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 Drying Ground provides a vantage point to see the well-preserved stretch of the stone embankment of the Butterley Gangroad dating back to the 1850s. The gangroad was built in 1793 to transport limestone from Crich to the Amber Wharf on the Cromford Canal at Bullbridge. Here the limestone was either burnt in the lime kilns or was loaded onto barges for onward transportation to the Butterley works at Ripley. The stone embankment seen today was constructed in the 1850s when the gangroad was re-aligned to remove most of the curves on the original route. The east side of the walled embankment was raised at some point with 70 of the original stone sleeper blocks on which the original platerails were laid.