Limestone Quarry, Derbyshire

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

The earliest picture of quarrying in Derbyshire?

In February the museum bought a small eighteenth-century watercolour from Chiswick Auctions in London. We don’t know who painted it or when, and its title, ‘Limestone Quarry, Derbyshire’ is somewhat ambiguous.

It is however, the earliest picture of limestone quarrying that the museum owns. It is perhaps the earliest picture of Derbyshire quarrying in existence.

Limestone quarry, Derbyshire. Unknown artist, late 1700s

Limestone quarrying was, and still is, an important industry for Derbyshire and the landscape is littered with the remains of old quarries. Although ubiquitous across the county, quarries very rarely make it into early topographical views of the area. The watercolour shows quarry workers, complete with pick-axes, chiselling away at the cliff face on the right hand side. In the centre, smoke can be seen billowing from a small lime kiln.

Detail from Limestone Quarry, Derbyshire

In the eighteenth-century artists had…

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2 thoughts on “Limestone Quarry, Derbyshire

  1. I don’t think we know exactly where the quarry was, though if you have any ideas it would be great to hear them. It might be possible to identify using the landscape pictured (there’s a hill in the background, for instance) but there are lots of hills and quarries in the county so it would still be hard to narrow down.

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