Of St Mary's Church in Wirksworth [SMR 15533], Pevsner states that nothing older than 1272 survives. But the foundation is far older and some earlier stone was almost certainly reused. On petrographic affinity, it is similar to Black Rock/ Barrel Edge but some local traditions suggest the closer hillside, Gorsey Bank as the source. Cromford Bridge [SMR 29763] is of 15th century and the older portions of the nearby Cromford Bridge Hall were constructed in c. 1630. Both are likely to have been built in stone from Black Rock, but the bridge stonework needs to be checked. In 1771 Richard Arkwright purchased Steeple Grange/ House at the top of Cromford Hill, as a ready-made source of cut stone for building his first mill [SMR 9723], indeed this probably explains the great speed with which the latter was completed. But demand probably soon outstripped this recycled supply and, at least for the later mills, had to be supplemented by material from quarries in the Black Rock area, part of which at some later point, the Arkwrights acquired. These provided the coarse pink sandstone (Ashover Grit) which lends particular character to the mills and all the more mundane buildings of Cromford. Rock House [SMR 29768], built in 1776 also appears to be drawn from the same source. (1)
There is a Quarry situated near Black Rocks on the 1st edition 25" Ordnance Survey map of c. 1880, presumably one of those referred to by Thomas as being the source of stone for many of Cromford's buildings. (2)
Unpublished document: Thomas, I (National Stone Centre). 2012. The Lower Derwent Valley: The Exploitation and Use of Historic Building Materials. p 7, 8, 18 illus..
Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1882. OS County Series, 1st edition, scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile).
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Centred SK 2922 5578 (91m by 63m)
CROMFORD, DERBYSHIRE DALES, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Dec 21 2018 9:27AM
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