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Monument record MDR7885 - Cliff Quarry, Crich Cliff, Crich

Type and Period (1)

  • (Georgian to Victorian - 1800 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • World Heritage Site Buffer Zone

Full Description

Limestone quarry (early 19th century) linked in 1841 by George Stephenson's mineral railway [SMR 18420] to the limekilns at Ambergate. The line was in operation until 1957. (1) Comparison of modern mapping with OS maps from the late 19th and early 20th centuries shows the site to have expanded northwards over time. The area at the north of the site currently quarried today is shown as fields with 'Old Shafts' and an 'Old Lead Mine' on late 19th and early 20th century OS maps. The original extent of the quarry in the late 19th century was at the southern end of the site where Crich Tramway Village is located today and the quarry has gradually encroached northwards over time. (2, 3, 4) Extending to the north of the Crich Tramway Village is a tramway that at least partly runs along the former mineral railway route [SMR 18420]. Located at the Wakebridge terminus of this tramway, on the western edge of the former quarry, is a collection of mining relics, which have been removed from various threatened sites in various parts of the Derbyshire ore-field, and brought to Crich for restoration and preservation. The relics have been arranged to provide the visitor with a 16th-19th century lead mining scene. (5) C. 1841, Messers Linacre and Jowett built twelve limekilns for Stephenson at a cost of £20,000 using former stone railway sleeper blocks. A further eight kilns were added immediately afterwards. Following Stephenson's death in 1848, the company name was changed to the Clay Cross Company. In 1857, Crich Cliff was noted for 'the superior quality of its lime'. At that time 120 men were employed, aided by a steam engine. Sales of lime and stone were annually about 50-60,000 tons and increasing. The twenty kilns were 30-40ft (10-13m) deep with cones 20ft (7m) high and 11ft (3.5m) in diameter. According to White (1857) Charles Burns was the Clay Cross agent, Thomas Summerside the resident agent and manager, Robert Boag, the lime burner and contractor and James Jeffries the contractor to work the quarries. There was a temporary closure of Crich Cliff Quarry in 1957, when the kilns were supplied by road from Dene Quarry. Harry Camm, owner of Cambro Contractors Ltd, resumed production at the quarry in 1967. The operation benefited from various local road schemes following the opening of nearby sections of the M1. It was also well placed in 1973 for local road schemes and markets in Lincolnshire and Nottingham. It also supplied beaching stone (rip rap) for Empingham Reservoir, Rutland. In c. 1985 Crich Quarry was sold for £750,000 as part of the Clay Cross Group to Biwater Pipes and Castings Ltd. Crich Quarry was taken over by Aggregate Industries in October 2000. The outer edge of Crich Cliff Quarry now accommodates the National Tramway Museum. (6)

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D (ed.). 1993. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology: A Gazeteer of Sites Part III: Borough of Amber Valley. p 5.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1882. OS County Series, 1st edition, scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile). XXXIV-12, XXXIV-16, XXXV-9, XXXV-13.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1896-1900. OS County Series, 2nd edition (1st revision), scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile). XXXIV-12, XXXIV-16, XXXV-9, XXXV-13, 1898.
  • <4> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1912-1921. OS County Series, 3rd edition (Second Revision), scale 1:2500 (25" to one mile). XXXIV-12, XXXIV-16, XXXV-9, XXXV-13.
  • <5> Unpublished document: County Treasure Recording Form. 11.1.
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: Tarmac Ltd. 2000. Tarmac Papers: The Archives and History Initiative of Tarmac Limited Volume IV. p 318-9.



Grid reference Centred SK 3424 5559 (558m by 1165m)

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Record last edited

Jan 19 2023 2:29PM

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