I open the door and step back in time.
A time of no cars and not many people.
I am the gatekeeper I live in this lodge,
I let people through to the house so fine.
The Strutts live up the hill from here,
And developed the mill by the river below.
A weir supplying energy to work the mill.
The water wheel turning, never never still.
Fine posh carriages pass by this drive
To grand occasions held up on the hill.
Down in the town the wagons pass by,
Horses pull hard, with loads piled high.
Some quality people have horses to ride,
Most of us walk the cobbled streets.
Poor children and women work at the mill,
Living in Long Row on either side.
Parents of children who work down below,
live in small cottages making nails for a
Times are hard around here, and we struggle
Many die in the winter from diseases and cold.
Today I open the door and look out on to a
A larger mill now standing proud and still
East Lodge has seen Belper's history pass,
From this old lane high up on the hill.
© Copyright Linda Knight 2000,
a past occupant of East Lodge.
Listen to Linda's poem on this player, or download it.
East Lodge circa 1795, is one of the four lodges
(north, south, east and west) to the Bridge Hill
House estate built in Belper in 1796. All four are still
occupied although Bridge Hill House itself was
demolished in 1938. East Lodge (BM 74.8M) is the
largest and prettiest and was presumably built as
the main entrance, but in practice South Lodge
situated on the main London road (now the A6) would
have been used more. South Lodge had a long drive
including a private bridge over the river Derwent.
All the lodges are built of stone dressed the same
as other Strutt buildings constructed at that time.
East lodge incorporates a stone staircase, the
design of which was used as an external cantilevered
staircase on the Belper Unitarian Chapel
which Jedediah had built in 1788 and where he is
believed to be buried. The lodge has a stone porch
for the gatekeeper to sit in and the open driveway
gate can be seen at an angle at the bottom left of
the old photo. The previous occupants Gerry and
Linda are shown in period dress for a charity event
at the lodge. Linda, herself a celebrated poet and
gardener, provided the adjacent published work.
Views of East Lodge garden are on Links with
An aerial view of Bridge Hill showing East Lodge ( marked with red arrow ).
East Lodge is in a conservation area surrounding
the Derwent Valley World
Heritage Site and is on the Images of England website No 78395.
Click here for 1900
Bridgehill showing "Lodge"