Quarry & Diggers

Starting in the shadow of the old United Steel Cos. tipping dock which still has a residue of raw ore littered around the base, join our walk back in time to explore the way in which this basic commodity was extracted from Rutland and the east midlands from Victorian times.

The visitor follows the rail line as it runs into the quarry area and then follows the historic field hedgeline past our “Digger Playpen” where old machines are regularly put through their paces and operated for visitors.

Our viewing area looks down into the quarry area where the distinctive local limestone geology has been stripped away to reveal the ironstone ore beds.

Our Ruston face shovel operates from time to time with our now unique standard gauge quarry railway. When it is safe, our guide will allow visits to the quarry floor when you can see the machines in close detail.

Our trail includes imposing relics from the industry including the driving cab from W1800 “Sundew”, a huge dragline machine specifically built for the local Exton Park quarries in the 1950’s and named after the Grand National winner from 1957. SUNDEW achieved fame when it “walked” the 13 miles from Exton to Corby in the 1970’s, an event covered by the BBC Blue Peter programme when John Nokes drove the machine a few feet!

Visitors can sit in the cab of a dragline machine placed over our quarry area to see the driver’s eye view of the old working environment.

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