You are exploring part of the Butterley Gangroad, first built in 1793 to link local quarries with the Cromford Canal. It was one of the first railways in the East Midlands, and maybe the world, where a steam locomotive operated successfully.
The old Warner Quarry (originally a mine in 1793) was used until the 1850s until Hilts quarry was opened and the self-acting incline constructed from the Hat Factory to Hilts quarry. Warner quarry was temporarily re-opened around 1900 but was finally closed when all the works were closed in 1933. Derbyshire County Council acquired the site in 1983 and used the site as a landfill site and the old quarry and the old route from Dimple Lane to the quarry are no longer accessible. Rolls-Royce acquired the Hilts quarry site and again access to the quarry is prohibited.
By looking through the mesh gate you will see the cutting through which the line entered the quarry site. The cottage on the lane is known as Incline Cottage.
The entrance to Hilts quarry and the the top of the self-acting incline can be viewed the top of the short lane running off Dimple Lane, south east of Crich Village. The gates of the quarry are on the route of the branch railway, built from the Hat Factory, that crossed the lane here. The branch was originally a self-acting double track incline with a gradient of 1 in 15. Full wagons rolling down were linked by a rope, running round a pulley at the top, to empty wagons that were thereby pulled back up to quarry entrance. When this part of the route was surveyed there was no trace of the cable system used on the incline.
The self-acting incline section is not accessible but the route can be viewed by walking down Dimple Lane towards to the Hat Factory. The incline is in the line of the tress/hedgerow running along the far side of the field on the east side of Dimple Lane.
The Butterley Gangroad project was led by the Derbyshire Archaeological Society and was funded by a Heritage Lottery grant and all the above information and photographs has been provided with the permission of the Society.
Further information can be found at www.butterleygangroadproject.co.uk.