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Pictures of Swarkestone

in the county of Derbyshire

The Church of St James in the village of Swarkestone, Derbyshire.

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About Swarkestone

Swarkestone is a small enchanting village which grew up on the reeeded banks of the River Trent. It is spanned by a graceful multi-arched bridge built in the 14th-century and restored at the beginning of the 19th-century. There is a legend surrounding the bridge, it was supposedly built by sisters who had watched their lovers die whilst attempting to cross the old wooden ford on horse back.

In 1643, the village was the scene of Civil War strife and it was reached by advance troops of Bonnie Prince Charlie on their way to London in 1745. So there is little doubt that Swarkestone has a place in English history. It is noted not only for the bridge but also for its beautiful church serenely set in a peaceful churchyard surrounded by the graves of past centuries. The church interior shows many ancient treasures including monuments and the tomb of John Rolleston who died in 1482. There are 16th and 17th-century commemoratives to members of the Hartpur family.

A relic of the Hartpur estate can be found in a picturesque meadow above the village, it is known as the Hartpur Summer House, it is all that was left of the estate after the family moved to take up residence at Calke Abbey. It is though the famous bridge that continues to be Swarkestone's main attraction, it is said to be the longest stone bridge in England, and although it was originally built in the 14th-century, out of a total of 17 arches 5 are 18th-century classical round headed design. The bridge perfectly compliments the swiftly flowing water, river-life and glowing reeded banks of the Trent. At one side of the bridge there is a pleasant public house with gardens stretching along the river bank.

With lovely river-side walks and many places of interest, Swarkestone makes a lovely place in which to pass away a few pleasant hours. It is within easy driving distance of Calke Abbey, Castle Donnington, Melbourne and Derby.
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