|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
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