mills and joins the river Etherow in Marple and the river Tame in Stockport.
This 6cm long vase was found in the river by Mr Tim Hodgkinson in 2016 who kindly donated it to the museum. This tiny ceramic ornament has an art nouveau style and probably dates back to around 1900. It may have belonged to a resident of Errwood Hall or the adjacent community.