Report - Rockwood Pigments, Matlock Bath , Derbyshire- Jan 2017

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"Landie" or Harry
Regular User
Sep 15, 2008
Rockwood Pigments, Matlock Bath , Derbyshire- Jan 2017

Well we are still on a fairly slow year sadly and once again I have let a backlog build!!!

Mookster, two newbie friends and myself visited this rather sparse, but reasonably photogenic little site after doing The Royalty in Birmingham back in January.

Rockwood Pigments Factory is located under High Tor cliffs in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire. The factory is now empty and faces an uncertain future. It is known as the High Tor Works.

Originally called Viaton, the site was originally established for mining iron ore. After this was worked out in 1850; the waterwheel was used to grind white lead.

By the end of the century; the Via Gellia Colour Company took over. They installed a turbine to drive four pairs of Peak stones which for the next twenty years ground down iron oxide.

Bone char, the waste product from sugar refining, was ground on site until the late 1960s. Eventually the site was used for blending pre-ground chemically-produced colour products for use in paving slabs and other cement products. Finally the site became part of the Rockwood group.

I can’t find very much in the way of a closure date on this sadly. On site was a mine/cave of some sort, but we didn’t venture too deep. On closer online inspection, it does look quite interesting in there.











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