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History

The Grade II* listed Warehouse was initially constructed during the Industrial Revolution to act as a transport interchange for the transfer of limestone from Dove Holes transported by the Cromford & High Peak Railway onto canal barges that would take it to the ironworks of Manchester where it would be used for machinery and buildings for the cotton industry. The railway is no longer in use, as it closed in 1952, and the canal no longer carries commercial traffic, but the building remains as a highly significant example of a transport heritage structure that has been little altered over time.

The photos below illustrates how the warehouse once had three storeys and an additional sidings building.


Photo credit: IWPS Archive/PJW

Significant dates:

1797: Canal wharf laid out during construction of the Peak Forest Canal.
1801: The canal wharf was further developed with the construction of a three-storey canal warehouse, straddling the canal.
1832: Arrival of the Cromford and High Peak Railway in Whaley Bridge. The role of the warehouse expanded - in addition to providing a venue for unloading of materials for delivery to Whaley Bridge, it now became a major interchange between the canal and the railway. Alterations were agreed: extension of the canal arm to the south to increase the area of available wharf, and to construct extension sidings alongside this canal arm to allow easy access from the railway to the canal. This newly created transhipment wharf was covered by a single storey extension to the existing 1801 warehouse extending south over 5 bays, with a 3 bay width to the extension. The single storey extension suggests that by 1832 the bulk of the materials being handled required greater headroom and more space for rapid transhipment, rather than storage on site.
1915: Building further altered to resemble configuration today. Government had taken control of the railways during WW1, and the canals. The third floor was removed.
1952: Whaley Bridge section of Cromford and High Peak Railway closes.
1958: All commercial traffic on the Peak Forest Canal ceases.
1970s: Warehouse essentially derelict, some boat building.
1993: Building re-roofed by British Waterways.
1996: Whaley Bridge Wharf Planning Brief prepared for British Waterways.
2007: Building opened for Heritage Open Day, with over 200 visitors attending.

 

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