Who lived there at Bamford House - high on the eastern slopes of The Upper Derwent Valley? It is in ruins now and the advanced state of the ruination suggests that the place hasn't been occupied for donkey's years. Its position is very exposed. Even on a mild afternoon in November, a buffeting wind from the west contained a chilly winter warning. Thus it was easy to imagine how untempered winter storms must strike the location with full force. There are no windbreaks.
What did they do up there long before the valley below was dammed to create three reservoirs? They would have had no electricity, no telephone, no motorised vehicles and surely very little money. They must have been very hardy, resilient people - tuned into Nature and the moods of the weather, able to read the signs with the expertise that experience brings. Archaeological evidence suggests that their working time moved between rearing sheep, quarrying stone and digging peat from the moors. It is easy to forget that in distant times peat was an important domestic fuel in the area and the dwellers of Bamford House must have made money from it - hauling it to nearby villages.
There would have been dogs barking or steaming by the peat fire as another cold wind roared about the stolid stone walls like a merciless beast, making sleep fitful. But in the early summertime when swallows danced over the budding heather and cottonwool clouds slid across a clear blue sky, it would have been heartening to scan the enchanting valley below like a god, to watch a hawk hovering as if entirely still and to listen to the maaying of new lambs.. Times when it felt so good to be alive in that lonely place that you wouldn't have wished to live anywhere else.