Derwent is a submerged village in the Peak District which is currently under the Ladybower reservoir in Derbyshire. The only remaining indicator of the existence of the village of Derwent is by the villages war memorial which is located to the west of the village.
The packhorse bridge in Derwent was removed when construction of the reservoir began and was reconstructed due to it being a monument of national importance. The bridge itself was then rebuilt at the head of Howden reservoir and is currently used as a bridge on the main track which circulates the reservoir. Visitors cycling around the reservoir or travelling on foot will pass over the bridge.
Construction on the reservoir began in 1943 which was also the year of the last church service in Derwent. Both the church bell and the church spire were taken from the church to be used as monuments in remembrance of the village. The bell was taken to St Phillips church in Chaddesden. Bodies from the village were exhumed in 1940 and were taken to Bamford for reburial. Droughts have uncovered parts of the village over the years, with the most recent being in 2003.
Visitors interested in finding out more about the Derwent can visit the Derwent valley museum which can be found on the Derwent reservoir dam. The museum focuses on the role of the Derwent valley, as well as providing information regarding the area’s role in World War 2. The reservoir gained fame as it was used by the RAF to practice for the Dam buster’s raids. Unfortunately, the museum is now closed, however, it Derwent Dam is still a wonderful place to visit.
The Derwent Dam also has a visitor centre which can be found 500 metres from the dam itself. The visitor centre provides visitors with information about the surrounding area as well as the cycle and walking routes available. Visitors can also ask the staff questions as they have a good knowledge of the area.