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ENGLISH HERITAGE TRANSACTIONS VOLUME 9: STONE ROOFING - EXCERPTS
Saving England's Stone Slate Roofs Susan McDonald, Terry Hughes, Chris Wood, Pat Strange. 
 
Derbyshire and the Peak Park
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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.
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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.
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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 Stalybridge. 
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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.
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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. 
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