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Churnet Valley Iron: The Mills and the The Mines


A new book commemorating the equivalent of a local gold rush 150 years ago has just been published. In this case it wasn't gold, but a special cherry red ironstone in the Churnet Valley, between Consall Forge & Froghall and Ipstones & Kingsley.

Millions of tons of it were to be found from 1853 up to 1923 when the last mine - Cherry Eye Mine - closed. Unfortunately, the founder of the deposit also died 150 years ago, within weeks of making his discovery. He was William Bishop of Hazles Cross, near Kingsley.

For ten hours a day, four boats laden with bright red ore, passed the Black Lion Inn at Consall Forge compared with 1 boat laden with limestone.

Consall Forge was no longer producing iron in 1853, it had closed about 100 years before that having started work in the mid 1600s. The earliest ironworks in the valley would seem to be at Eastwall and dating from at least 1290. A forge at Oakamoor (later part of Bolton's copper works) was operating in 1573, giving over 600 years of iron working in the valley.

Now many of the tramway, mills and other reminders have become completely overgrown or destroyed, but the hamlet of Consall Forge with its popular pub (The Black Lion) and its steam railway is a reminder that the area was once heavily industrialised with pits and mills, trains, tramways and canal traffic: it's a far cry from today's ramblers, the mature reserves and quietly moving canal boats.

This 96 page, £7.95 paperback recalls the former days in detail, with plenty of maps and illustrations indicating what was where.

Following the great success of the Spirit of Leek 1 and 2, The Spirit of Leek 3 concentrates on the heyday of Leek's textile industry. Over 350 high quality black and white photographs, with detailed captions, provide a unique pictorial record of Leek's textile workers at work and play. The book also captures the machines they operated and the mill buildings themselves, many of which have now been lost. A book which will be of compelling interest not only to those who once worked in the mills but also to textile machinery enthusiasts everywhere. 

CONTENTS: Introduction.

Mills featured: Anthony Ward & Co, Brough Nicholson & Hall, California Mill, Clemasha Bros & Birch, California Mill, Co-operative Wholesale, Davenport Adams & Co, Goodwin & Tatton, Gwynne & Co, Howards, Hugh Sleigh, Joe Whites, John Mason, Joshua Wardle, Leek Spun Silk, Lux, Mayers, Milners, Mountford Johnson, Myatt & Co, Premier Dyeing, Pretty Polly, Sir T & A Wardle, Slimma, Stannard & Co, Tattons & Co, Victorian Mill, W Hill & Co, Wardle & Davenport, Watsons, W H White, Thomas Whittles, AJ Worthington

Includes a map of all the textile mills in Leek.

The Spirit Of Leek:
The Twentieth Century in Photographs

Volume 1
by Cathryn Walton & Lindsey Porter

Volume 1 covers scenes in: The Market Place, Stockwell St; St Edward St; Church St; The Old Cattle Market (and building the bus station); Fairs, Club Day and Processions; Inns and Taverns; Treading the Boards (scenes from amateur dramatics at the Town Hall etc). Most of the photos have extended captions, collectively giving a great deal of history of the buildings, events etc. There are many photographs of properties now demolished.

(Volume 2 covering other streets and subjects will be published in August 2001)

Both books will have lots of recent as well as old photographs of the town and its people. Vol 1: 192 pages, over 350 photographs. Published: September 2000.

Staffordshire Moorlands & Churnet Valley
Photographs from Days Gone by

Lindsey Porter & Cathryn Walton

Covers scenes outside the towns chiefly taken in the last 110 years: Country Houses & Other Homes; Winter Wonder-land ; Inns & Taverns; All in a Days Work; On the Move (scenes of canals, railways, horse drawn vehicles etc); At Play (people enjoying themselves); Churches and Chapels; Around the Villages. Chiefly consists of scenes and a way of life which have changed or disappeared for ever.

192 pages, 316 photographs. Published August 2000.

Specification of each book 246x174mm, hardback and sewn binding,
plus jacket, printed on art paper at £19.95.
Download order form in PDF format
(Requires Adobe Acrobat reader)

Landmark Publishing Limited,
Ashbourne Hall,
Cokayne Avenue ,

Telephone 01335 347349 Facsimile 01335 347303
web site:

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