Project Team

The project team surveyed most of the route of the gangroad in sections at various times during the course of the project. At each site selected features of the railway were recorded, measured and photographed. A short summary of the conclusions from those surveys follows.

The tunnel and the bridges, together with their approach cuttings and embankments, were the only significant earthworks on the early railway apart from between Dimple Lane and the mine where the line was built along a terrace. Cuttings and banks were lined in stone and stone boundary walls were provided. These are more substantial than those found on some other early lines where wooden fences or quickset hedges were typically used.

There were pre-existing stone quarries at Bull Bridge, just north of the wharf. These produced “Rough Rock”, a form of Millstone Grit. The beds extend north as far as Fritchley. This stone has been used for walling and stone sleeper blocks. The Rough Rock in contrast to the Ashover Grit, which lies to the north, is generally thinly bedded – almost a flagstone in part – which lends itself to good walling stone. The section to the north of Fritchley where it passes into the next cutting is going further down the sequence out of the Coal Measures into the Millstone Grit Series (Namurian), in particular Chatsworth Grit. It seems most likely that this too was used especially for walling in this vicinity and possibly some sleeper blocks too. It if anything is slightly more reddish coloured than the Rough Rock and can be thicker bedded too, but it is quite variable. In the vicinity of the Hat Factory the line passed through the lowest gritstone, the Ashover Grit. This may have been used in this vicinity although no evidence of this has been noted. The fact that the walling and other stonework of the original line is very consistent in appearance, and distinct from the later construction, suggests that it may all have been built within the same period.

During the survey in Hilts quarry a section of rail was discovered and this has been donated by Rolls Royce, the owners of the site, to the project. The later branch extension of the line to Hilts quarry built in the 1840s passed under Dimple Lane and some of the ironwork used in the bridge construction has been preserved by the owner of the engine shed site.

A set of plans has been produced showing the development of the Amber Wharf from 1805 to 2015.

More information on the Amber Wharf

Project Fieldwork

Project Team - Hilts rail
Rail found in HIlts quarry
Project Team - Incline
Incline from Hilts quarry to Hat factory
Project Team - South of Bowmer Lane
Building remains south of Bowmer lane
Project Team - Warner Quarry
Route into Warner quarry
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