Peak District Mining Heritage Walks and Underground Mine Trips

Featured

Here are the guided walks and underground mine visits we currently have planned for the next couple of 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. 

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

Our 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.

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

17TH APRIL (TUESDAY) – MINING HERITAGE WALK, LATHKILL DALE (EAST)

Meet at 7.15pm in Over Haddon village car park (pay & display).

Leader: Paul Chandler.

A short walk viewing the entrances to mines (mainly) including Mandale Mine & Sough, Gank Hole Mine and Sideways Level. This walk will be of interest to Society members from an exploration perspective, and copies of surveys will be available to view. Bring usual walking equipment: camera, torch, OS Explorer Map White Peak area OL24 useful. Party size is not limited – all are welcome! Optional drinks afterwards at the Lathkil Hotel, Over Haddon.

24TH APRIL (TUESDAY) – MINING HERITAGE WALK, CHELMORTON LOW

Meet at 7.00pm on the road outside Chelmorton Church.

Leader – Adam Russell

A relatively short evening walk up onto Chelmorton Low to look at the mining remains, the prehistoric archaeology, and a source of embarrassment to both the walk leader and John Barnatt! Weather permitting, there will be fine views of the surrounding area. Some steep slopes so stout footwear with good grip is advisable. Party size is not limited – all are welcome!

Optional drinks afterwards in the Church Inn, Chelmorton.

8TH MAY (TUESDAY) – MINING HERITAGE WALK, DEEPDALE AND WHALE SOUGH

Meet at 7.00pm in the parking area on the Sheldon-Chelmorton Road (grid reference SK157685).

Leader – Adam Russell

This walk will look at mining remains in the area of Deepdale, and hopefully will coincide with the cowslips and early purple orchids on the daleside being in full flower. En route, we will pass by the 18th century Whale Sough and the prehistoric settlements of the dale. This walk is about 2.5 miles long, and will involve rough ground and a steep descent, so stout footwear is advisable. Party size is not limited – all are welcome!

Optional drinks afterwards at the Cock and Pullet, Sheldon.

13TH MAY (SUNDAY) – MINING HERITAGE WALK, GRASSINGTON MOOR AREA (YORKSHIRE DALES)

Meet at 10.30am in the National Park Centre car park in Grassington village (note: we will not be parking here).

Organiser: Paul Chandler.

A short, easy walk viewing the extensive mining remains on Grassington Moor. Bring usual walking equipment, camera, torch, packed lunch & drink, OS Explorer Map Yorkshire Dales – Southern & Western areas OL2 useful. Party size is not limited but BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL. To book your place(s), or for further information, contact Paul Chandler on 01246 220773 or at paulchandler3@btinternet.com. Lift available.

16TH MAY (WEDNESDAY) – UNDERGROUND TRIP INTO MOULDRIDGE MINE, PIKEHALL

Trip Co-ordinator – Vicky Bell (Masson Caving Group). Please text/phone on 07792 757953 or by email to vickybell@hotmail.co.uk to book your place. BCA insurance and prior booking is essential.

This is an easy grade, dry trip, ideal for novices, but also of interest to more experienced explorers. Quite a complex, but compact mine on different levels. The passages are mostly walking or stooping size, with very little crawling! Come and try the ‘banana slide’ and see if you can negotiate the ‘ore chute’ squeeze? A great little mine and a fun trip!

This is a Masson Caving Club trip, to which UEG members are invited as guests.

20TH MAY (SUNDAY) – UNDERGROUND TRIP INTO DEEP ECTON MINE AND SALTS LEVEL, ECTON

Leader: John Barnatt

An easy-grade trip into this spectacular mine. Wear oversuit or boilersuit. Helmet and appropriate lighting are essential. Wellingtons are recommended as some passages are wet underfoot. The trip will concentrate on the history/archaeology of the mine, and will involve ascending the ladderway to Salts Level, with 120ft of fixed ladders between the two workings.

The trip is limited to 12 places, plus leader/backstop. Booking is essential. There is a £5 trespass fee per person for the Ecton Mines Educational Trust who use their funds to maintain the mine.

To book your place, get meeting time/place – contact John Barnatt by email at meets@pdmhs.com. Bookings will be taken on first come first served basis from Saturday 5th May onwards (please to not contact John before that date – the answer will be contact him on the right day).

5TH JUNE (TUESDAY) – MINING HERITAGE WALK, LATHKILL DALE (WEST)

Meet at 7.15pm in Monyash village, outside the Old Smithy Cafe.

Leader: Paul Chandler.

A short walk viewing the entrances to the many caves & mines at the top end of Lathkill Dale, including Lathkillhead Cave, Boulder Pot, Engine Close Mine, Cascade Cavern, et al. This walk will be of interest to Society members from an exploration perspective, and copies of surveys will be available to view. Please note that the walk will involve a short, steep descent down steps into Lathkill Dale itself. Bring usual walking equipment, camera, torch, OS Explorer Map White Peak area OL24 useful. Party size is not limited – all are welcome!

Optional drinks afterwards at The Bulls Head, Monyash.

19TH JUNE (TUESDAY) – UNDERGROUND TRIP INTO CASCADE CAVERN, MONYASH

Leader: Martin Long.

An evening meet. An opportunity to explore this mined/natural system of limited extent. Grade: Moderate. The entrance shaft of 40ft(12m) will be rigged for both SRT & ladder, plus handline climb on steep slope. A dry trip. Society members attending MUST be proficient at either SRT and/or ladder climbing. Max 5 people plus leader. Guests are welcome but priority will be given to UEG members. BOOKING ESSENTIAL. To book your place and for meeting arrangements, contact ueg@pdmhs.com

Reference: Caves of the Peak District – The River Lathkill Catchment Area (2010 Edition).

Optional drink afterwards at The Bulls Head, Monyash.

24TH JUNE (SUNDAY) – UNDERGROUND TRIP INTO CLAYTON MINE, ECTON

Leader: John Barnatt

This is long and, in parts, wet trip into this impressive mine. Wear oversuit or boilersuit; helmet and appropriate lighting is essential. Wet suit socks are a good idea as the water in the entrance level is often just over Wellington depth; bring a change of clothes for afterwards. The trip will concentrate on the history/archaeology of the mine. The pipeworkings above adit level may be explored, but the ‘Cascades’ link to Chadwick Mine will not be included. Bring flask and sandwiches to have underground.

The trip is limited to 12 places, plus leader/backstop. Booking is essential. There is a £5 trespass fee per person for the Ecton Mines Educational Trust who use their funds to maintain the mine.

To book your place, get meeting time/place – contact John Barnatt by email at meets@pdmhs.com. Bookings will be taken on first come first served basis from Saturday 9th June onwards (please to not contact John before that date – the answer will be contact him on the right day).


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.