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Casting cannon and balls for the Napoleonic war

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Chesterfield was host to 100 archaeologists and historians from across the country ... celebrating the town’s role at the centre of industrial England.

The visitors came to hear about the rich heritage and industries - almost all of which are long gone - that played an important part in the growth of the town and north east Derbyshire.

The conference was organised by the North East Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology Society (NEDIAS) and took place at St Thomas Centre in Brampton.

It was run as part of the twice-yearly East Midlands Industrial Archaeology Conference series.

Following a morning of talks, the visitors were led in groups on a walk in the Brampton area, highlighting the sites of mills, foundries, potteries, pits, even a hat factory and chemical works, all within sight of the crooked spire. he owners of the two mills in the area, which are listed by English Heritage for their historical significance, opened the buildings for the occasions.

They were able to see the nationally important construction of Walton Bump Mill, one of the earliest buildings in the world to be fire proofed in this way.

They then went on past Brampton’s early pottery and pit sites to view Cannon Mill.

Conference organiser David Palmer said the event had been a great success and attracted people from as far afield as London.

David added that he hoped NEDIAS would be able to organise future events, highlighting more of the rich industrial heritage of our area.

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