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Middlepeak Siding, Middleton by Wirksworth, c 1890 ?
Derbyshire Record Office
c 1890 ?
About this image
Middlepeak Siding (or Wharf) was located on the Cromford & High Peak Railway, on a spur at the foot of that line's Middleton Incline. It functioned both as a public goods facility (serving Middleton by Wirksworth) - with a coal yard and weighbridge out of shot to the right here - and as a private siding connecting the Hopton Wood Stone Company's Middlepeak (later Middle Peak) Quarry to the C&HPR.
This view is looking east with the slope of Middleton Incline visible through the trees to the left. The building in front of this is a workshop and the squat chimney at the near end is probably part of a forge. To the right there is a stable and beyond that a row of cottages. Most of the men assembled for the photograph, including those seated on the low-sided, dumb-buffered open wagon, are likely to be quarrymen, the two lines in the right foreground leading via the coal yard to a level crossing with the Wirksworth-Middleton Road, beyond which the quarry itself was entered. It is likely too that the buildings depicted were all associated with the quarry rather than the C&HPR.
In subsequent years Middle Peak Quarry expanded to become the largest limestone quarry in Wirksworth and latterly rail access from the C&HPR was discontinued in favour of a rail link (and subsequently an overhead conveyor) at the southern end of the workings. This connected with the top end of the ex-Midland Railway Duffield-Wirksworth branch and continued in use until 1989. Middlepeak Wharf closed to public traffic in 1964 and the C&HPR itself followed suit in 1967. In 2011 the view seen here was still recognisable with the workshop building surviving in other usage.