About this image
Henry Watson founded what were known as the Ashford black marble works in 1748, at a site now acquired by the Water Board, the business having finally closed in 1905. The marble was very popular in Victorian times and was exported all over the world.
Henry Watson's employee Jonathan Morton was connected with Richard Brown, Clerk of All Saint's Church, Derby, Stone Mason.
By 1765 Richard Brown's Marble business in Derby had begun to prosper and in 1824 when George Platt died Richard Brown III secured control of the Ashford Marble Mill.
Richard Brown III ran both the Derby and Ashford Marble works for six years. In 1830 he retired from the marble business. He had no sons and sold his Derby works to the noted monumental mason, Joseph Hall the younger, of Derby; the Ashford works were sold to George Oldfield of Ashford, as less known monumental mason, who continued there until 1855.
This image is one of a collection by the famous local antiquarian, Thomas Bateman, of Middleton by Youlgreave. (1821-1861). Bateman organized his collection by inserting them into a 4 volume copy of Lysons Magna Britannia, Derbyshire, creating a fascinating and unique illustrated record of the county. The purchase of the collection for Derbyshire Libraries was made possible by the generous bequest of Miss Frances Webb of Whaley Bridge, well known local historian, who died in December 2006.