It is clear from documentary evidence that in 1839 the Midland Counties Railway was investing in the construction of its own coke ovens. The location of these ovens that were the main source of locomotive fuel through the company's brief independent existence is variously described in the minute books as Riddings, Somercotes or Pye Bridge, but there is no doubt that they were adjacent to the Alfreton Iron Works and associated collieries. It appears that there were two separate groups, a larger group of 70 ovens and a smaller group of 34 ovens. From the documentary evidence it is very likely that the 70 ovens were on the west side of the Pinxton branch of the Cromford Canal and the 34 ovens were on the east side, adjacent to the canal towpath. They do not appear on the 1880 OS 25" map, so had presumably been demolished by that date. An examination of the area in 2007 failed to find any positive evidence of the coke ovens, the west bank of the canal being covered in colliery and ironworks waste heaps, which have buried the original land surface, and any features on the east side having been buried in the late 20th century when the canal was filled in using colliery waste. (1)
Article in serial: Mitchell, I. 2008. 'The Midland Counties railway basin and Coke Store at Long Eaton', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 128, pp 99-122.
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Centred SK 4384 5268 (114m by 141m)
SOMERCOTES, AMBER VALLEY, DERBYSHIRE
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Jan 4 2018 2:56PM
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