Work commenced on Stanton Iron Works in 1845 by the side of the Nutbrook Canal. The original works occupied a five-acre site between the canal and the Midland Railway branch line, which was under construction in 1848. Three blast furnaces were built, said to have been 'of the largest proportions and best construction (after the Scotch plan)'. There were two blowing engines, a casting and foundry house, offices, warehouses, workshops, fitters' rooms and 15 new cottages for workers. A wharf was excavated to bring three canal barges into the site. The site was also connected by rail with four 'Open Holes' and several 'bell pits' on Stanton Moor where gangs of workmen dug out the ironstone. There were also two small coal mines. Output data suggests that Stanton at that time was in the forefront of Derbyshire ironworks, with much of the iron being sent by a fleet of barges to the Black Country. The blast furnaces were demolished c1872 and a more extensive works was built. By 1878 it had five blast furnaces and a new pipe foundry which was a major development. It appears that Stanton was in the vanguard of pipe making and a circular of 1879 announced that the company had started making cast iron pipes, retorts, columns and all other castings required by gas and water companies, in addition to 'our old established business of coal and iron masters'. In 1893 the pipe business was so prosperous that a new foundry was erected for large sizes. (1)
The 1900 OS map shows that the 19th century works was mainly concentrated in the area beween Low's Lane and the Nutbrook Canal, although railways extended south and west. (2)
According to a site visit carried out in 1986: '...The site of the now much-reduced Stanton Ironworks [please see MDR5551]. There had been iron working on the site since the 1840s but much of the site is now semi-derelict and little of any antiquity remains. There are a few 19th century shops remaining but no trace of the blast furnaces of any era. Still intact are the ornate company offices of 1914 adjacent to Ilkeston Road and the later laboratories and exhibition centre. Parts of the private railway network are still in use but it is only a tiny fraction of the once extensive network which linked the company's enterprises at Stanton and Dale.' (3)
Bibliographic reference: Chapman, S. 1981. Stanton and Staveley, a business history. 50-63, 102-113, figs 12, 22, 24.
Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1896-1900. OS County Series, 2nd edition (1st revision), scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile). Sheet L.6, 1900.
Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D. 1986. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology - A Gazetteer of Sites. Part II - Borough of Erewash. 42.
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