History of Bamford


Bamford Village lies within the Peak District National Park, 11 miles west of Sheffield and 25 miles east of Manchester. It is surrounded by high moorland; to the north are the Gritstone edges of Derwent and Bamford, and to the west lies the peak of Win Hill. The river Derwent flows through the village.

Village View
Bamford has an interesting history. It was included in the Doomsday Book and remained a small agricultural village until the corn mill, which was burned down and then sold in about 1780, was converted to a water powered cotton spinning mill. The Moore family, who owned similar properties in Manchester, developed the mill and thus the industrial revolution came to the village. The mill is now converted to residential use and the legacy of the generous Moore family can still be seen around the Village, the Church, the School, the Church Hall and Mill Houses for the workers. 

In 1901 work began on the construction of the Derwent and Howden dams, 7 miles from Bamford, in the Upper Derwent Valley. A temporary village for the men working on the dams and their families was built in the Derwent Valley. It was officially called Birchinlee, but was always known locally as ‘Tin Town’, after the style of construction of the workers' housing. Up to 2,000 people came to work on the dams, and some families stayed, their descendants still live in Bamford.

Ladybower Reservoir, which lies downstream of the Derwent dam, was completed in 1945 and covers 504 acres. Water inundated the villages of Ashopton and Derwent when the reservoir was filled. Some of the inhabitants of these two villages were re-housed at Yorkshire Bridge in purpose built dwellings. In drought years when the level of Ladybower falls, the ruins of the old Derwent village can be seen from the banks.

Bamford attracts many visitors who come to walk, fish, cycle, or simply enjoy the magnificent scenery. Paths and cycle tracks circle the waters of Derwent, Howden and Ladybower Reservoirs, which are fringed by forests, steep fields and woodlands. The Bamford Touchstones Sculpture Trail commemorates the Millennium, and is a walk of approximately 5 miles around the boundary of the village. A pamphlet with maps and a description of the trail can be found in the Village Post Office and all of the public houses.

Village View
The annual Carnival with its Well Dressing, Fell Race to the top of Win Hill, and grand parade on the last Saturday is held around the third week in July. Spring Bank Holiday Monday is the date for the Bamford Sheep Dog Trials and Fell Race, now in their 51st year. A bi-annual Community Arts and Crafts Festival is held in venues all around the Village in the autumn.  

Bamford has three churches; St John the Baptist, Church of England; Methodist Church; Our Lady of Sorrows, Roman Catholic; and the Society of Friends, Quakers.