Skip to main content

Listed Building record MDR5129 - Clay Cross Tunnel (North Portal), North Midlands Railway

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

North Portal to Clay Cross Railway Tunnel, Brassington Street. Listed building, Grade II. Railway tunnel entrance. 1838-40 by George Stephenson. Rock-faced stone and ashlar. Two tapering octagonal towers with sloping ashlar bases. Moulded stringcourses to tops of base, and tower. Slit and arrow windows to towers. Above, castellated embattlements. Between, large elliptical arch with rounded mouldings. Above, projecting castellated parapets on moulded corbels. Tunnel opened as part of North Midlands Railway in 1840. (1) North portal of Clay Cross tunnel built by George Stephenson in the style of a medieval castle gatehouse, with a central portion flanked by octagonal towers with castellated tops. Brick-built in 1839, the tunnel was bricklined in 1884. (3, 5) On August 22nd 1839, it was reported that the whole of the excavations were now complete in the Clay Cross Tunnel, where the last brick was laid on 18th of December 1839. During December, efforts were made to complete a single line of rails for Stephenson's Coke Ovens at Clay Cross to Whittington and Derby, supplied to the North Midland Railway (NMR). With the opening of the NMR line, there marked a change in the pattern of long distance road passenger traffic- four daily coaches from Chesterfield to London and the three to Derby and Birmingham had all but disappeared by 1846, and the coach to Manchester no longer ran. In December 1841 the directors of the NMR decided to reduce the fare from Sheffield to various stations north and south of the city, however the number of coaches to Sheffield had falled from seven to three. (7)

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: DOE(HHR) Dist of NE Derby Clay Cross Aug 1984 11.
  • <2> Index: North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust (NDAT). North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust Index: 0734. 0734.
  • <3> Unpublished document: County Treasure Recording Form. 11.1, with photo.
  • <4> Photograph: Various sources. SMR Slide Collection.
  • <5> Index: Council for British Archaeology (CBA). CBA Industrial Archaeology Report Card. Railway tunnel, Clay Cross.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Meeke, J (WSP Environmental Ltd). 2006. Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment for the Biwater Redevelopment Area, Clay Cross, Derbyshire.
  • <7> Bibliographic reference: Williams, C. 1980. Driving the Clay Cross Tunnel, navvies on the Derby/Leeds Railway.



Grid reference Centred SK 3971 6422 (24m by 19m) Centre

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR2395

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Jan 17 2024 1:10AM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.