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Church Bridge, Ironville, c 1908
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Church Bridge, and 18th century bridge crossing the Cromford Canal in Ironville. The village is situated 2 miles to the east of Ripley and is an excellent example of a mid 19th century company model village in Derbyshire. It was constructed by the owners of Butterley Iron Works between 1834 and 1860, and had its own church, 2 schools and a recreation ground. The village site had consisted entirely of farmland when John Wright and William Jessop purchased it from one Lancelot Rolleston of Watnell in 1809. There was a late 18th century canal and several footpaths but no roads. The planned village won much acclaim, with its large gardens, a rural setting well away from the ironworks and the overall spacious layout. The Mechanics Institute was built in 1846 and is still an attractive canal side building. The Butterley Company folded in the 1960's and the local authority took control and demolished most of the old houses in the model village.