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Clay Cross Heritage Trail

Type:Town Trail

Market Street
Clay Cross
S45 9JE
Clay Cross


Clay Cross sits on Ryknield Street, the Roman road that ran between Derby and Chesterfield and which later became a turnpike road before becoming the A61 that we drive along today.

When ‘Father of the Railways’ George Stephenson came to the area to survey the route of the train line between Derby and Leeds, he found Clay Cross on its high ridge, standing in his way. The solution was to tunnel under it and it was during this work that George found coal and ironstone in large quantities. This led George and his son Robert to set up the Clay Cross Company. You can explore the town’s relationship with the coal industry by taking several diversions along the way.

We start out at the tunnel ventilator on the corner of Market Street and Bridge Street. This is a reminder that a tunnel runs 44 metres (48 yards) under your feet, and trains still run along this line today.

The walk continues around the town passing other points of interest. Please allow at least 1½ hours to walk the route, longer if you want to include the extras. Scroll down the page to download the leaflet.

Guide Prices

Free of charge



  • On-site catering
  • On-site light refreshments


  • Free Parking

Property Facilities

  • Public toilets


  • Typical duration of route - Allow at least 1½ hours

Opening Times

Season (1 Jan 2024 - 31 Dec 2024)
Monday - SundayOpen
Bank HolidayOpen

* Open all day every day


Map & Directions

Road Directions

Parking is available at the Bus Station on Bridge Street in Clay Cross.

From North/South Leave M1 motorway at junction 29 and take A617 to Chesterfield (approx 4 miles). At roundabout select left lane and take 1st exit (A61, Derby Road) Follow road for approx 5 miles to Clay Cross, going straight on at all sets of traffic lights and roundabouts. Pass Tesco and, at the roundabout, take the second exit (A61). Take the second left turning into Eyre Street (A6175). At the end, turn left onto Bridge Street and the Bus Station is on the right.

From East Follow A617 to M1 motorway roundabout then follow route from North/South.

From West Follow A619 to Chesterfield. At traffic light controlled roundabout (Matalan) select middle lane and take 3rd exit. Keep in left lane and, at traffic lights, go straight on. At roundabout select right hand lane and take 3rd exit. At next roundabout select right hand lane and take 3rd exit (A61, Derby Road, then follow route from North/South

Public Transport Directions

Nearest train station Chesterfield 5 miles away

Bus 51 or 54 from Chesterfield town centre, frequent service

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Clay CrossClay Cross, ChesterfieldA small town developed by the 'Father of the Railways' George Stephenson, who discovered coal whilst building the Clay Cross Tunnel and founded the Clay Cross Company. The tunnel still survives today and is know locally as the Mile Long.

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