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Monument record MDR4844 - Meerbrook Sough Portal, Lea Shaw, Wirksworth

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

SK 325554. Meerbrook Sough was finished c. 1836 and its outfall is in the grounds of a water supply station. The outfall arch is dated, initialled and in good condition. (1) Meerbrook Sough is scheduled. (2, 3) Meerbrook Sough is beautifully built, dated (1772) and initialled. It was finished c. 1836, and is sited at SK 326552. The keystone of its arch bears the inscription 'FH 1772' (Francis Hunt) and is in good condition. It is the largest sough entrance in Derbyshire. (4) It was the completion of the Meerbrook Sough which, being at a lower level than the Cromford Sough, drained most of its water and so put the Cromford Mills out of business, at least for water-powered uses. The sough tunnel was constructed over a long period from 1772 to c. 1841. The portal may well have been constructed in 1772 as the dated keystone suggests. It bears the legend 'FH1772' which refers to Francis Hunt who was the sough proprietor at that time. (5) Meerbrook Sough has an arched sough tail that leads to a long but very wet accessible section of this major sough. (6) Nearby are lead mining remains that may be associated to the sough. See SMR 28377. (7) Limestone drains rapidly through the many joints and fissures in the rock. In addition to this, numerous 'soughs' or drainage tunners were dug by lead miners. People living in the limestone area relied very much local wells and springs for their supply. (8)

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: 1975. Council of British Archaeology Panel on Industrial Monuments.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: DOE (IAM) Rec Form April 1977.
  • <3> Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1998. Scheduling Notification. 30957. Cat. No.: 259.
  • <4> Index: Council for British Archaeology (CBA). CBA Industrial Archaeology Report Card. Meerbrook Sough.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Derwent Valley Mills (DVM) Nomination Steering Panel. 2000. Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage List Nomination Document. p 58, illust..
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: Barnatt, J. 2004. An Inventory of Regionally & Nationally Important Lead Mining Sites in the Peak District. Vol. 2: Corpus of Sites. p 190, site no. B37.
  • <7> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D (ed.). 1997. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology. A Gazetteer of Sites. Part IV. Derbyshire Dales.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Derbyshire County Council. 1977. Derbyshire Treasures, No. 2, Wells, Springs and Water Supplies.



Grid reference Centred SK 3267 5524 (11m by 8m) (Centre)
World Heritage Site Derwent Valley Mills

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Record last edited

Jun 1 2015 9:28AM

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