“At certain times, very dry times, landmarks can reappear on the reservoir banks.”
Between 1943 and 1945, the Ladybower Reservoir slowly filled with water. To facilitate the creation of this huge body of water in Derbyshire’s Hope Valley, the two villages of Derwent and Ashopton were evacuated, the inhabitants displaced to other local towns, or the nearby city of Sheffield. Anything valuable, or reusable was ripped out and carted away, but the buildings themselves remain under the water to this day. I visited the area and despite it being one of the most popular hiking sites in the UK, it was surprisingly difficult to get any hard evidence of where the town actually was. By following historical accounts and the stories of local inhabitants, I sought to find the location of the village of Derwent.
Walk with me to Derwent is a point-and-click poetry piece commissioned by Penned in the Margins for Edgelandia the four year project about shifting places. Created after a journey to Derbyshire’s Hope Valley in search of the lost village of Derwent.