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Monument record MDR9054 - Stancliffe Quarries, Darley Dale

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Stancliffe quarries producing pulping stones in the 1910 period. (1-2) The Stancliffe quarries were worked in the early part of the 19th century when, in spite of the difficulties of transit (the nearest point for loading being at the High Peak Canal at Cromford), many large buildings across the country were erected from the stone. These included Lime Street Station in Liverpool, The Old Infirmary in Manchester, the base stones for the Albert Memorial in London, Trent Bridge at Nottingham and many others. In 1854 Sir Joseph Whitworth acquired the Stancliffe Estate and converted the quarries into what were believed to be the finest rock gardens in England. However the estate was bought from Whitworth's trustees in 1897 and steps were immediately taken to re-open the quarries. A branch line of about 3 miles was put in from the Midland Railway's main line so that the stone could be loaded directly into trucks and hauled to the sidings of the Stancliffe Estates Company. The stone was used again for the construction of buildings across the country, as well as for pulp-grinding stones, rockery rubble and reservoir embankments. By 1913 'the very newest plant in the way of steam saws and stone-dressing machines' had been installed and several hundred men were employed. (3) The later more prestigious constructions in Cromford, notably, the Greyhound Hotel (1778), Willersley Castle (1790) and the Church (1797/1858) are all built of what would have been regarded as a fashionable, fine grained, buff coloured sandstone. Logically, the most convenient source would have been White Tor Quarry high up to the east of Cromford, but another source, Derbyshire Oaks on Matlock Moor above Tansley (Chatsworth Grit) is claimed for Willersley and Stancliffe Quarry at Darley Dale has also been suggested particularly for the Greyhound fa├žade. A mid-brown or buff stone, probably from one of these producers, was employed for the base and dressings of the largely brick-built Masson Mill (1783). (4) Two storey gritstone buildings, probably dating from the 1870s which were formerly the offices and stone works of the nearby Stancliffe Quarries. Slate roofs and prominent central chimney. (5)

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Article in serial: Tucker, D. 1985. 'Millstone making in the Peak District of Derbyshire: The quarries & the technology', Industrial Archaeology Review. Vol 8, pp 42-58. p. 56.
  • <2> Article in serial: 1913. 'The Geology of the Northern Part of the Derbyshire Coalfield', Memoirs of the Geological Survey of GB. p. 123.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: 1913. Illustrated Catalogue of the Stancliffe Estates Co. Ltd., Darley Dale.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Thomas, I (National Stone Centre). 2012. The Lower Derwent Valley: The Exploitation and Use of Historic Building Materials. p 18.
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D (ed.). 1997. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology. A Gazetteer of Sites. Part IV. Derbyshire Dales. p 23.



Grid reference Centred SK 26652 63793 (426m by 679m)

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Record last edited

Jun 25 2024 11:55AM

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