In stark contrast to most operations in the areas, Intake Quarry had a relatively straight forward commercial past (also known as Renishaw's, Prestwich or Middleton Intakes; locally 'Intake' is pronounced 'Intack'). The land was part of the Gell family's Hopton estates but came into the holdings of the Key family in the 1920s. Intake Quarry was being operated prior to 1852 as it was mentioned in leases, mainly drawn up in respect of the Hopton Wood Quarries, to Edmund Lloyd Owen, a mineral agent of Bilston, Staffordshire. The document restrains Owen from interfering with the Gell kilns at 'Middleton Intakes'.
By 1880 Intake was working at a scale larger than average for the period, with a connection to the Cromford and High Peak Railway and within the quarry, there were four sidings. From later evidence it appears that lime was a significant product (an 'old limekiln is shown on the 1900 map). However, it is not given in Farey's, Hunt's of the 1897 Quarries lists. According to Marshall the Butterley Company were the lessees of Intake in 1890 and it is implicit from their scatter of other leasehold arrangements that Warner and Hilts Quarries at Crich were proving insufficient to meet that company's requirements for fluxing stone. Butterley presumably relinquished the lease of Intake as the 1901 Quarries list gives Shaw Brothers as the operators, a situation continued for over a decade. At some unknown date, (but before 1920) a Cromford and High Peak Railway plan denotes that the sidings belonged to the Renishaw Iron Company. As part of William Prestwich's 1921 agreement with Renishaw, the former took over the running of Intake. Initially this was to supply fluxing stone to Renishaw Ironworks but the roadstone market was always a major consideration, particularly in utilising the upper more siliceous beds which were not only harder, but insufficiently pure for use of flux.
For many years, little of note was reported apart from a fatal freak accident in 1936 in which John Houghton of Chapel Lane, Wirksworth, was killed as fly rock form a blast sheared off a piece of metal (from a crusher behind which he was sheltering) which killed him. In the 1940s, Intake was also selling stone for sugarbeet refining, railway ballast, concrete aggregates and agricultural fertilizer.
Between 1959 and 1963 Prestwich's agreed to process similar siliceous cap material removed at the rate of 4-5000tpw from nearby Middle Peak. Thereafter, Middle Peak developed its own roadstone plant and Prestwich reverted to quarrying Intake, producing c. 0.3M tpa with a workforce of 30-35 men.
Tarmac purchased Prestwich in 1963; the last blast furnace at Renishaw Ironworks was closed down in early 1968 and with it the loss of fluxing stone sales. Increasing quantities of poor quality stone (with the need for more waste tipping space) and the merger with Derbyshire Stone later in 1968 led to the closure of Intake at the end of the following year in the ensuing rationalisation. In recent years, the site has been used as a police firearms practice range and ironically, during this period was invaded by 'new age' travellers. (1)
A number of quarries sprang up or expanded following the opening of the Cromford and High Peak Railway in 1830/1 including Intake. Intake bearing rather siliceous limestones, concentrated on aggregates. (2)
Intake Quarry is shown with sidings leading off from the Cromford and High Peak Railway on the 1st edition 25" Ordnance Survey map of c. 1880. (3)
Modern maps show Intake Quarry had been considerably enlarged before it closed. (4)