Monument record MDR13191 - The Leys Alabaster Quarry (site of), High Street, Chellaston
Type and Period (1)
(Edwardian to First World War - 1908 AD to 1915 AD)
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Work at the Leys Quarry in Chellaston is described by the former owner in a letter written in 1963 as follows: 'We started the quarry about 1908 and ran it for about 7 years. We kept seven men on all the time. Then we found that ancient workings had taken a lot of the best stone around the 14th and 15th centuries. This and the 1914 war caused me to close down as it did not pay to continue. During our working we found two 1 gallon pots or jars, one broken and one sound, the latter being presented to Sir Vauncey Harpur Crewe. We also found a large sandstone covered with grooves made by the old workmen when sharpening their picks and tools but do not know what became of it. I installed a 10 horse gas engine and used it to drive a wire saw of my own design to cut stone in situ, also a 10 ft crosscut saw to trim and shape the blocks. There was a winding drum to haul the stone up a steep slope to the top and a 10 ton weigh machine was erected near the gateway, as all stone was sold by weight. We sent blocks to France and Germany, USA, Ireland, New Zealand and all over Gt Britain'. The Leys is situated in an area where alabaster was originally nearest the surface and most easily worked at an early period. A photograph captioned 'Medieval pottery from the Leys' shows several sherds and what appears to be a reasonably complete jug with a handle. The Leys was described by a visitor in c. 1915 as a 'pit' but photographs show it to have been what would havae been known locally as a shallow open quarry. It has now been back filled and covered with houses. (1)
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Centred SK 3840 3046 (179m by 75m)
DERBY, DERBY, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Jan 31 2018 3:14PM
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