Underneath Wirksworth; Derbyshire, is a lost Subterranean network of Tunnels built to bring minerals from quarries down to the mainline station.
Dale Quarry Tunnel
The largest of the tunnels was opened from Dale Quarry, situated 1.1 km west of the station yard. Stone was initially conveyed by horse and cart, but plans for a tramway proved unpopular as it would have passed through the town, however they appear to have been granted. Instead A standard gauge tunnel was built under the town, linking the quarry and the station yard and was opened on 17 November 1877.
The tunnel took only 18 months to complete and was opened in 1877, two years later however the quarry was forced into liquidation as a result of the cost of the tunnel.
The quarry continued in use under a new owner but eventually closing down in the early 1920s. Later it was reopened and worked until 1968. The tunnel was still in use at that time, but the stone was carried to the station yard on lorries, rather than the original trains.
Baileycroft Quarry Tunnel
Baileycroft Quarry is first mentioned in 1871, when land was leased with permission to extract 8400 tons of limestone; The start of a major change in the local area where industry shifted from Lead mining to Limestone Quarrying.
In 1877 an agreement was made to make a tramway tunnel from the quarry to the railway near the Baptist Cemetery. Two short tunnels connected by a cutting was constructed. These ran a 2 foot narrow-gauge track.
The quarry was closed in 1906, and the site was being used as a refuse tip in 1922. It is now the site of Harrison Drive, constructed in an effort to improve traffic flow through the town. Part of the quarry face was removed and the quarry filled in with dust from Dale Quarry including most of the tunnel.
The Maps Bellow Show the extent of the Tunnels, Dale being in Red and Baileycroft in Blue. GA
Left Map is from Google Earth and the Right is a 1870-1906 Map