Updated 30 Jun 2011

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 626


Engine shed photoed 1951 from Cemetery Lane bridge. Class 3F 0-6-0 No 43763.
[Credit Roger Griffiths collection]

The Engine Shed photoed on 25 Apr 1953.

Wirksworth Yard taken 5 Aug 1952, looking South. Engine shed on the left, Goods shed on the right in the distance. Compare with the 1922 rail layout below.

Wirksworth Engine Shed

Investigating the building behind the loco on a photo taken about 1874, I realised it was not the Engine shed. Enquiring about the real Wirksworth Engine shed, I received this interesting reply from Roger Griffiths of the Engine Shed Society. More information is given in "The Wirksworth Branch" by Howard Sprenger.
See also emails.

Hello John, your e-mail through the Engine Shed Society website has been forwarded to me to answer.

Wirksworth engine shed opened 1 October 1867 and housed locomotives working the branch passenger services and also the considerable stone traffic. However, it closed for locomotive use in 1900, when engines were sent out on a daily basis from Derby. The engine shed was adapted for goods use, which continued until the late 1960s at least. When the building was demolished has yet to be determined.

You are correct in assuming the "small roof" running along the ridge of the main roof was for ventilation purposes. Such roof vents have had several appellations, usually dependent upon the railway that constructed them: clerestory, ridge vent, central vent etc., come to mind.

Here are two pictures from my private collection, which you are welcome to use if you wish; just credit them to my collection; no fee required. The picture taken from the rear clearly shows the two small building extensions, one of which would have been the shed office/mess room the other would have been for stores and a workshop for minor repairs. The chimney would have served the sand-drying furnace inside the shed and also, probably as a flue for a coal fire in the office and possibly a small forge in the repair shop. The two lines of rail inside the shed would have been provided with inspection pits between the rails for fire cleaning, oiling around and repairs etc.

Lastly, when opened the shed was provided with coaling facilities - type and location unknown - a water tank and 42 foot diameter turntable that were both sited at the rear of the building, close by the bridge from which the rear view of the shed was taken. Coaling would have ended in 1900 but the tank and turntable remained in use for visiting locomotives; both are visible on the OS 1955 edition, but the turntable had gone by the time of the 1968 OS with the engine shed and tank still in situ.

I hope all this is of assistance to you - best wishes and thank you for your interest.

Roger Griffiths

Taken from the 1922 OS map, showing the Cemetery Lane bridge, the circular turntable, the water tank and the Engine shed, with the Goods shed further right.
Building drawings for the Wirksworth engine shed, perhaps from 1867. The "clerestory roof" for steam ventilation is distinctive. Tall chimney and Inspection pits are shown.


----Anyone with more details for publication on this webpage, please email ----

Tony Booth writes
Hi John,
I have had a response from my Colleague Paul Smith as below.
Best Regards - Tony

Many thanks for your enquiry. It was common practice for roofs to be vented in this fashion, and they were generally termed as "Louvre roofs". I have attached a pic of the shed, taken in 1956 by J Shelbourn and reproduced in "LMS Engine Sheds, Volume 2" Page 247 by Hawkins & Reeve. [ISBN 0 906867 05 3]
The information that we have for the depot is thus:
Located at SK28945432 on the west side of the line, north of Wirksworth Station, it was opened by the Midland Railway on October 1st, 1867. It was a stone-built 2TS dead ended shed with a slated gable-style roof and the facilities included a water tank and turntable. The depot closed in 1900 and was converted to a goods shed, surviving in this form until 1968. It was subsequently demolished*
Hope that this is of some assistance.
Best wishes
Paul Smith
* PS If you have local knowledge as to the date when it was demolished, we would be pleased to hear it

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