Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Aqueduct Cottage

Aqueduct Cottage by Brian Cass

By the side of Cromford canal in Derbyshire is Aqueduct Cottage, a derelict canal keeper’s cottage occupied until the late fifties or early sixties.

The location is attractive, but there is no nearby road, no water, sewage services, electricity or gas supply. In other words, the cottage isn’t worthless because it is derelict, but derelict because by modern standards it is has become worthless.

In bygone times, the canal keeper who lived in Aqueduct Cottage would probably have used candles for lighting and logs from nearby woods for cooking and heating. He may also have bought supplies from passing boats and his water may have come from the nearby river. I don’t know about sewage disposal though – the canal?

Now the boats are gone and picturesque as this mode of life might be, it only appeals from the safe distance of modern comforts.

While out walking I’ve seen one or two derelict stone cottages in a similar condition and with similar problems. They became derelict because they are now worthless, not worthless because they are derelict.

It underlines how much the value of our homes depends on those essential services. Remove them and the value disappears as completely as it did for Aqueduct Cottage. Here it is in 1905 looking like a chocolate box idyll.

From Friends of Cromford Canal/Julie Simpson


Thud said...

Every derelict cottage has a future if only the council involved would let people spend their hard earned money on renovation as I've found out several times.

A K Haart said...

Thud - this could easily be part of a heritage trail.

Scrobs... said...

I would reckon that should be a cert for someone to renovate and cherish, but not in the terms of a TV rock-ape presenter's programme. It needs someone clever to cherish the building, and also, have a few more pounds to build in the drainage and the services as well.

I've always dreamed of doing some serious work to such a beautiful building. It seems that pressures from councils and authorities just stifle good honest work, and seeing the way our local council has just mucked up so many good ideas by their stupid ignorance, I'm afraid, that I don't have the patience, or - sadly - the money to give them a bloody nose any more!

There's a mill building in Cotherstone which just cries out for renovation, but never hold your breath, because there are little people involved...

A K Haart said...

Scrobs - I know what you mean, although this one is a problem because of the lack of a road.

The painting shows how it was in the eighties but it doesn't look so good now. It may be saved with heritage money, but I don't see much hope for it otherwise.