The large blue grey stone of Caledonian granite, known as an erratic, located outside the former corner shop at the Dolly Lane junction in Brierley Green, Buxworth, has a interesting history, writes Keith Holford.
When the Midland Railway began the construction of the line between Manchester and Derby in 1865-66, several large boulders, remnants of the moraine brought into the Peak District by Ice Age glaciers, were found.
The story goes that two navvies had a bet as to how far they could roll the stone from the Bugsworth Basin, and it ended up where it still rests.
The line was opened to goods traffic on October 1, 1866. On the night of October 31, 1866, there was a landslip and a five-arched viaduct, 17 acres of land and a farmhouse, What Hey, slipped into the Black Brook.
The station remained unscathed, but when the lines were reopened to goods traffic on January 24, 1867, the new lines ran on the north side of the station, making Bugsworth station “back to front.” Bugsworth Station closed on September 15, 1958.
However, the history of the stone continued. The shop corner was a North Western Omnibus stop, and over the years the bottoms of hundreds of shop customers and prospective bus passengers had polished the surface of the erratic, so that it had patina of its own.
When the shop known as ‘The Top Shop’ closed, the new owner sand-blasted all those years of polished patina away to leave a rough cast surface.
However, the planning application to remove the erratic and improve the off-road parking was foiled by representations from villagers to the local authority.