England's Stone Slate Roofs Susan McDonald,
Terry Hughes, Chris Wood, Pat Strange.
|Derbyshire and the Peak Park
|The regionís sandstones which have
produced roofing slates extend in a broad sweep from the Roaches in the
south-west, around the moors of the northern Peak Park, and down through
the eastern Coal Measures to the region south of Matlock.
|The database contains 167 quarry
records ranging in size from excavations no larger than a few square metres,
for example, on Shatton Moor (SK 188802), to 1 km of almost continuous
quarry face at Cracken Edge near Chinley (SK 037835). It is clear from
the remaining evidence that the sources listed by Farey were often simply
locations rather than specific delves and were not necessarily substantial,
either when he noted them in the early nineteenth century or subsequently.
|Analysis of the frequency, distribution
and size of the old delves indicates that the scale of production was mainly
influenced by proximity to substantial markets. Thus the sparsely populated
areas of the northern Black Peak contain few and mainly small delves, while
close to the markets at the edges of this region there were some very extensive
operations. Outstanding among these are Harden Clough (SE 145040) serving
Holmfirth, Glossop Low (SK 059963) and Cracken Edge (SK 037835). As transport
in the region developed, it is probable that the two latter delves would
have supplied the expanding urban areas to the west from Macclesfield to
|A similarly substantial and extensive
industry existed in the east of the region, serving Sheffield and Chesterfield,
with some large delves taking advantage of the comparatively easily worked
rock. A small one still operates on a minor scale. Elsewhere, delves were
quite limited in size, although many would have been big enough to supply
the present-day market of the whole region.
|Limestone is not a common source
of slates in the region, although some fissile stones are known to exist
in the Turnditch area (SK 299470). East of Chesterfield, there was a roofing
industry based on the Magnesian Limestone. This apparently centered around
Whitwell (SK 5576), but there is now virtually no field evidence available
of its scale or extent. Indeed, there appear to be only two buildings remaining
with roofs of this stone. Two old delves were discovered, identified in
the database as Q40 and Q41, but with so few buildings (probably only two)
in need of such slates, the only prospect for re-establishing production
would be as a single project to provide a stock to be used as required.