Mined for its clay, iron and
coal, Ripley is most famous for its association
with the industrialist Benjamin Outram, one of a
group of men who founded the local Butterley
Ironworks which went on to create the roof of St
Pancras station in London. More recently the
Butterley Company produced the Falkirk Wheel, the
world’s first rotating boat lift.
The town’s weekly market was established by Royal Charter in the 13th century. Nearby is the Midland Railway-Butterley, which has a remarkable museum, a vast collection of railway memorabilia and offers visitors a seven-mile steam trip through the Amber Valley.
At Heage is the only fully restored tower windmill in Derbyshire to have kept its sails and machinery.