Riverside Journey: A Portrait of the Derwent

By Ashley Bryant

A beautiful collection of watercolours and other paintings and sketches charting the course of the Derwent from its source to its confluence with the Trent.

ISBN: 9780718830137


The Derwent flows through a landscape offering unrivalled beauty and variety. Rising in high moorland it tumbles along a steep sided valley dropping a thousand feet in six miles to reach a series of reservoirs in conifer-clad valleys. There follows a limestone gorge at Matlock, with some of the most spectacular scenery in Britain which Byron compared this with “anything as fair in Greece or Switzerland”. The lower valley runs, thickly wooded, to the outskirts of Derby and then flows slowly over a broad flood plain to join the River Trent.

The Derwent hosts a diverse range of flora and fauna, sensitively captured by the artist. The place of the river in the history of industry is remembered too – World Heritage Status has been proposed for one of the stretches, where its waters have driven various types of mill for centuries.
The paintings show many different points along the river including the aqueduct at Cromford canal, the Belper Mills, and St. Mary’s bridge. They are accompanied by the author’s observations of the surrounding area including notes on local history.

This book records not only the wonderful landscape and wildlife but also illustrates people enjoying the countryside through the varying seasons and weather conditions. It is thus a record of the changing year, the inhabitants and the flora and fauna of a region, as well as a picture of one of the most beautiful and interesting parts of Europe.

Additional information

Dimensions 210 × 297 mm
Pages 96
Illustrations colour

Trade Information LGEN

About the Author

Ashley Bryant was born in Derby, and lived in the nearby village of Allestree where he became acquainted with the River Derwent. He now lives in Essex where he and his wife run an arts centre, specialising in arts courses for adults.

His paintings and prints are distributed world-wide, and he has held exhibitions as far afield as Japan. He has produced artwork for BBC television and is currently involved in the production of videos and books on painting techniques.



1. The Source
2. Bleak Winter
3. Peaty Pools
4. Moorland Valley
5. By Cranberry Bed
6. The First Bridge
7. Howden Reservoir
8. Derwent Dam
9. Picnic at Leadmill Bridge
10. Coppice Wood
11. From Curbar Edge
12. New Bridge
13. High Summer at Baslow
14. Chatsworth
15. Bright Winter’s Morning
16. Darley Bridge
17. The Flying Scotsman
18. The Raft Race
19. Matlock Gorge
20. Riverside Walk in Summer
21. Riverside Walk in Winter
22. Masson Mill
23. Summer Downpour
24. From Cromford Bridge
25. By Cromford Meadows
26. Cromford Canal
27. The Aqueduct
28. Half-Penny Bridge
29. Riverside Gardens
30. Belper Mills
31. Lunch Time
32. Ford Lane Bridge
33. Brief Encounter
34. Badgers
35. Tranquil June
36. Quiet Reflections
37. Fishermen at Darley Abbey
38. Getting Ready
39. St Mary’s Bridge
40. The Old Silk Mill
41. Derby City Centre
42. The End of Autumn
43. Sunrise
44. Journey’s End