A site was excavated in the 1960s near the southern end of Gardom's Edge. Numerous grooves on a large rock had been noted, presumably made by sharpening chisels and wedges, and it was hoped to discover a workmen's shelter and associated refuse which might help to date the period of use of the millstone quarry. Three sides of the shelter were formed by large boulders, and three rafter-sockets had been carved on the western and southern rocks; after the removal of several tons of rock debris, some possibly rough walling was identified on the lower eastern rock and a fourth post-socket was revealed in a small boulder. A small trough was also identified. The shelter or hut would have been from five to ten feet wide and at least ten feet long. Unexpectedly a layer of trodden coal 2-10 inches thick was found to cover the interior of the shelter floor, while by the entrance to the hut many pieces of slag were found mixed with ash and blackened sand. At one point the earth was burnt brick red and baked into a hard patch about 1 ft square over which was a flat slab resting on two vertical slabs. This was perhaps the site of a hearth. No wood, metal or ceramic of any description was recovered and the site was not easy to interpret or date. It was concluded that for a short time there was a small smithy here, burning coal and perhaps using a flue to channel draught to heat wedges and chisels which would be worked on an anvil, sharpened on the rock and cooled in the trough. (1)
The site is one of a number of quarrymen's sheds and other structures, mostly adjacent to access tracks, in among an extensive area of millstone quarry delves. (2)
Article in serial: Radley, J. 1964. 'A millstone maker's smithy on Gardom's Edge, Baslow', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 84, pp 123-127.
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SK 270 726 (point)
BASLOW AND BUBNELL, DERBYSHIRE DALES, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Sep 1 2016 10:21AM
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