CRICH TRAMWAY VILLAGE
Crich is a fascinating, if unusual village. It has a lighthouse, yet is situated in the middle of England, and trams still clank along in a worked-out quarry, far away from the cities they used to serve.
The famous railway engineer, George Stephenson who designed the ‘Rocket’, built the Crich Mineral Railway in 1837, to carry limestone from Cliff Quarry to a battery of limekilns at Ambergate.
When the quarry was exhausted, it was converted into a tramway museum. Now known as Crich Tramway Village, it has been an important tourist attraction in Derbyshire for over 40 years. Vintage trams run every few minutes along a period street out into open countryside with spectacular countryside views.
Behind the façade of the Old Derby Assembly Rooms, is an exhibition hall that houses trams from all over the world and tells the story from horse drawn to electric motor. The Workshop Viewing Gallery allows visitors to see for themselves the restoration and repair work that takes place on a daily basis.
The Museum's library holds a treasure trove of books, reports and Acts of Parliament
covering the development of tramways not only in this country, but in Northern America, Europe and other parts of the world.
Apart from trams many of the books and journals contain information on buses, trolleybuses and metros, enabling researchers to study the development of the transport system. In addition town planning and a wide range of inter related subjects can be studied.
The cobbled village street has been carefully restored and is the home to an interesting collection of old buildings. Visitors are welcome to browse around the shops and to enjoy a rest and refreshment in either the pub or the tea shop.
In keeping with the period setting, old fashioned jars of sweets are on display at the Emporium together with a wide range of confectionary and gifts. The Forge supplies plenty to interest the transport enthusiast as well as a wide selection of gifts.
Rising above the quarry at a safe distance from the edge, is Crich Stand. Built in 1923, it is dedicated to the memory of the men who died in the Sherwood Foresters Regiment during the Great War. Subsequently the men who served in the Second World War have been remembered. A pilgrimage takes place on the first Sunday of July each year for a memorial service.
It is a landmark that can be seen for miles around and on a bright day it is possible to see Lincoln Cathedral, 50 miles away. This is the third stone built tower on the site and before that there was at least one wooden structure. It is thought a bonfire was lit here to celebrate the defeat of the Spanish Armada; now it is a light powered by electricity that lights up the sky.
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CRICH TRAMWAY VILLAGE
Boasts a large array of vintage trams from all over the world. Unlimited rides through a period street to stunning views over the Derwent Valley. For further information (Tel. 01773 852565) website:www.tramway.co.uk
Check the tramway website for special events. Also watch out for details on the What's On Page on this site.
THE ULTIMATE DRIVING EXPERIENCE
A specially arranged package that enables a visitor to spend a day learning to drive a vintage tram. After learning the theory in the morning, the afternoon session is spent driving a vintage tram under the guidance of an instructor. Before leaving a 'Passing Out' certificate is presented.
The Village Tea Rooms:
serve soup, sandwiches, cakes and drinks all day.
The Red Lion: a former public house situated in Stoke-on-Trent, it was taken down and carefully restored as part of the Tramway Village. The pub serves meals as well as refreshments.
Packed Lunches: visitors who bring their own food will find plenty of picnic benches.
THE DISCOVER DERBYSHIRE AND THE PEAK DISTRICT GUIDE
Provides a wide range of features with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.
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The village sits on top of an expanse of limestone because of a geological accident in what otherwise is a gritstone area. It was the minerals underneath the cliff face which bought its fortune.
Quiet lanes, field and woodland paths lead to the impressive ruins of Wingfield Manor. The walk then returns through lovely countryside to one of Derbyshire’s most famous viewpoints at Crich Stand.
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