It is famous as the birthplace of James Brindley, pioneer builder of Britain's canals. He was born in 1716 in a farmhouse on the edge of the village and with the encouragement of his mother he became an apprentice millwright in Leek. By 1875 the farm had fallen into ruins, marked only by an ashtree, when a monument to his memory was placed in nearby Wormhill. By 1958, the ashtree also had gone, and the Derbyshire Archaeological Society planted a sapling in its place and erected another monument. Tunstead is also famous for the quarry, on the other side of the old Midland Railway line from Millers Dale to Chapel en le Frith. Being just outside the boundary of the Peak District National Park it is probably the most extensively worked in the area, yielding high quality limestone exceptionally free of volcanic rock.