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Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks

There are currently 2 comments and 10 photos online for this walk.

Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks
Author: mumnpets, Published: 23 Nov 2014 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks Walking Guidestar1 Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks Walking Guidestar1 Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks Walking Guidestar1 Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks Walking Guidestar0 Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks Walking Guide
Derbyshire, White Peak
Walk Type: History trail
Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks Walking Guide boot Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks Walking Guide boot Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks Walking Guide
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An interesting circular walk exploring the industrial past of the area around Cromford. A large part of the village was built by Richard Arkwright to house the mill workers for the nearby Cromford Mill which he built in 1771. They were also provided with shops, pubs, chapels and a school.

The walk starts on the canal wharf, where the friends of Cromford Canal run boat trips every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the year. Within the wharf area there was a warehouse, a weighing machine, sawpit, counting houses, stables and a smithy. Many of the old canal buildings can still be seen. The walk takes in a lovely stretch of the canal which was completed in 1794. The walk also takes in a canal aqueduct over the River Derwent and the Leawood Pumphouse, a steam-powered beam engine which operates on some summer weekends and bank holidays. At High Peak Junction you join the High Peak Trail which follows the former Cromford and High Peak Railway.

On this walk you will go through two gates, over one stile and negotiate a few wooden steps. The paths are of good quality but the incline can be muddy after wet weather.The incline is pretty steep but is the only uphill section of the walk. Picnic sites are located at the canal wharf, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks. The appropriate map is Ordnance Survey ‐ Explorer OL24.

The walk starts and finishes at the wharf car park which is reached from the A6. Turn off the A6 at Cromford and go down Mill Road to the car park. The post code to get you onto Mill Road is Matlock DE4 3RQ.

By Bus: The Trans-Peak bus (Nottingham to Buxton via Derby) goes along the A6, with an hourly service.

By Train: Cromford Station lies approximately 1/4 mile away. From the station turn right following the road over the river bridge, and you will find the canal wharf on the left.

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Walk Sections

Start to Leawood Pumphouse
Start to Leawood Pumphouse

Start point: 53.1096 lat, -1.5535 long
End point: 53.0973 lat, -1.5308 long

From the car park turn left to follow the towpath with the canal on the right. The canal was constructed by William Jessop and Benjamin Outram, partners in the Butterley company, and was completed in 1794. It is 14.5 miles long and joined Cromford with the Erewash Canal at Langley Mill. The canal boats would have carried coal up to Cromford, with lead, limestone and cotton being transported on the return journey.

Follow the towpath for 1 mile, passing under one stone bridge until you reach the swing bridge to high peak junction. Do NOT cross the bridge but continue for ¼ of a mile along the path to reach the Leawood Pumphouse on the left. The Leawood Pumphouse, engine and chimney, were built in 1849 to pump water from the River Derwent into Cromford Canal. The pump is now more than 160 years old but remains in good working condition thanks to volunteers. The great steam engine pumps four tons of water into the canal with each piston stroke. The Pumphouse has regular steaming dates throughout the year from Easter until October.

Leawood Pumphouse to High Peak Junction
Leawood Pumphouse to High Peak Junction

Start point: 53.0973 lat, -1.5308 long
End point: 53.1001 lat, -1.533 long

Proceeding a little further, you now cross the River Derwent by the Wigwell aqueduct, built in 1792. Part of this aqueduct collapsed just after construction and was rebuilt at the engineer's cost, this time lasting into the 21st century. At the end of the aqueduct is another swing bridge, allowing the barge horses and pedestrians to cross to the opposite towpath. At this junction note the derelict lengthman’s cottage (former home of a person employed to maintain a section of the canal).

Cross the bridge and turn right, walking on the opposite side of the aqueduct back towards High Peak Junction. On reaching the junction walk between the old railway buildings to access the High Peak Trail.

High Peak Junction to Sheep Pasture Engine House
High Peak Junction to Sheep Pasture Engine House

Start point: 53.1001 lat, -1.533 long
End point: 53.1021 lat, -1.5521 long

Continue steeply up the High Peak Trail for approximately ¾ of a mile.

The High Peak Trail follows the former Cromford and High Peak Railway, which was used to carry minerals and goods between the Cromford Canal wharf and the Peak Forest Canal at Whaley Bridge. This was one of the world's first long-distance railway lines, built between 1825-31. As you walk up the incline take note of the catch pit on the left (it is just after you have passed under the bridge). This was built following an accident in 1888, in which two wagons jumped across both the canal and the Midland Railway causing much damage! The last accident occurred in the 1950s and the wreckage is still in the pit. The incline was too steep for trains so wagons had to be pulled by attached chains or wires which were wound along the track by large steam engines at the top.

As the trail levels off pass through the gate and on your left is the Sheep Pasture Engine House, first opened in 1830. It contained a stationary engine built by the Butterley Company and was used to haul the wagons up and down the 1 in 8 slope, from High Peak Junction.

Sheep Pasture Engine House to Black Rocks
Sheep Pasture Engine House to Black Rocks

Start point: 53.1021 lat, -1.5521 long
End point: 53.0982 lat, -1.5657 long

After a further ½ mile, leave the trail via a gate on the right. Black Rocks are on the left and a car park is on the right. Here you can take a detour to the left and visit the rocks should you wish. An outcrop of gritstone sculpted by the wind and rain, Black Rocks hang high above the village of Cromford and are popular with rock climbers. Toilets and refreshments are available through the car park.

Black Rocks to B5036
Black Rocks to B5036

Start point: 53.0982 lat, -1.5657 long
End point: 53.1006 lat, -1.5671 long

To continue the walk, on reaching the car park (and before reaching the toilets) turn right at a sign for Cromford. Follow the footpath down through the woods, negotiating a few wooden steps. As you reach a fenced enclosure, turn left to follow the track through two stone gate posts and further to cross a stile. Walk down the drive between the houses to reach the B5036.

B5036 to Cromford Village
B5036 to Cromford Village

Start point: 53.1006 lat, -1.5671 long
End point: 53.1085 lat, -1.5599 long

Turn right and follow the road steeply downhill for just over ½ a mile, passing many of the old mill workers residences. As you reach the village of Cromford it is well worth taking time to explore. The village has a mixture of shops, pubs and tea rooms and it also has a lovely mill pond and water wheel. (It is worth noting that the Masson Mill shopping complex is only a short walk from Cromford village and can be reached by crossing and turning left along the A6 road. This mill was built in 1783 by Richard Arkwright and contains a small working textile museum.)

Cromford Village to Cromford Mills
Cromford Village to Cromford Mills

Start point: 53.1085 lat, -1.5599 long
End point: 53.1089 lat, -1.5552 long

To continue from the village, keep ahead on the right-hand footpath to reach the main A6 road. Cross this via the pedestrian crossing and turn right then left down Mill Road. Here you will pass the Cromford Mill complex which is worth a visit. It has a few shops, a cafe and toilets and you can learn about the mills via plaques dotted around the site. The cotton spinning mill at Cromford was built by entrepreneur Richard Arkwright and his business partners in 1771 and was the first water-powered cotton spinning mill.

Cromford Mills to End
Cromford Mills to End

Start point: 53.1089 lat, -1.5552 long
End point: 53.1097 lat, -1.5536 long

After visiting the mills, keep ahead along Mill Road for just a short distance then turn right to cross the road. You are now back at your starting point on the canal wharf.

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network Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author mumnpets and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 responses to "Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks"

Well described walk - very clear instructions. Road section at the end is less enjoyable though

By ACorbitt on 2015-03-09 09:10:47

Good directions and info but I think a bit more than 4 miles. Good scenery and points of interest

By hawkeye on 2015-09-06 18:50:14

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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10 images to "Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks"

3807_0mumnpets1416418247 Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks Walking Guide Image by: mumnpets
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
canal towpath.
3807_1mumnpets1416418248 Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks Walking Guide Image by: mumnpets
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
Plaque at High Peak Junction.
3807_2mumnpets1416418251 Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks Walking Guide Image by: mumnpets
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
Path over aqueduct.
3807_3mumnpets1416418253 Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks Walking Guide Image by: mumnpets
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
View from top of incline.
3807_4mumnpets1416418253 Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks Walking Guide Image by: mumnpets
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
Cromford Water Wheel.
3807_0mumnpets1416418818 Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks Walking Guide Image by: mumnpets
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
Winding gear at High Peak Junction.
3807_1mumnpets1416418818 Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks Walking Guide Image by: mumnpets
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
Swing Bridge.
3807_2mumnpets1416418820 Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks Walking Guide Image by: mumnpets
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
Rail carriages at High Peak Junction.
3807_3mumnpets1416418822 Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks Walking Guide Image by: mumnpets
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
Canal Trip Boat.
3807_0polarman621434984631 Cromford, High Peak Junction and Black Rocks Walking Guide Image by: polarman62
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970

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