In­dus­try along the lIne

Landscape (UK) - - In The Home -

Along with the lime kilns and re­mains of the rail­way it­self, Lit­ton and Cress­book Mill are the most ob­vi­ous signs of the Mon­sal line’s in­dus­trial her­itage. The pale lime­stone which gives this area of the Peak Dis­trict, the White Peak, its name, was mined ex­ten­sively. This was formed more than 330 mil­lion years ago, when Bri­tain was cov­ered in a shal­low sea close to the Equa­tor, and fos­sils can be found em­bed­ded in the rock. Near Lit­ton, rocks cre­ated by lava flow­ing into that sea can also be seen. Built in 1782, Lit­ton Mill later be­came no­to­ri­ous for its dread­ful work­ing con­di­tions and the ex­ploita­tion of or­phans sent to work there from nearby cities. The mill strug­gled fi­nan­cially due to its iso­lated lo­ca­tion be­fore the rail­way was built, and af­ter chang­ing hands a num­ber of times, it fi­nally closed in the 1970s. The build­ings have now been con­verted to pri­vate apart­ments, but a con­ces­sion­ary foot­path runs through them, al­low­ing the fine brick­work to be seen. Cress­brook Mill fared rather bet­ter, spin­ning cot­ton for the lace-mak­ing in­dus­try. The orig­i­nal build­ing burned down in 1785, only six years af­ter it was built, and was re­built in 1787. Ap­pren­tices’ cot­tages were built to house the or­phan chil­dren brought to work there, and the model vil­lage, which be­came Cress­brook, grew up around the mill. Be­tween 1814-16, the im­pres­sive Ge­or­gian ex­ten­sion was added, and in 1965, the mill fi­nally closed for busi­ness.

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