Geologically, Crich lies on a small inlier of Carboniferous limestone (an outcrop on the edge of the Peak District surrounded by younger Upper Carboniferous rocks).
Quarrying for limestone probably began in Roman times. In 1791 Benjamin Outram and Samuel Beresford bought land for a quarry to supply limestone to their new ironworks at Butterley.
This became known as Hilt’s Quarry, and the stone was transported down a steep wagonway to the Butterley Company Gangroad, to the Cromford Canal at Bullbridge. The wagons ran downhill by gravity and were hauled back up by teams of horses until steam traction was introduced in 1860 Near there they also built lime kilns for supplying farmers and for the increasing amount of building work.
Apart from a period when it was leased to Albert Banks, the quarry and kilns were operated by the Butterley Company until 1933.
George Stephenson built the second mineral railway in 1841, linking Church Quarry and Cliff Quarry with his lime kilns beside the canal at Ambergate. The Butterley Companys line closed in 1932, whilst Stephensons original line latterly used deisel locomotives before eventually closing in 1957.
The Quarry was last used by Aggregate Industries and has been closed approx 2 years.