Derbyshire's Parishes, 1811> This page
Derbyshire's Parishes, 1811
The parishes and chapelries as they were just over 200 years ago. Extracts from an early Derbyshire history

Derbyshire: Subterraneous Geography, Mines and Minerals, &c. (2)
From : 'History of Derbyshire' by David Peter Davies

There are no subheadings in this chapter. However, subheadings are provided below to aid your research:

[Reminder: Names of places, etc. are as they were recorded]

Mines, Minerals, etc.

[pp. 91-121]

Iron:—the ore of this metal is found in very great abundance, in all those tracts of country where coal as been discovered; the Chinley-hills, in the vicinity of Chapel-en-le-Frith excepted. It lies at different depths in the bowels of the earth: and, frequently, from the great dipping of the strata, appears on the surface of the ground. When this happens to be the case, a hole like the shaft of a coal pit, is made: which being gradually enlarged every way, in the search after the ore, assumes the shape of a bell. After penetrating in this way, for about eighteen yards, the pursuit there, is given up, and a new pit sunk, of a similar depth and form. Owing to this practice of mixing the lower beds, with the soil near the surface; the land receives greater injury by working of iron mines, than those of coal: whence it is not thought worth while, to dig for iron ore, unless the beds are thought to be very valuable.

The beds of iron ore, are various in their thickness; but generally from two to twelve inches. The most valuable that have hitherto been found, are those in Morley Park near Heage, at Wingerworth, Chesterfield, and Stavely. The ores found at these places are various in texture and colour : — Those of the argillaceous kind, are the most common, and most frequently used in the iron works :— "They form a thin stratum in the coal countries, and sometimes enclose shells and coralloids. Calcareous, or sparry iron ores, of a fine brownish red colour, sometimes bright yellow, scaly, and dirty brown, are found in amorphous masses, near the surface, and filling insulated places. The calcareous matter seems predominant: the crystallization is frequently preserved, or appears in different stages of decomposition. This is very useful to mix with other iron ores, is said to make a good iron for converting into steel. "[1]

The ore, after it is taken out of the mine, is burned in the open air, in beds, first with coke and then with slack; and afterwards broken into pieces and screened. It is then taken to the furnaces: these are of a circular or conical form; having a fire with the blast at bottom. After the furnace is built, some time is requisite to prepare it for use. A small fire is first made under the timp, and fuel is continually added, until it is raised as high as the mouth of the newly erected furnace: when it is filled to about half its height, the blast is employed; so that the walls are not liable to be injured by a too sudden and strong heat. When the furnace is thus duly prepared and seasoned, the process of smelting the ore begins. Fuel, ore, and flux, in alternate layers, are continually put in day, and night; and the fire is not suffered to go out, till the furnace wants repairing; which is sometimes a period of many years. The fuel is generally coke, though charcoal is sometimes used; and the flux is, universally, limestone.

The process of smelting, occupies different times, according to the size of the furnace, and other circumstances. Different sorts of iron are produced by varying the proportions of ore, flux, and fuel. The smelting of the ore is accelerated by the application of a blast, produced by a pair of cylinders, which are worked by a fire engine or water wheel. When the fusion of the ore commences, the smelted metal passes through the layers of coke and limestone, and collecting at the bottom of the furnace, is let out into beds of sand, moulded to the forms required : these are called pigs, about three feet and a half in length, and weighing about 100 pounds. The metal first obtained, is brittle and void of due malleability; but to give it this property, and to adapt it to the various uses for which it is employed, it is carried to the forge, where it is wrought into bars. — The quantity of iron produced annually in this county, amounts to between fifteen and sixteen thousand tons. The principal founderies and forges, are those at Butterley near Ripley, Morley Park, Wingerworth, Chesterfield, and Stavely.

Calamine: or native oxid of zinc, is found at Castleton, Cromford, Bonsall, and Wirksworth. It occurs of various colours, and different qualities.  It is found in nodules, after enveloping calcareous spar, which soon decomposes. It is sometimes found in the figure of a rhombic and dog-tooth spar; and frequently occurs in the form of grapes.—It is sometimes in an ochreous state, combined with ferrugineous matter ; but the compact kind is best, and is most esteemed when of a waxy colour. It generally contains about sixty pounds per. cent of zinc, and some iron. It is found at various depths, but generally near a vein of lead ore. Sometimes the two minerals are mixed, and run by the side of each other for a considerable way : but generally near a vein of lead ore. Sometimes the two minerals are mixed, and run by the side of each other for a considerable way: but generally the vein of one mineral ceases, where the other begins ; and a good vein of both is never found in the same place. Calamine generally lies in a bed of yellow, or reddish brown clay. The beds resemble pipe works, and their direction is the same with the dip of the measures.

The calamine, when got out of the mine, is first washed in a current, and then again in sieves in a vessel of water ; and all the foreign particles, as cauk, spar, and lead ore, are picked out from it. It is next calcined in a reverberatory furnace; nearly of the same form and construction with the copula, but having a flat roof and bottom; after which it is again picked, ground into a fine powder, and washed: it is then fit for use. The quantity of calamine at present annually produced in Derbyshire, is about 500 tons. Its value in its crude state, is from three to four pounds per ton; but in its prepared state, it is sold at nine or ten.[21]

A century and a half ago the miners were entirely ignorant of the properties, and value, of calamine : and it is not fifty years since its use in the composition of brass, and bell metal, was made a secret of in this county. After being calcined and powdered, it is mixed with charcoal and copper, in thin plates, or in grains, and exposed to a heat, at first not sufficient to melt the copper, but afterwards increased; so that the mass, which is a compound of the two metals, is fused, and is now called brass.[3]—Zinc, which is the name of the metal produced from the ore of calamine, has of late years been rolled, by a gentleman of Derby, into sheets; and recommended as a substitute for sheet-lead. But a more valuable purpose for which Zinc is used, is for exhibiting the pheænomena produced by Galvanism; a science as yet in its infancy, but promising very great discoveries in the material world.

Blende, or Black-jack, also got in Derbyshire, is another ore of zinc, less valuable than calamine. It occurs in various colours and frequently crystallized, and generally accompanying fluor and barytes. The colour of this ore is a blackish brown, inclining to a metallic lustre, and partially transparent. There is a variety of this ore, called ruby blende, which is crystallized on calcareous spar, and of a beautiful transparent red. Another variety, is called pigeon-necked blende, from its iridescent hues.

Copper:—This metal, has hitherto been found only in a small quantity in the county. Pieces considerable in size, detached from any vein, have been frequently met with, at Matlock and Bonsall. A slender vein of this ore has been discovered some years since at Greatrock Dale, between Tideswell and Buxton; and another has been met with at Russop-Edge, near Chapel-en-le-Frith: but at present neither is worked.

Pyrites,—a combination of sulphur, with arsenic, and vitriol; are found in very great variety, in almost every part of the county. Some are found in a bright coloured vein, running through transparent fluor, and very beautiful, at Ashover: and also other varieties of a golden colour, sprinkled over the surface of the fluor. The pyrites generally found, are exceedingly hard, and strike fire with steel.

Black-wad, an ore of manganese and iron has been found in different parts of the county, in masses of a dark brown, or blackish colour: when broken, capillary veins, of a metallic lustre, appear. When mixed with linseed oil, it becomes ignited in the space of forty or fifty minutes. It, is esteemed by painters for its drying quality; and is very much used for ship painting. Manganese is one of the principal ingredients consumed for producing gas for the process of bleaching: but that which is met with in Derbyshire, has been found of too weak a quality for that purpose. In an analysis of this mineral, by Mr. Wedgewood, twenty-two parts, were found to contain nearly two of indissoluble earth, chiefly micaceous, one of lead, about nine and a half of iron, and the same quantity of manganese.

Martial ochres, are extremely abundant.—They are supposed to result from the decomposition of iron ores; which is accomplished by water and fixed air. The best, of a rich yellow colour, is found in a cavern, called the Water-hole, near Castleton. Dark brown ochre is met with in the lead mine; under the High Tor, at Matlock : a pale yellow ochre is to be found in a mine near Winster; and ball of a darker yellow are found in the shale at Hassop. The colours of these ochres are said to be the most durable pigments in nature.

Coal[4].—Whether this mineral had been discovered in Derbyshire, in the time of the Romans, is uncertain ; but as it seems probable, that it was dug up in a neighbouring county[5], we may also suppose that it was not unknown in this. It is certain, however, that the use and value of coal, have long been known in the county. In the reign of Edward II. (about 1315) it was got in the liberties of Norton and Alfreton; as appears, from a grant given, at this time, by Thomas de Chaworth to the Monks of Beauchief, to supply themselves with it.[6]

Coal is found in the places already described,[7] at various depths in the earth; and in some places, several beds are passed by one shaft; but the upper ones being thin and soft, are seldom worked. The varieties of coal, found in this county, may be comprehended under the two general divisions of hard and soft. That is esteemed the best, which is of the least specific gravity, and of the brightest black colour; which appears finely laminated, and after burning, leaves the least ashes. The cannal, or candle coal, is very compact, and fracture splintery ; it is lighter than the other variety, and sonorous when struck: it is of a fine jet black colour, and capable of receiving a fine polish: frequently explodes when heated, and burns with a bright flame.

"At Smalley, West Hallam, and Ilkeston, the coal is a shining and lamellar texture.— It is not very heavy and solid. At first it blazes, and burns very briskly, but soon buries itself in white ash. "At Heanor and Shipley, the hard coal, is of a dull, scaly, compact, and solid texture. It takes fire with difficulty, and burns very slowly. But when once lighted, it diffuses a lively and durable heat, and burns a long time before it is entirely consumed. It is sometimes attended with a strong sulphureous smell, and yields a reddish-brown ash.

" At Denby, Ripley, Swanwick, and Alfreton, the hard coal partakes of the qualities of the two sorts, which have been described. It is of a scaly, moderately compact, and rather, bright texture. It burns with a strong and regular heat, and lasts a considerable length of time. It is pretty free from sulphur, and mostly a white or grey coloured ash.

"At Normanton and Blackwell, the hard coal agrees in most of its properties with that, which is last mentioned. The chief circumstances in which it differs, is, that it is harder and more refractory, and therefore, more apt to sparkle and fly, in the fire.

"At Chesterfield and Eckington, the hard coal is but little sulphureous, and yields a large quantity of ashes. That which is found at Newhall and Measham, is very nearly of the same kind.

The coal near Buxton is shattery and exceedingly sulphureous."[8]

Coals are always found under strata of grit, which is a mixture of sand and clay; or under schists, which is clay hardened, and splitting into layers, forming either slates, or a substance called shivers, according to its fracture. When a stratum of coal is come to, that is considered worth the working, it is dug out from the superior and inferior strata, which are generally grit, or schistus, and which are then termed the roof and floor. In doing this, care is always taken, to leave columns of the coal standing here and there, sufficient to support the roof. When a roof is shivery, it is frequently necessary to support it with a roof of timber. These means being taken to support the superior stratum, the miners proceed to very considerable distances from the original pits; and occasionally new shafts or pits are sunk, to facilitate the removal of the coals, and to afford a proper ventilation in the mines.

The first operation after sinking the engine-pit of a coal mine, is the working or driving the coal, and sinking the first coal pit. After the pit is sunk to the coal, the miner begins his work: he first digs or undermines with his pick-axe, at the bottom and one side, into the stratum as far as he can ; he then forces down the great pieces of coal, by a wedge and mallet. The coals thus procured are brought to the bottom of the pit in corves or baskets, which are hooked upon a chain, and drawn or wound up by a rope to the surface. This is effected by a machine called a gin, wrought by horses. But of these winding machines, there are various kinds; some worked by water, and others by fire engines.

There are two very great evils, to which coal mines are subject ; the hydrogen gas, called by the workmen, fire damp; by the explosion Of which many lives are lost: and carbonic acid gas, commonly called choak damp, which not to fatal as the former. Hydrogen gas is principally generated by the contact of pyrites with water, in some of the old workings of the collieries, which have been neglected, and not sufficiently ventilated: it there accumulates until discovered by the occasional visit of some of the overmen, whose office it is to examine the old workings, called wastes. Sometimes for want of due caution it causes the death of many of the miners, being set on fire by their lights. On these occasions the men throw themselves on their faces, on the ground, to avoid the return of the blast, as there is more danger to be apprehended, from the vacuum formed by the total consumption of the inflammable gas, than from the effect which the fire has upon them. It seldom happens after the explosion, that the men are much burnt; they suffer more from the violent concussion of atmospheric air, rushing into the workings to fill up the vacuum, than from any other cause. After an accident of this kind, it is considered dangerous to enter the pit for some days, on which account it is to be feared, many lives are lost, which might have been saved by immediate assistance.

But the only effectual method of preventing accidents of this nature, is to pay a due attention to the state of the old works, and to cause a thorough ventilation by the methods usually adopted, which are the following : —The air is put in motion, by means of a furnace placed near the edge of one of the shafts, inclosed in a covered building, from which is a tube descending into the pit. The heated air thus ascending through the chimney, is succeeded by the cold from the shaft, which in its turn is replaced from the lowest part of the mine. —The whole is thus successively removed, and its place is supplied by air which finds its way from above, through another communication-shaft open to the day.

Choak damp is rarely attended with any ill effects, and is easily discovered, by its extinguishing a candle. The safest method of exploring collieries subject to this evil, is to walk as erect as the place will allow; for choak-damp being heavier than atmospheric, being heavier it occupies, of course, the lower part of the mine. It is more difficult to exhaust this gas by ventilation, than fire damp; as the latter ascends, from its being lighter than atmospheric air: while the other, by its gravity, is forced upwards with great difficulty. It is not exactly determined, by what means choak damp is generated; but it is generally supposed to proceed from the putrefaction of vegetable substances.[9]

Pieces of coal of a very large size, sometimes weighing upwards of three and four hundred pounds, are found in the Derbyshire mines: but what quantity is got every year, it is impossible to ascertain exactly; it is certainly very large: for besides the home consumption, which is very great, a considerable portion is conveyed by the Errewash canal into Leicestershire, and by the Chesterfield into Nottinghamshire; besides the large quantities, that are sent to Sheffield and London.

Sulphur; has been met with, in the cellural parts of baroselenite, and also in galena.  It has been found in a layer four inches thick in the mines at Haslebage near Bradwell; and in a layer of one inch thick in the toadstone at Tideswell-moor. It was in so pure a state in these places, that it would flame with a candle. Sulphur has also been discovered in the Odin mine at Castleton ; and sometimes in the shale, in different parts of the county.

But of all the " inflammable substances discovered in this county, the most peculiar and remarkable is the elastic bitumen, or mineral cahoutchouc. This has been found in various states ; and has apparently the same properties, as the common vegetable India rubber. It is generally found between the stratum of the schistus and the limestone ; rarely in small cavities, adhering to the gangert,[10] and sometimes containing lead ore, fluor, and other bodies. — When first detached, the taste is very stypic, as if blended with decomposed pyrites. It varies in colour, from the blackish or greenish brown, to the light and red brown, and is easily compressed; but sometimes the same piece is less elastic in one part than another: on burning it the smell is rather pleasant. One variety, but very rare, contains nodules of indurated shining black bitumen, resembling jet. Another variety has been seen in a marine shell, in a piece of limestone. A third variety, but extremely scarce, has been found of a dull red colour, and transparent, in crystallized fluor. A variety yet more rare, but less elastic, appears to be composed of filaments, and has a singular acid taste. 'The characteristics are very different from any other sort, and might probably, if investigated, account for the origin of this substance: on cutting, and in other circumstances, it resembles soft cork, or old bark from a tan yard.' Indurated bitumen, appearing like jet, has been found in amorphous masses, globules of a shining black, but sometimes liver coloured: this kind is electric, when rubbed, and is sometimes found in barites. A specimen has been met with in the centre of an anomia at Castleton. Petroleum, or rock-oil, is found in veins of the black marble, at Ashford : when the sun shines upon the stone, it gently exudes. Stones containing a considerable quantity of rock-oil were formerly met with near Stoney-Middleton; and were so common, that the miners used to burn the oil they produced in lamps.

Limestone; which is found in the places before noticed,[11] is of various qualities. At Buxton, Peak-forest, and Stoney-Middleton, it is of a light grey colour: at Ticknal and Kniveton, it is very dark: at Hopton it is of a light colour, hard, and abounding with small fragments of etrochi. When burned into lime, it is much used for the purposes of agriculture in the county; but particularly in the northern part. A great quantity is sent into Cheshire and Lancashire. The Crich lime is remarkably white, and much valued for ceilings and other ornamental purposes. The Kniveton lime, is thought nearly equal to that of Barrow in Leicestershire.

Marble.— The marbles formed from the limestone, are extremely varigated and beautiful, That which is called the Hopton stone, is found at Hopton near Wirksworth; it is of a light colour, hard, but incapable of much polish: it abounds with fragments of etrochi, and is for hearths, floors, and staircases. The mottled grey marble is found in many places, but particularly near Moneyash: and there is a great diversity or shade in its ground, it may be divided into two kinds; the one with a slight tint of blue, the other a lightish grey, rendered exceeding beautiful by the number of purple veins, which overspreads its surface in elegant and irregular branches. But that which renders the mottled grey marble so beautiful, is, the abundance of etrochi ; which being intersperced through every part of it, the transverse and longitudinal sections produce an infinite variety of forms. It has been observed, that the more superficial the beds of marble, the lighter its colour, and the more abundant the etrochi. A variety is found near Wetton, of a darker colour, presenting very small figures, whence it has obtained the name of bird's-eye marble. The black marble is found chiefly at Ashford, where it may be obtained in very large blocks: but the strata in which it is found differ in quality. In general it is of a close solid texture, and will bear such a high polish, as to reflect like a mirror. It bears a strong resemblance to that brought from Namur in the Netherlands, Coralloid marbles, exhibiting a variety of madrepores, are found in laminæ in various parts of the limestone strata.

The black and grey marbles, are calcareous, effervesce with the mineral, and are corroded by the vegetable acids of the fermented and unfermented kind, The specific gravity of the black kind, when compared with the grey, is as twelve to thirteen.

Plater-stone, Gypsum, or Alabaster, has been found at Elvaston and Chellaston, in large masses, filling up cavities, in the argillaceous grit. It never forms a stratum, but is attended with gravel, strong red clay, and an earthy covering, which often contains innumerable shells. Some kinds are very hard, and of a close texture; but it is in general so soft, that it may be scraped with the nail. This substance derives its names, from the different uses to which it is applied. A considerable quantity is used for laying floors in buildings, and it is thence called plaster-stone. To prepare it for this purpose, it is first burnt about eight hours in the open air: when this is done, the fire is put out, and when properly cooled, it is beaten fine with flails, and made into mortar.  It is then spread, about two inches in thickness and upon reeds or laths covered with straw ; and being afterwards left to dry, in a few days, a floor, almost as solid and durable as stone, will be formed. The expence of these floors is but trifling; but to a stranger they have a curious and uncomfortable appearance ; as in many houses, not only are the floors of the ground story composed of this substance, but those of the upper ones; thus appearing like one large cold flag, cut out to fit the dimensions of the room. In its calcined state, when mixed with water, it forms the substance called Plaster of Paris. It is also extremely useful, when calcined, for moulds of figures and for the figures themselves : and for this purpose, it is an article of great demand at the potteries in Staffordshire. In this state it is mixed with quick lime, to make the mortar more strongly; and is therefore found useful in the formation of cornices and mouldings, and other ornamental purposes in architecture. In its native state it is called Alabaster and Gypsum; and as it takes a very high polish, it is manufactured into large columns, chimney pieces, vases, small obelisks, and an infinite variety of ornaments. Gypsum forms an article of commerce, and considerable quantities are conveyed to London and other places.

Calcareous concretions, are very common in almost every part of the Peak; as there is scarcely a cavern, that is not lined with incrustations of this kind, which assume a great variety of forms, and are resplendent with a great diversity of colours. It is capable of receiving a very high polish, and then appears extremely beautiful.

Fluor spar, or Blue John, is an important article of production from the lead mines of Castleton and other places; in which it is found in great abundance. The violet is the most common kind, and serves as the salband to the white sort. Several other kinds are also found; such as fine yellow topaze coloured, violet blue, violet purple, white inclining to rose colour, water coloured, &c. There are some pieces in which several of these colours are united, and produce a very agreeable effect.[12] The fluor spar contains an acid,[13] the most penetrating and corrosive, that has yet been discovered, and which is very different from the carbonic. This, from its peculiar properties of corroding glass, and silicious substances, has been employed in France for engraving glass plates.—When moderately heated it becomes phosphorescent; but in a strong heat it melts, and emits fumes which are extremely moxious. By a certain degree of heat, its blue colour is changed into a fine red, or reddish purple; but with a greater heat all its colours are discharged, and it becomes white. Fluor spar would be the most beautiful of all substances, if it were a little harder. This stone not only forms a considerable object of traffic in its rough state, between Castleton and Derby, Winster, Matlock, Buxton, and other places in the vicinity ; but is worked on the spot, into urns, vases, columns, and other articles of ornament, which are exceedingly elegant : and which are sent to Birmingham, where they are mounted with silver, gilded copper, or any other metal.

"Among the silicious substances, are topazine and rose coloured quartz, in hexagonal prisms, with double pyramids, detached ; these are found in a yellowish red earth near Buxton, and are generally termed Buxton diamonds ; they are very small : amethystine quartz finely tinged : with perfect hexagonal prisms, terminated by two pyramids, detached like the former: pellucid quartz in fragments, colourless : some enclosing bitumen ; these varieties are loose in the limestone: thin laminated beds of chert, horn-stone, or petrosilex, are found near Bradwell, Buxton, Middleton, and other places In the Peak-forest, are numerous chert beds of various thicknesses; some are in contact with the granulated limestone, though limestone full of shells is both above and below it; its colour is dove blue. Large quantities of this substance are annually used in the manufacture of earthen ware in Yorkshire and Staffordshire. Dark green chert, bearing a close resemblance to jasper; has been found near the High Tor at Matlock".[14]

"Of the Barytic order, the most general is the substance called cauk or cawk, from its resembling chalk, which is not found in the North. It occurs in great quantities, being commonly attendant on lead ore; the colour is often white, but more frequently a greyish white, inclining to the cream tinge, which sometimes rises to the ochre yellow. It is soft, but ponderous; fracture earthy, sometimes scaly: it often contains small veins of lead ore, as thin as threads; and sometimes small veins of fluor and blende. Barytes occasionally occurs crystallized in tabulated rhomhs, or grit-stone; but more generally in delicate tabulated crystals, which, by combination, form spherical balls. One variety is stalactitic; sometimes with transparent crystals and native sulphur. The arborescent barytes is composed of ligaments of various colours, intervening each other, appearing somewhat like branches with foliage: one variety exhibits dark brown and lilac figures, beautifully interspersed with blue in a geographic form, or like a coloured map, and affording beautiful contrasts. Barytes has lately been found, confusedly crystallized, of a sky blue colour; the fracture foliated. Other specimens occur in tabulated crystals, opake, white, half an inch in diameter, but as thin as leaf gold, on a cellural gypseous matrix, with native sulphur. Another variety has a plumose appearance, being covered with transparent crystals of fluor.[15] "

Porcelain Clay of a delicate white colour, and fine texture, has been got from a lead mine near Brassington. Some of this has been used at the porcelain works in Derby; but the greatest part of what is now dug up, is sent to the Staffordshire potteries.

Pipe Clay, of a pretty good quality, is got at Newhaven and Bolsover. At the latter and some other places, pipes are manufactured from it, in its native and unmixed state.

Potter's Clay, of a yellowish or grey colour, is found at Brampton, Stanwich near Chesterfield, Morley-moor, Heage, Smalley, and Horsley. Some of a red and grey colour is found at Ticknall ; but this is never used for the glazed ware, because it corrodes the lead. That which is called indurated clay or bind, and used for the improvement of land of a light and sandy soil, is found in most coal pits.—Clay-stone; is found in a great extent of country on the eastern side of Derbyshire.

Terra tripolitana; or as it is generally called, rotten-stone, is found in the neighbourhood of Bakewell; and is much used by the lapidaries, in different parts of the county, for polishing.

Marl, a compound of clay and calcareous earth, is found in great plenty in almost every part of Morleston hundred. It is generally of a red colour; but sometimes it is met with, of a grey, and light flesh colour. One sort of red marl, which has the appearance of a thin shattery stone, contains but little calcareous earth, and is found very beneficial to light or boggy land, But there is another kind of red marl, which is more valuable : as it is found to be a very efficacious and durable manure: especially when mixed with a proportion of dung.

Slate or shistus tegularis, is dug up at Hayfield, and in Chinley-hills, near Chapel-en-le-Frith. What is found is of a grey colour, and lamellar texture, shines with mica, and does not strike fire with steel. Though thick, and consequently very heavy; it is much used in covering houses, in the neighbourhood of the places where it is got.

Flint is found in small pieces, in the gravel pits in the neighbourhood of Derby; and in large lumps, in those at Stenson in the parish of Barrow. They are pure, and almost transparent.

Chert, a substance less hard and more opake than flint, is found in strata ; and may be discovered running through the rocks in the Peak. A large quantity of it, is carried from the neighbourhood of Bakewell into Staffordshire and Yorkshire; where it is used in the manufacture of earthenware. Some kinds of chert are then made into mill-stones.

Moor-stone is found in the north-west part of the county, and the East-moor. Mill-stones are made of this substance, on Kinder scout in the parish of Glossop; and at Grindleford Bridge in the parish of Eyam.

Free stone is also found in many places in the county; and in some quarries it is of a very fine texture. The most magnificent and beautiful houses in Derbyshire, are built of this stone.

Peat, either white or red, according to the quantity of ochre or pyrites which it contains, is found throughout the north-west extremity of the Peak, and most parts, of the East- moor. When the peat is dug up, it is soft, smooth, and oily; but being cut into oblong pieces, and exposed to the influence of the sun and air, during the warm summer months, it becomes brittle and inflammable, and is in many places used for fuel. Turf is a substance that generally covers the peat; but in some places it is found alone. It is a yellowish or brownish bituminous earth, interwoven with the roots of moss, heath: and other shrubs.

Coralloids The cone within cone coralloid, is found in a bed ten inches deep, on the surface of the she1l marble, at Tupton near Wingerworth; the cones in this, are very distinct. Another fine specimen of the same species, has been found at Blackwell; and a third at the Depth of forty-seven feet at Aldercar, in the parish of Heanor. Coralloids, with small tubes, have been met with at Eyam, agreeing in every particular, with the coral, lately found in the red sea, named tubularea purpurea; porpites and madrepores, have also been obtained at the same place.

At Stoney-Middleton some very perfect specimens of pori fungitœ have been met with; corniœ fungitœ at Ashover, as well as the elegant screw stone. Millepores, coral, branched, with the surface extremely punctured, as if with the point of a needle; and tubipores, a congeries of coralline tubes, paralleled or variously curved, have been procured in Middleton Dale. Ammonites, cornu Ammonis or nauitilus, serpent stone, flat, spiral representing a worm or small serpent coiled up, are very abundant in the black marble of Ashford: astroites, coral of tabular texture, with small stars on the surface, and honey-comb work within side, is likewise procured there.

At Castleton have been found, the corallina reticulata, or sea fan: plates of echini, very curiously formed, the plates pentagonal, with a small point, rising in the middle : spines of echini : belemnites, cylindrical, but conical at one, and sometimes at both ends, about three inches long, and three quarters of an inch thick: anomiæ, bivalve, one valve gibbous, and often perforated at the base, the other plane: retepores, terrebratulœ, and ostreopectines. Gryphites, bivalve, oblong, somewhat resembling a boat, but narrow, and remarkably curved upwards at one end, the valve plane, has been met with in the red clay over the gypsum at Chellaston. Rushes, branches of yew, and a substance greatly resembling a cauliflower, have been found petrified at Matlock. A regular stratum of muscle shells has been discovered, eleven yards deep, at Swanwick: and muscle shells have been found in iron stone at Tupton, Chesterfield, and Cotmen hay : at the latter place, they were obtained at the depth of eighty-four yards.

Animals and insects.—At Ashford, a small alligator, and groups of flies, have been found in the black marble. The tails and back of a crocodile, are said to have been found there also, and to be preserved in a cabinet at Brussels. A beetle and a butterfly have been found on iron-stone in Swanwick.

Vegetable Impressions.—An entire sun-flower with all the reeds perfectly marked, was discovered in lime-stone, over a bed of coal, at Swanwick. The following fossils were also obtained there: the resemblance of a bamboo, a flower of chrysanthemum, very perfect ; a flower of a coltsfoot, several kinds of fern; equisetum or horse-tail, very perfect ; a plant of miden-hair ; the cone of a pine-tree; a branch of a box-tree; a small branched moss; these were found in iron-stone. At Holmesfield, a resemblance of the flower of a cactus has been found. Various other vegetable impressions, have been met with in the iron-stone, and bind, both at Newhall and Chesterfield. Indeed, there are few beds of iron-stone in Derbyshire, in which they do not in some measure appear.

[End of the chapter]

Footnotes and references from the book.

[1] Beauties of England, III. 326.

[2] Atkin's Description.

[3] Skrimshire's Chymical Essays, Vol. II. p. 61.

[4] A lengthy footnote, not been transcribed.

[5] In the West-Riding of Yorkshire, are many beds of cinders, heaped up in the fields ; in one of which, a number of Roman coins, was found a few years ago. From Horsley, it appears that there was a colliery at Benwell, about four miles west of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, supposed to have been actually worked by the Romans.

[6] Charter of Edward II. Dugdale Mon. Angl, T, II. p, 609.

[7] Page 58.

[8] Pilkington, vol. I. p. 1791.

[9] Cyclopædia, v. COAL.

[10] Gangert, a term derived from the German, is synonymous with the matrix.

[11] Page 57.

[12] St. Fond's Travels, Vol, II. p. 324.

[13] "The fluoric acid is easily obtained by pulverising the fluor, and putting it into a leaden retort, adding its weight of any of the mineral acids. Apply a gentle heat, and the fluoric acid will appear as gas which may be caught in a vessel of the same materials as the retort. " Mineralogy of Derbyshire.

[14] Beauties of England, III p.335.

[15] Mawe's Miner, of Derbyshire.

Davies' book
An Ann Andrews book transcript