Goyt Valley industries

Today’s visitors to the Goyt Valley enjoy the wonderfully tranquil and picturesque scenery. But it wasn’t always this way. In times gone past the valley rang to the harsh sounds of stone being quarried, coal being mined, steam trains being hauled up and down steep inclines, and even a large gunpowder mill. On these pages I’ll highlight these industries.

Fernilee industries

Fernilee industries

Chilworth Gunpowder Mill features in this post focussing on the village of Fernilee. It describes an accidental explosion in 1894 which sent a cannon ball half-a-mile, only just missing a herd of cattle!

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Goytsclough Paint Mill

Goytsclough Paint Mill

The Goytsclough Paint Mills provided employment for around 20 people. Crushed baryte was packed in bags and taken by wagon to be loaded onto the High Peak Railway.

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Goytsclough Quarry

Goytsclough Quarry

Stone from Goytsclough Quarry was used to pave both Regent Street and Oxford Street in London. Today, few signs remain of an industry created in the 17th century by the founder of Pickfords Removals.

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Fernilee Powder Mill

Fernilee Powder Mill

“We are sorry to state that an explosion took place at the Powder Mills, at Fernilee, in the stoving house, by which two unfortunate creatures were in one moment deprived of their existence.”

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Cromford & High Peak Railway

Cromford & High Peak Railway

Opened in 1831, this 33 mile railway connected the Cromford Canal with the Peak Forest Canal in Whaley Bridge and was a triumph of Victorian ingenuity and determination.

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Castedge Coal Mine

Castedge Coal Mine

Old OS maps show a ‘Coal Pit’ between Errwood Hall and Castedge Farmhouse. The entrance to the mine has long since been blocked and is now covered by thick undergrowth.

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Above: An intriguing photo of members of the Chilworth Gunpowder Mill Band. The mill was a major source of employment in the area, but now lies forgotten beneath the waters of Fernilee Reservoir.

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