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Building record MDR4659 - Crossroads Farm, Ashbourne Road, Belper

Type and Period (4)

  • (Georgian to Victorian - 1800 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Victorian - 1840 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Georgian to Victorian - 1800 AD to 1840 AD)
  • (Victorian - 1840 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • World Heritage Site

Full Description

A small farm existed at Crossroads prior to 1844, but it was between 1844 and 1858 that the most significant phases of building took place. The farm acquired a variety of buildings designed for specific purposes, for example a granary, gig-house, grain cistern, brewhouse, joiner's shop, blacksmith's shop, drying kiln and steam-powered corn mill. Many of these buildings survive. (1) Crossroads Farm is located on the outskirts of Belper, to the west. It is not shown on a map of 1818 and the land was not in Strutt ownership at this date. The design and construction of the farm buildings benefited from the techniques pioneered by William Strutt using cast iron components to achieve a fire-proof structure. Externally, massive stone outbuildings flank the handsome ashlar farmhouse. The interior has evidence of ironwork within its construction, notably within the kitchen ceiling which is formed of stone slabs fitted into iron beams. The roof of the hay barn incorporates iron trusses and the farm buildings utilise cast iron columns and brick-arched floors. (2) By 1826 the Strutts owned a large amount of land in and around Belper, including at least four farms, one of which was Crossroads Farm. The layout of these farmsteads owed less to conventional pattern books than an understanding of the work flows of factories. The most impressive surviving examples are Moscow Farm (now converted into houses) [SMR 28733], Crossroads Farm, Wyver Farm [SMR 28724] and Dalley Farm [SMR 28723]. They all contain the same innovative features which so interested the Strutts in their factory design - ventilation ducts, iron framing, stone floors and vaulting for fire proofing. The lack of symmetrical formal layout does not detract from the 'planned' nature of the farms, but rather increases the interest of these innovative designs. Indeed, Crossroads Farm, which originated as a public house, had changed its name to Model Farm by 1857. Its layout was extremely efficient. At the centre was the corn mill and mixing house. From the mill, threshed corn could be easily transferred to the granary, flour to the bakehouse and straw and chopped or ground food to the animals. The layout also used the sloping site to good effect. For example, there was first-floor access to the barn/corn mill from the western yard and a drain was used to convey whey from the dairy to the pigsties at a lower level. (3, 4)

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Storer, A. 1998. Report on Crossroads Farm, Blackbrook, Belper, Derbyshire. SMR Doc. No. 874.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Derwent Valley Mills (DVM) Nomination Steering Panel. 2000. Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage List Nomination Document. p 69, illust..
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Wade Martins, S. 2002. The English Model Farm. Building the Agricultural Ideal, 1700-1914. pp 94-96, 100.
  • <4> Article in serial: Wade Martins, S, Menuge, A and Storer, A. 2003. 'The Strutt farms of the Derwent Valley, Derbyshire', Journal of the Historic Farm Buildings Group. Volume 17, pp 11-35.



Grid reference Centred SK 3368 4789 (165m by 135m) Centre
World Heritage Site Derwent Valley Mills

Related Monuments/Buildings (5)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR3584
  • EDR1902

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External Links (0)

Record last edited

Aug 14 2022 11:51PM

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