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Monument record MDR170 - Experimental railway (site of), Fell, Hartington Upper Quarter

Type and Period (1)

  • (Victorian - 1863 AD to 1865 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

SK 0245 7524 : Goyt, Experimental Railway (site of); Fell: [SK 01707591 through SK 02177566 to SK 02457524], between Whaley Bridge and Buxton. The course of J.B. Fell's experimental railway, in use between 1863 and 1865, used to test a train designed for a mountain railway to link Lyons and Milan. It was the earliest self-propelled mountain railway. [Plan - see AO/61/106/8] (1). Fell's experimental engine, 'The Alpine', is referred to in 'The Diary of John Warren of Whaley Bridge (24 August 1863). Fell called the track the Rockland Incline. (2). There are no surface indication of this railway. (3). Track of first mountain railway laid by Thomas Braney and J.B. Fell, between 1863 and 1865, for experiments on steep gradients and sharp curves. (4). Documentary sources indicate that between 1863 and 1865 experiments were carried out by Mr Fell while designing the first alpine self propelled railway from Lyons to Milan. The site of this railway is unclear. There are no positive indications that a postulated course is correct. It seems unlikely to have existed here, as the hollow-ways are too narrow and/or uneven to have had a rail line laid along them. An experimental incline was identified in 1994. This incline is likely to be 19th century in date. It is a carefully built inline, with a flat bed and consistent gradient, thus almost certainly a railway feature. However, its design seems unlikely to fill Fell's criteria for his experiments. Therefore this feature probably dates from immediately prior to the building of the main Cromford and High Peak Incline in the late 1820s. (6).

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Article in serial: Moult, W M. 1961. The Railway Magazine. pp 48-51.
  • <2> Index: Council for British Archaeology (CBA). CBA Industrial Archaeology Report Card. Railway Track, Bunsal Cob (1961).
  • <3> Personal Observation: F1 JB 10-JAN-66.
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: Hill, R (PPJPB). 1985. Peak Park Treasures. Leach, J, 1986.
  • <5> Index: NDAT. 1318.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Barnatt, J (PDNPA). 1994. The Goyt Valley, Hartington Upper Quarter, Derbyshire, archaeological survey, 1994. 148. Feature 105, p 30.



Grid reference Centred SK 0217 7566 (750m by 670m) (Centred on)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR3759
  • EDR953

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External Links (0)

Record last edited

Mar 11 2015 2:18PM

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