We are proud of our Derbyshire heritage and get lots of inspiration for our furniture from this amazing environment. As a manufacturer, to work just 3 miles from the cradle of the industrial revolution, adds to the historic significance of Derbyshire on the world stage.
When we come across projects that help restore and preserve this rich heritage, we are only too happy to try and help especially when these projects are run by volunteers.
One such project that caught our attention is the recently restored Aqueduct Cottage, built as a lock-keepers cottage by Peter Nightingale, uncle of Florence Nightingale. Born in Italy and named after the city of Florence the family moved to Lea in Derbyshire which is very close to Cromford, where the new industrial age started. As a child Florence would have visited and played in and around the cottage.
The Cottage, situated on the Cromford Canal, is part of the Derwent Valley World Heritage site. When Ron Common came across the derelict cottage 7 years ago he decided to take on the task of restoring it. With Derbyshire Wildlife Trust taking on the project administration, and Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust advising, Ron and his team of 50 volunteers have spent the last three and a half years bringing Aqueduct Cottage back to life.
Following the opening ceremony on 25th March, which was covered by local television news, the cottage is now open as a visitor centre as part of the Nature Reserve and Florence Nightingale’s bench.
There is no road access to the site and just like all the building materials the new TDP Dale bench shown in the pictures had to be wheelbarrowed in by more willing volunteers. We are thrilled to help and as the Cottage is off-grid we have contributed to a new solar panel system to provide interior lighting for the displays.