Peak District Mining Heritage Walks and Underground Mine Trips

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Here are the guided walks and underground mine visits we currently have planned for the next few months in the Derbyshire Peak District. Do keep checking back here, as more walks and underground trips will be added to the list. 

All our walks are free, and are open to all (not just PDMHS members). However, pre-booking is required when walks are limited to a certain number of people. As the walks are all also weather-dependent, we can keep you informed by email of any changes or cancellation in the event of bad weather. You can contact us at meets@pdmhs.com. Any changes due to weather conditions will also be posted on the website, so it is advisable to check back here before you set out.

Also, if you are planning on attending with a large number of friends, it would be worth checking with us in advance about car parking availability. 

Donate to support the work of Peak District Mines Historical SocietyOur walks are free but if you would like to express your appreciation, a donation would be very welcome. Alternatively you might like to join PDMHS.

Insurance is compulsory for those going on underground trips. The PDMHS UEG (Underground Exploration Group) can arrange this if you don’t already hold BCA insurance. You can contact the UEG here.

If you want to find out more information about any of our guided mining and industrial heritage walks, contact Chris at meets@pdmhs.com


Sunday August 12th – Mining Heritage Walk to Longstone Edge, Longstone Moor, and Stoney Middleton. CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER CONDITIONS.

Apologies to anyone who was planning to come on this walk, but it will be rescheduled in the near future.

Leader – Chris James

An all day circular walk timed to take advantage of the rare limestone heather being in flower. The walk is approximately 7 miles in length, and will involve a total ascent of about 250m. to its highest point. Meet at 10.30 in the car park next to the playing fields at the bottom of Coombs Dale OS grid ref SK236751, on the left of the A623 just before you get into Stoney Middleton (coming from Calver crossroads). This walk is free and open to all – no pre-booking required. Bring a packed lunch and a drink. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads as we will be on sheep pasture for much of the walk.

On our route, we will pass the entrance to Sallet Hole Mine (which was working until relatively recently), then go up to look at the former opencast fluorspar workings along Hard Rake on Longstone Edge, before heading over to Longstone Moor to inspect an old tramway connected with fluorspar mining, and the site of Cackle Mackle Mine. We will then return to our starting point via the settling lagoons of Cavendish Mill and the disused limestone quarries and lime kilns of Stoney Middleton. Lots of other stuff to see on the way!

Optional drink in the Moon Inn, Stoney Middleton, afterwards.


Tuesday August 14th – Underground trip into Owlet Hole Mine, Matlock Bath

Leader – Adam Russell
Meet at 19:00 at the Mining Museum, Matlock Bath. 8 places available. Insurance is required for this trip – the PDMHS UEG (Underground Exploration Group) can arrange this if you don’t already hold BCA insurance.

This easy trip will visit Owlet Hole Mine, a small but interesting site above Temple Mine which shows evidence of mining from the 17th century through to modern times. The trip is suitable for novices. It involves a climb on a fixed ladder but this will be roped up if required. Optional drinks in the Fishpond afterwards.


Thursday August 23rd – Heritage walk in Eccleshall Woods, Sheffield

Leader- Rob Hindle. 10.00am start (estimated finish 12-12:30). This is a pleasant woodland walk of about 7km with little climb, pausing at about a dozen of the more interesting features. I don’t claim any special expert knowledge of the area and will be pleased to hear from anyone who can add to what I have managed to find out.

An audit of Ecclesall woods identified over 1000 historical features. These include some which are of coal and ganister mining interest – including evidence of a small coal mine worked by two men until early WW2. Relevant to the lead industry are what is described as “a lead smelting mill”, numerous Q-pits and some nearby fields which were known as “upper and lower belland”.

Please note: as this is the first time we have arranged a heritage walk on a weekday during the daytime (rather than in the evening), booking is essential on this walk to make sure there is enough interest to make it worth running.

There are now enough signed up to confirm that the walk will be going ahead, however pre-registration is still required.  Should it be necessary to cancel/postpone (e.g. severe weather) you will be contacted by email.

Please contact meets@pdmhs.com to book your place as soon as possible. There is no charge for the walk, and details of the meeting place will be sent by email closer to the date.


Tuesday August 28th – Heritage walk to Chelmorton Low

Leader – Adam Russell
Meet at 19:00 outside the Church Inn, Chelmorton. This walk is free and open to all – no pre-booking required.
This short walk is a re-run of the one scheduled for April which was rained off, and will visit sites of interest on Chelmorton Low, including a number of mines, prehistoric barrows, and limekilns, as well as taking in some fine views. It will involve ascents and descents on steep slopes so please wear suitable footwear – though hopefully this time the ground will be dry! Optional drinks afterwards in the Church Inn.


Tuesday 11th September – Underground trip into Goodluck Mine, Via Gellia

Leaders: Paul Chandler & GLMPC Member. 
This visit is courtesy of the Goodluck Mine Preservation Club (GLMPC).

An opportunity to explore this fascinating old lead mine which is full of interesting features.

Two trips will be on offer: An easy walk around type trip, which will explore the quite extensive ‘visitor route’ in the mine and a more adventurous trip exploring the workings off the visitor route. BCA Insurance is essential for the ‘adventurous trip’, but optional for the other trip. Brief details of both trips are as follows:

Adventurous trip – Leader: GLMPC (tbc). Climbing lots of fixed ladders, crawly bits, etc, but no SRT. Oversuit recommended.

Easy trip – Leader: Paul Chandler. All walking/stooping size passages. Dry, apart from puddles/drips. Muddy underfoot in places. Boilersuit or old clothes fine for this trip.

It is well worth bringing a camera or smartphone for either trip. Duration of both trips is 2hrs (approx), and there is a maximum of ten places available. Priority will be given to Society members, who have not visited before. Donation of £5 requested (free for GLMPC members). To book your place(s), get details of the meeting time/place, please contact Paul, either by email at  meets@pdmhs.com or tel 01246-220773. Please state your trip preference when booking. Optional drink after trip in the local area. Reference: “Lead Mining in the Peak District” edited by T D Ford & J H Rieuwerts (2000 edition).


Tuesday 25th September 2018 – Underground Trip into Holmebank Chert Mine, Bakewell

Leader: Paul Chandler.
Meet 7.15pm Holme Lane, Bakewell, parking on the lane. Insurance is required for this trip – the PDMHS UEG (Underground Exploration Group) can arrange this if you don’t already hold BCA insurance.
Another opportunity for Society members (& guests) to explore this interesting, quite extensive mine, with around five miles of passages! An ideal trip for novices and also of interest to experienced explorers. An easy grade, dry trip. A boilersuit or old clothes are fine for this trip. Mostly large, walking or stooping size passages and easy scrambles. The popular through trip is planned, exiting via the quarry entrance. Well worth bringing a camera/smartphone, as this is quite a photogenic mine. Everyone attending will need BCA insurance or similar. Party size is not limited, but booking is advisable by contacting Paul, either by email: meets@pdmhs.com or tel: 01246-220773. Optional drink after trip in local area. Access by permission of Oldfield Design, Bakewell. References: Mining History (PDMHS) Vol.13, No.5 (1998) & Vol.19, No.6 (2017).  


HELMETS & CAPLAMPS AVAILABLE FOR HIRE. 
If you would like to borrow a caplamp & helmet for yourself and/or a guest(s) for either of the 2 trips above, please contact Paul Chandler, who has a limited number of caplamps, helmets & other equipment for a nominal cost, eg a pint at the pub! 


Sunday September 30th – Barmote Court walk in the Monyash area

 
Leader – Adam Russell
Meet at 10:00am by the market cross, Monyash.
This walk, timed to be as close as possible to the date of the Autumn High Peak Barmote Court, will have a general theme of mining law and disputes. It will visit the ancient and extensive workings on Whalf Pipe, crossing over to Flagg then from there crossing into Ashford Liberty to view Highlow and Hard Rake. We will then return to Monyash, passing Greensward Rake on the way, and call in at the churchyard to view the grave of Charles Millington, the last of the independent Peak lead miners. The walk will in end the Bull’s Head Inn, where the Great Barmote Court of the High Peak met, to partake of ale in the traditional manner (though not in the traditional quantities!).

Underground mine trips restarted

As members will be aware, PDMHS had to temporarily suspend underground trips last year because our existing insurance was not providing sufficient cover for underground activities. PDMHS needs more people to help us record, survey, and preserve the underground heritage of Derbyshire’s mines, so the solution we have decided on is the formation of an autonomous group within PDMHS. It will be called the Underground Exploration Group (UEG), and will apply for member club status with the British Caving Association and take part in the BCA Public Liability Insurance scheme. Continue reading

Duckmanton Railway Cutting and Arkwright Town, near Chesterfield.

Saturday 17th February 2018. Only one place still available.

Prior booking essential – meeting arrangements will be supplied when booking your place(s).

Organiser: Paul Chandler. 
Paul Guion (East Midlands Geological Society) has kindly agreed to show us around this very important and unique geological site. A short, easy walk from Arkwright Town will bring us to the Duckmanton Railway Cutting (located on the long closed Lancashire, Derbyshire & East Coast Railway line between Chesterfield and Lincoln). The cutting is now split by a filled bridge, with access to the west side being over a stile and down some concrete steps. Access to the east side is over another stile and down a zig-zag inclined path. As the railway cutting will be wet underfoot, wellies are essential. Please also bring a helmet (if you require one, please mention it when booking, as Paul’s stock is limited).
Further information and photographs of Duckmanton Railway Cutting can be found here.
In addition, Paul will be giving us the background to the fascinating story of why an entire Derbyshire coal mining village, Arkwright Town, was “moved” in the 1990s.
 
Duration approx 2hrs. Party size is limited to 20 (including 5 places for Masson Caving Group members). Booking is essential, and priority will be given to PDMHS and MCC members. Contact Paul at meets@pdmhs.com or tel: 01246-220773. If over-subscribed, you will be added to a reserve list.
Visit is courtesy of Derbyshire Wildlife Trust (permit supplied) and many thanks to Paul Guion for leading the walk.   
 
Donate to Peak District Mines Historical Society
 Please help us to keep these walks free by giving us a donation if you are not already a member of PDMHS. Alternatively, why not join us?

Underground Trip – Milldam Fluorspar Mine, Great Hucklow.

Saturday 17th March 2018 (date to be confirmed). Meeting arrangements will be supplied when booking your place(s).

Please note: this trip is now fully booked.

Milldam Mine - the last working fluorspar mine in Derbyshire. Photo © Chris James

The last PDMHS visit into Milldam Mine in November 2016

Organiser: Paul Chandler.

A second opportunity for Society members to visit this, the last working fluorspar mine in Derbyshire. We will be able to see the progress made since our previous visit in November 2016. Just the one trip this time – a morning visit – which will last around two hours. We will be walking around the mine, so no crawling involved! Photography is allowed, so bring a camera if you wish, but please don’t post any pictures on social media. 
There are 20 places available on a members-only basis (10 places allocated to PDMHS members & 10 for Masson Caving Group members). To book your place(s), contact Paul, either by email at meets@pdmhs.com or tel: 01246-220773. Preference will be given to Society members who have not visited before, but please book early! If over-subscribed, you will be added to a reserve list. Sorry, this is a members-only trip – no guests allowed. As our visit will be covered by the company’s insurance, the minimum age limit is fifteen years, but there is no upper age limit.
Wear overalls/old clothes and wellies (it will be wet underfoot in places), a helmet and a hi-vis jacket/vest (if you have one). Lamps & self-rescuers will be supplied, though if you have your own belt for the lamp & self-rescuer that might be useful.
Many thanks to Richard at British Fluorspar Limited for arranging the visit.