Web
Analytics
Report - - Hilt's Quarry, Crich, Derbyshire, May 2019 | Mines and Quarries | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Hilt's Quarry, Crich, Derbyshire, May 2019


HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
1. The History
The Derbyshire village of Crich lies on a small inlier of carboniferous limestone. Quarrying for limestone goes back to Roman times but in more recent times, in 1791, Benjamin Outram and Samuel Beresford bought the land here for a quarry to supply limestone for their ironworks in Butterley. It became known as Hilt's Quarry and it replaced the old Warner Quarry. The Butterley gangroad was built in 1793 to link the quarry with the Cromford Canal at Bullbridge and was one of the first railways in the East Midlands (and maybe even in the world!) to successfully operate with steam locomotives. The gangroad descending approximately 300 feet in approximately one mile and was at first worked by gravity. A brakeman would "spragg" (or apply a simple brake to) the wheels of the wagons, which were returned to the summit by horses.

The history doesn’t stop there. In 1812 the incline was the scene of a remarkable experiment when William Brunton, an engineer for the company, produced his steam horse locomotive. In 1840 George Stephenson leased the quarry and built limekilns at Bullbridge to provided lime to burn with coal slack.

The quarry in the 1900s:

Crich_Quarry_1900s by HughieDW, on Flickr

Hilt's Quarry closed in 1933. For 38 years, Rolls-Royce used it for dumping low-level radioactive waste including enriched uranium, cobalt-60 and carbon-14. Following a campaign by villagers in Crich the dumping ceased in 2002. In 2004 the Environment Agency banned further dumping, and Rolls-Royce were ordered to restore and landscape the site. The quarry was last used by Bardon Aggregates who closed it in 2010 after finding the limestone was contaminated with a substance that turned it a funny colour. It never reopened after that and has since been abandoned.

2. The Explore
Very relaxed explore here. Access is very easy and there’s no security as such. Just the odd glance from tourists at the adjacent Crich Tram Museum that lies parallel to the site. The place has been done to death over the years and the machines are now trashed and rusty. Well worth an hour of your time as you can’t beat a bit of heavyweight industrial mining porn, can you?

3. The Pictures

On the way in:

img1111 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The cliff to the north-east of the quarry:

img1110 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1109 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1107 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Trashed admin offices:

Crich Quarry 07 by HughieDW, on Flickr

On to the main attraction:

Crich Quarry 06 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1094 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1093 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1092 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1091 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1085 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And up onto the machinery:

img1105 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1103 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1102 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1088 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Heavy metal:

img1087 by HughieDW, on Flickr

On to Control post No.18 (must have missed the other 17):

img1098 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Everything’s trashed in here now:

img1100 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img1099 by HughieDW, on Flickr
 
Last edited:

DaveFM

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
whats that in the fourth picture, looks like some kind of entrance leading into the cliff?
 

albino-jay

28DL Regular User
Regular User
whats that in the fourth picture, looks like some kind of entrance leading into the cliff?
Stopped off here on the way home today and had a good look at it. Certainly looks like an entrance into the cliff face. Someone has dug a small bit out of the side but its steel. Needs a proper job doing on it.
 

tigger

mog
Regular User
Amongst the best shots of this place I've seen.
My dad liked trams (he used to occasioanlly glimpse them through the smog in Manchester as a kid). I remember visiting the museum in it's early days and were asking for money to make the line longer. About two years ago I finally went back to discover the extension had been built (and was hardly worth the bother). Rude staff, expensive entry and all trams stabled despite glorious sunny weather. Won't be going again :-(
Anyway, on that day I visited a couple of the older quarry workings including Hilts. I didn't bother with Cliff (as the photos show) as it looked like a kids playground.
 

HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Amongst the best shots of this place I've seen.
My dad liked trams (he used to occasioanlly glimpse them through the smog in Manchester as a kid). I remember visiting the museum in it's early days and were asking for money to make the line longer. About two years ago I finally went back to discover the extension had been built (and was hardly worth the bother). Rude staff, expensive entry and all trams stabled despite glorious sunny weather. Won't be going again :-(
Anyway, on that day I visited a couple of the older quarry workings including Hilts. I didn't bother with Cliff (as the photos show) as it looked like a kids playground.
Cheers man. And glad we didn't go in the museum now!
 

demble

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
the museum is pretty good tbh, everything was working when i was there, and it rained a bit. suppose its each to their own. I spied this when i was there too, had the wife and kids in tow though so couldnt get in. We did Riber Castle instead
 

HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
the museum is pretty good tbh, everything was working when i was there, and it rained a bit. suppose its each to their own. I spied this when i was there too, had the wife and kids in tow though so couldnt get in. We did Riber Castle instead
What's the score with Riber currently mate?
 

demble

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
we only wandered around the fields around it though, couldnt persuade the wife and little ones to climb over the fence
 

tigger

mog
Regular User
the museum is pretty good tbh, everything was working when i was there, and it rained a bit. suppose its each to their own.
I'm sure it could be good. They have a superb collection of stock ....unfortunately if they leave every lane full in the sheds you can barely see any of it. All they needed to do was move some lanes out into the marshalling yard. I even asked if they were going to. "No, we don't have any drivers" - this despite every tram journey being driven by a different person! This wasn't some obscure winters day visit. Main summer season, rang before the two hour drive to make sure they would be open. IIRC it cost me £17 to see a fairly uninteresting modern German tram (they always have that one out to satisfy disabled criteria I think) and two others in use. I didn't go to buy expensive sweets or overpriced gifts. The history exhibition was ok (not more than ok). It's clearly marketed towards tourists (and the car park was full of coaches). The rudeness of the three staff I spoke to finished it off for me. I find industrial museums in Mainland Europe are run better and are more friendly than UK ones...in the UK the enthusiasts start them and things seem grand...and then the Pratts take over. We do preserved railways well and most county run industrial museums work well.

However, it's good to hear that your family had a good day of it and that I perhaps went on the wrong day
 

Similar threads


Top