The Strutts
in Belper

East Lodge

Links with

Where is
anyway ?

Late 18th



East Lodge in focus

About East Lodge, Belper, Derbyshire, UK (circa 1795)

East Lodge in snow sequence

East Lodge in snow.

East Lodge in 30s

East Lodge taken circa 1935.
Click to enlarge/shrink.

Gerry and Linda, the previous occupants, in period costume

The previous occupants in
period dress.

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 living.
Times are hard around here, and we struggle along.
Many die in the winter from diseases and cold.

Today I open the door and look out on to a mill,
A larger mill now standing proud and still used.
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.

Download Video: Closed Format: "MP4" Open Format: "Ogg"

East Lodge circa 1800, 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 Pawtucket page

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 was on the Images of England website, now superceded by Historic England website entry no 1087388.

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