The Beaurepaire Gardens, Bridge Foot, Belper
In 2003, a local photographer and owner of the Camera Shop in Belper, Peter Davies was asked by a customer to reproduce an old photograph circa 1905 showing a man seated in a wicker bath chair, and standing by him a nurse dressed in Victorian style uniform.
The photo had been taken in what was the garden to the Cottage Hospital, then an overgrown and neglected parcel of land. The Cottage Hospital still exists. It is now privately owned and sits across the road from the gardens at Bridge Foot.
Mr Davies had been walking past the gardens unknowingly every day, but after seeing the aged photo he realised what it had once been. Wanting to restore it to its former state he managed to buy the plot, after negotiations with the owner.
Erewash Groundwork Valley agreed to oversee the complete restoration of the garden. Plans were drawn up by Groundwork's Landscape Architect, grants applied for and successfully obtained and contractors hired.
Work started in February 2004 and six weeks later the garden was complete and ready to welcome local people and visitors to the town. Over time the garden has become richer as the trees and shrubs have come to maturity and it now provides a sunny haven.
The photos below give an idea of its transformation. Many thanks to Peter Davies for restoring this necessary piece of Belper's history!
The photo below shows the main seating area.