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After regaining control of the mineral rights, the Duke increased production and with further investment, mining at Ecton was averaging about a thousand tons of copper per year from 1763 onwards. Industry on that scale transformed the rural landscape and the effects could also be felt across neighbouring counties as associated industries produced mining tools, coal, iron, ropes, baskets, sieves, riddles and candles. With the copper located deep underground in vertical seams, accounts show that miners used around 10,000 candles every year. Locally, the mine provided plenty of work, not just for the miners, but also for skilled craftsmen such as carpenters and blacksmiths and men, women and children who worked on the dressing floors, sorting and grading the copper, or at nearby Stamps Mill on the River Manifold where the ore was crushed.


With the mine making huge profits, the Duke hoped to realise his ambition of turning Buxton into a spa town to rival the splendour of Bath. Between 1780 and 1784, he employed the renowned architect John Carr to build The Crescent, which when completed contained hotels, an Assembly Room, ballroom, shops and a townhouse for himself. Profits from the Ecton mines also funded the building of The Stables, which held an exercise ring under what was once the largest unsupported dome in the world. The Stables were later donated to charity by


The mine managers house


Ecton Folly country images 9


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