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Monument record MDR4975 - Lime works (site/remains of), Bullbridge, Ripley

Type and Period (3)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Lime works. Ruins of five kilns erected about 1780, probably by Ed Banks & Co. Taken over by the Butterley Company and operated until about 1930, burning lime from Hilts Quarry, Crich. (1) These kilns, adjacent to the Cromford Canal, were built about 1800 by Edward Banks who had kilns close to the canals in all parts of the county. The kilns at Bull Bridge were later acquired by the Butterley Co., who were known to be working them in 1829. They were in use until about 1929. The site is now in ruins. Parts of the original stonework upon which the kilns were built still stands, but none of the brick-built kilns is whole. They would probably have been the usual inverted cone shape. Farey says they were bound round the top with iron hoops, but no trace has been found of these. Underneath the kilns are pairs of brick-lined chambers with the draw-hole stretching between. (2) Remains of the extensive Butterley Company Bullbridge limekilns where were linked with the Company's Hilts Quarry at Crich by a tramway [see SMR 18423]. Kilns on the site date back to at least 1805 when Edward Banks and others leased the site. Eventually the kilns were linked with the North Midland Railway which ran close by. The present kilns are not the original early 19th century kilns but are arched kilns built into the bank. They are lined with firebrick, have brick arches and gritstone facings. An extensive survey of the kilns was carried out in the 1960s under the auspices of Matlock Tawney House Adult Education Centre. A catalogue for an exhibition held at the time summarises the results of the project. (3) A canal basin and wharf were present on the site in 1880. The works were connected by a short length of track to the main railway line. (4) By 1900 there appear to have been six lime kilns, although the canal basin and boat house had gone (5). In 1938 only three kilns are mapped and the lime works are recorded as disused. (6) A bank of kilns survives in a fragmentary state, with an access road for housing apparently cut through the centre. The west kiln stands to full height - stone built with an intact draw arch incorporating two eyes and riddling holes above. The brick core of two more lies to the east. Beyond these is a stone tunnel with a fragment of brick kiln-pot lining above. Two openings within the tunnel are possibly draw holes. This is a historically important site, with fragmentary, but nevertheless substantial remains which have the potential to contribute to our understanding of lime kiln technology, the history of the lime industry and the history of the Cromford Canal. (7)

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Nixon, F. 1969. The Industrial Archaeology of Derbyshire. p 232.
  • <2> Article in serial: Foden, D B & Stead, L J. 1965. 'The Archaeology of Industry in Derbyshire - Bull Bridge', Derbyshire Miscellany. Vol 3, Part 5. p 1.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D (ed.). 1993. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology: A Gazeteer of Sites Part III: Borough of Amber Valley. p 25.
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1882. OS County Series, 1st edition, scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile). Sheet XL.1, 1880.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1896-1900. OS County Series, 2nd edition (1st revision), scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile). Sheet XL.1, 1900.
  • <6> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1937-38. OS County Series, Third Revision, scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile). Sheet XL.1, 1937.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Desc Text: MPP Step 3 Report: Trueman 1997. No. 23.



Grid reference Centred SK 35935 52390 (214m by 150m)

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Record last edited

Jun 5 2023 3:52PM

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