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Thread: Hilt's Quarry, Crich, Derbyshire, May 2019

  1. #1
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    Default Hilt's Quarry, Crich, Derbyshire, May 2019


    1. The History
    The Derbyshire village of Crich lies on a small inlier of carboniferous limestone. Quarrying for limestone goes back to Roman times but in more recent times, in 1791, Benjamin Outram and Samuel Beresford bought the land here for a quarry to supply limestone for their ironworks in Butterley. It became known as Hilt's Quarry and it replaced the old Warner Quarry. The Butterley gangroad was built in 1793 to link the quarry with the Cromford Canal at Bullbridge and was one of the first railways in the East Midlands (and maybe even in the world!) to successfully operate with steam locomotives. The gangroad descending approximately 300 feet in approximately one mile and was at first worked by gravity. A brakeman would "spragg" (or apply a simple brake to) the wheels of the wagons, which were returned to the summit by horses.

    The history doesnít stop there. In 1812 the incline was the scene of a remarkable experiment when William Brunton, an engineer for the company, produced his steam horse locomotive. In 1840 George Stephenson leased the quarry and built limekilns at Bullbridge and was used to provided lime to burn with coal slack.

    The quarry in the 1900s:

    Crich_Quarry_1900s by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Hilt's Quarry closed in 1933. For 38 years, Rolls-Royce used it for dumping low-level radioactive waste including enriched uranium, cobalt-60 and carbon-14. Following a campaign by villagers in the Crich the dumping ceased in 2002. In 2004 the Environment Agency banning further dumping, and Rolls-Royce were required to restore and landscape the site. The quarry was last used by Bardon Aggregates who closed it in 2010 after finding the limestone was contaminated with a substance that turned it a funny colour, and it never reopened. Since then the site has been abandoned.

    2. The Explore
    Very relaxed explore here. Access is very easy and thereís no security as such. Just the odd glance from tourists at the adjacent Crich Tram Museum that lies parallel to the site. The place has been done to death over the years and the machines are now trashed and rusty. Well worth an hour of your time as you canít beat a bit of heavyweight industrial mining porn, can you?

    3. The Pictures

    On the way in:

    img1111 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The cliff to the north-east of the quarry:
    img1110 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img1109 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img1107 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Trashed admin offices:

    Crich Quarry 07 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    On to the main attraction:

    Crich Quarry 06 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img1094 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img1093 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img1092 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img1091 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img1085 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And up onto the machinery:

    img1105 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img1103 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img1102 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img1088 by HughieDW, on Flickr



    Heavy metal:

    img1087 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    On to Control post No.18 (must have missed the other 17):

    img1098 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Everythingís trashed in here now:

    img1100 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img1099 by HughieDW, on Flickr

  2. Thanks given by: etc100, Hugh Jorgan, KPUrbex, Mearing, Rolfey, Romford Reject, Sausage, smiler
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  4. #2
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    Default


    Ahh I've seen this here before. It's still damned interesting though!
    Why was the equipment left behind? Seems such a waste.
    Did I see a sealed metal door going beneath the quarry side?

    I hadn't realised the radioactive storage on site. That for me changes everything (and brings in stories..)
    True this:
    A local 'super tip' here has some nasties buried in it. The tip remained accepting local waste for decades. It began as a 'pulverising plant' to help reduce the bulk of the waste.
    My story relates to when I was a teenager. We'd go visiting school mates from other villages and one day ended up on this massive tip on our bicycles.
    I'd stopped because some waste hadn't been covered over that day and it looked strange. I got off my bicycle to take a closer look. In front of me were what I can only describe as large glass lumps with a small orange paint tin in the middle of it. Imagine the glass lumps moulded from pouring glass into a 45 gallon oil drum. Weirder still was the small orange paint tin - it had a radiation sign on it. Nothing more, no text, nothing.
    Now at the time I knew it was probably dangerous and left it alone. Now? It's very bad!! I know their location on the site and know that they could be hauled out in a day using a JCB.
    I have no idea what they were but do know that the tip accepted everything. I doubt records were kept of such things either.
    A ticking time bomb of pollution.
    Full of meaty goodness.

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