Report - - Cracken Edge Quarries, High Peak, Chinley, April 2022 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Cracken Edge Quarries, High Peak, Chinley, April 2022


28DL Regular User
Regular User
1. The History
Not a vast amount of history about this very interesting place.

Craken Edge Quarry is located on a rocky outcrop called Chinley Churn that lies to the north of Chinley. It was the site for large and longstanding extraction of stone slate. The series of quarries, with some underground workings, stretched for around 1km from north to south and were at their most productive between 1800-1850, until their closure circa 1930.

Extract of an old O/S map dated 1920:

Here the Kinderscout grit had been separated by bands of mud, making it ideal for extracting stone slate. The advantage at Cracken Edge was the dip of the rock was parallel and close to the surface, meaning little overburden had to be removed to get at the slate. Where the overburden became too great, the quarrymen cut horizontal mines to get at the stone which was used for flooring flags and roofing slates.

Due to the summit of the edge being 450m above sea level, an incline and engine house was constructed in order to get the slate down to the road and on to Chinley Goods Yard for onward transportation by train. Strangely, though, this is not shown on any of the O/S maps from back in the day.

Workers by the drum at the incline. Note the now completely filled-in mine entrance behind indicating stone was exploited on the lower levels of Cracken Edge:

Another picture from Cracken of the workers of the day, most likely to have been taken circa 1890:

The quarries were developed in a westerly direction while the waste tips spread out in an easterly direction. Production first peaked in the 1890s when about 16,000 tons per year were quarried but this declined slowly after. There was, however, a brief second peak in 1929 of 11,000 tons for that year. Ownership details are sketchy but in 1837, John Frith of Bank Hall, Chapel-en-le-Frith owned slate quarries and on his death, these passed to his son Nathan Woodroofe, who was a school-master at Bamford.

2. The Explore
First time on the site for an outing at this place. Been meaning to do this place for ages, but knew it was a bit of a hike. With a day off myself and my non-forum member exploring buddy, Jason, decided we’d give it a go. Having parked up on the country lane that runs at the bottom of the valley to the east of the quarry, we then made our long, steep ascent up the footpath to the quarries.

It was well worth it as we were afforded fantastic views across the valley to the east. Once up there we worked our way round the various quarries from north to south, looking for the entrances into the underground workings. Clearly local knowledge is important here and a thing we weren’t armed with! Apparently, there are five or six well-hidden entrances where you can get into the underground workings. Sadly, though, we only managed to find one, before we dropped down the hill to the head of the incline and on through the waste tips and back down to the car. Well worth the effort still.

3. The Pictures

The walk up is steep but the views are stunning:

Starting to hit the waste tips:

Onward we push:

Looking down towards the incline:

Finally up at the top:

Heading south on the path:

Drystone walled entrances into several of the many quarries:

Low walls of a small quarry building:

And another couple:

This one is quite cute!

A small aperture in the wall:

Now this looks promising!

And so it proves to be. Inside the mine we go:

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28DL Regular User
Regular User
Some decent colours in here:

And piles of stacked-up deads:

This is as far as it goes:

Back out again:

And even more walls of deads:

Looking south:

One of the biggest quarries:

Going down to the lower level:

And on to the extremely photogenic drum house:

Looking northwards along the slate tips on the eastern side:

And walking back up to the norther reaches of the quarry:

Some sort of winching/lifting gear?

Looks like this was a former adit entrance, but not investigating it too closely!

And just a quick two more pictures of the drum house for luck! On the first you can see where the entrance to the mine was in the archive picture:

Cracken Explore that!!!
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28DL Regular User
Regular User
Interesting place and a nice walk - must be a bit of a needle-in-a-haystack situation without maps showing entrances though.
It certainly was @urbanchemist We had a rough idea where they were but bar the one we found that was obvious, all the other places we looked at drew a blank. Local knowledge most definitely requited.


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Lovely report mate and stunning scenery. Hopefully you can get knowledge of the other entrances.


28DL Member
28DL Member
We’ve narrow boated down to nearby Bugsworth transshipment basin a few times. I’ve had a skim through the Derbyshire council blurb about their many quarries and no mention of canals. But looking at the dates, it seems possible the early workings might have been moved by water. Not really what this site is for, I know but any thoughts? Nice posting thanks

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