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.
Walking the lade from Goytsclough to the Goyt was the only way I was going to work out how water seemed to defy gravity to feed the giant waterwheel. It seems appearances can be very deceptive!read more
A newspaper article from 1857 includes some wonderful detail about the paint mill at Goytsclough. But also disproves most of my assumptions about the giant waterwheel which once stood here!read more
Was there once a giant waterwheel at Goytsclough that was reputed to be the second largest in the world? It seems more than a little unlikely, but I’m trying to discover the facts.read more
“Machinery was twisted into all shapes and huge beams splintered. Pieces of iron had been thrown high up on the hills and one piece of machinery weighing well over a ton was flung into the water.”read more
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!read more
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.read more
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.read more
“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.”read more
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.read more
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.read more
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.