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Monument record MDR10463 - Gypsum quarries and later brick and tile works (site of), Aston Lane, Chellaston, Derby

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Brick and Tile Works shown on the 1st ed. 25" OS of c.1880 (1) and 2nd ed. 25" OS map of c.1899. The latter map shows a number of buildings, several of which are circular (presumably kilns). Extensive workings, marked as 'Old Clay Pit' extend to the north of the Works. (2) Two chimneys are named on the 3rd ed. OS map, and the workings to the north are marked 'Old Alabaster Pits'. (3) A circular and a rectangular kiln are named on the 4th ed. OS map, with part of the former clay/alabaster workings to the north shown as a Recreation Ground. (4) The brickworks of the Chellaston Brick Company Ltd at Chellaston were using a gas fired Belgian kiln in 1974. (5) This site includes an area of surface workings around Pit Close in the north, and Chellaston Old Plaster Mine further south. Pit Close was worked as an open quarry until the 1880s, when it closed because of very serious losses attributed to 'the quantity of earth to move (not less than 25 to 30 feet) so great and the rock having been robbed so much by the "ancients", along with severe and increased competition'. Further material (clay and gypsum) was removed in the 1920s, but the site was developed into a Recreation Ground in the late 1920s/early 1930s, which involved some levelling and the addition of large amounts of ashes. Some of these were obtained from Messrs Qualcast whose foundry waste contained scrap metal runners and risers, some of which can still be seen breaking the surface. Access to the Chellaston Plaster Mine was by adits or shafts tunnelled into the side of the hill or at the level of a deep seam in the face of Woodlands Quarry. Traces of old ventilating shafts are still in the field immediately behind Woodlands Farm and subsidence has led to large undulations in the surface of the field. The depth of Woodlands Quarry at the time it stopped producing using 'mechanical' aids was about 70 to 80 feet, and without the brickmaking it would have been uneconomical to work at this depth for gypsum alone. (6) A large area between Chellaston and Aston was quarried for gypsum from the medieval period to the 20th century. The area immediately along the east side of Chellaston was assessed in August 1996 by English Heritage as part of the Monument Protection Programme for the Lime, Cement and Plaster Industries as follows: a) Medieval workings were found to be difficult to identify, but were thought to run along the west edge of the area, now partly lost to housing. Most of this area is open ground and consists of amorphous earthworks; b) Pit Close 19th century surface workings, comprising open cast workings that closed in c. 1880. Apparently much of the surviving topography is as left in 1880, although some parts have been landscaped (for example, to make car parking space). The area is one of large uneven earthworks, much of it wooded; c) Wootton Plaster Road, which linked Chellaston Old Mine (to the east of the assessed area and apparently largely removed by later quarrying) to a kiln, plaster works and wharf at Shelton Bridge. The line of the road survives; d) Brick and Tile Works - situated on the south part of the site and which operated up to the 1980s. It was concluded that historically this is a very important area. However, the remains seem to be a series of open cast working and reworking and are difficult to interpret. Management of the site through the planning process was advised. (7) From around 1790, Strutt's 'New Mill', Belper sourced plaster from Chellaston. (8)

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1882. OS County Series, 1st edition, scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile). Sheet LV.10.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1896-1900. OS County Series, 2nd edition (1st revision), scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile). Sheet LV.10.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1912-1921. OS County Series, 3rd edition (Second Revision), scale 1:2500 (25" to one mile). Sheet LV.10.
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1937-38. OS County Series, Third Revision, scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile). Sheet LV.10.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Tye, V. 1982. Continuous Kilns.
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: Young, J A. 1990. Alabaster. pp 19-20, pp 49-50.
  • <7> Bibliographic reference: Trueman, M. 1997. Monuments Protection Programme, Step 3 Report: Lime, Cement and Plaster Industries- Site Assessment.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Thomas, I (National Stone Centre). 2012. The Lower Derwent Valley: The Exploitation and Use of Historic Building Materials. p 19.



Grid reference Centred SK 38499 30141 (481m by 588m)

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Record last edited

Nov 28 2023 10:04AM

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