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.

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

Underground mine trip in Maury Sough © Martin LongOur underground mine trips are organised by the PDMHS UEG (Underground Exploration Group), which is free to join for PDMHS members. Insurance is compulsory for those going on underground trips, but the UEG can arrange this if you don’t already hold BCA insurance. You can contact the UEG here.

 


Tuesday 16 July – Underground trip into Pretoria Chert Mine, Bakewell

This trip is now fully booked, but we have started a waiting list in case of any cancellations. Contact meets@pdmhs.com if you would liked to be added to the list.

Leader  – John Barnatt

This trip will visit one of the best-preserved mines in the Peak, which was worked for chert until the 1960s. It has impressive packwalls and lots of artefacts still in place. For more information see Mining History vol.19 no.6.

Apart from a short fixed ladder climb at the entrance, the trip will mostly involve walking height passages and so is suitable for novices.

10 places available. Prior booking is essential.


Tuesday 6th August – Mining Heritage Walk to Magpie Mine, Sheldon. 

The Square Chimney at Magpie Lead Mine in the Peak District. Photo © Andy GillingsLeader: Paul Chandler.
 
This is a short EVENING walk, mainly on grass, with some uneven terrain.
The walk involves a full tour around the magnificent surface remains of Magpie Mine. Learn about its fascinating history of over 300 years, including a rich ore strike, huge financial losses, the ‘murders‘ and more. You can read more about Magpie Mine here.
 
Meet in Ashford-in-the-Water village, near the sheepwash bridge and church, where there is a small car park & street parking. Due to the shorter evenings at this time of year, we will then drive from the meeting place in Ashford (sharing cars) up to Magpie Mine, Sheldon & back.
Party size is limited to 10. To book your place(s), and for the meeting time or further details, please contact Paul Chandler, either by email at meets@pdmhs.com or phone on 07908-607513 (Mobile/Text is best).  

Bring usual walking clothes & boots or wellies, a torch (for viewing mine shafts) and a camera. Sorry, no dogs on this walk.


Tuesday 13 August – Underground SRT trip into Water Icicle Mine, Monyash

 Leader – Martin Long

This trip will visit this part-mined, part natural system which has been extended in recent years. There are large cave passages and evidence of the miners removing the stalacmites which gave the mine its name.

Meet at the end of Derby Lane, Monyash, at 7 PM – there is a permit system in place for parking so please arrange in advance with Martin to get these.

As access is through a 100’ deep shaft, participants must be competent in SRT and come suitably equipped.

There are 6 places available on this trip – advance booking is essential. Contact ueg@pdmhs.com to book your place.

For more information about Water Icicle Mine, see here.

Members who would be interested in getting trained in SRT (single rope techinque) should contact Martin Long at ueg@pdmhs.com. If there is demand for this then a training session can be arranged.


Tuesday 24 September – Underground trip into Old Tor Mine, Castleton 

Leader – Adam Russell

This blue john mine is located in the Winnats Pass, and is a great opportunity to see what this famed decorative mineral looks like in situ.

The trip is mostly in walking height passages but there is a steep climb down to the lower part of the mine which will be rigged with a ladder and handline.

Meet at Speedwell Mine, Castleton at 7.00 PM. 

There are 8 places available on this trip – advance booking is essential. Contact ueg@pdmhs.com to book your place.


Tuesday 1st October – Underground trip into MASSON CAVERN, Matlock Bath.

Leader: Tony Wood.

An evening trip with a limited number of places. BCA Insurance or similar is essential. Permission to visit is courtesy of “Heights of Abraham”.

An ideal trip for novices and experienced explorers alike. Easy grade, quite extensive mined/natural system, mainly walking/stooping size passages on this trip, with a number of large and impressive mined/natural caverns. Fine mineralisation in places. Dry trip, apart from puddles. Preference is being given to Society members who have not visited before. However, don’t delay, as any remaining places will be offered to Society members on waiting list from 1st August. Party size is limited, with places split equally with our friends at Masson Caving Group.

For further details, bookings; Contact Paul Chandler, either by email at meets@pdmhs.com or phone on 07908-607513 (Mobile/Text is best).  

Matlock Cable Tramway Walk Report

Sunday 28th April dawned a pleasant day after the horrendous weather of the previous day. Nine of us met Paul Chandler at the picnic site / car park in Darley Dale. We started off towards Warney Mill, a former corn water mill. This was acquired by one Herbert Harding from Matlock and used as a caravan site. He later sold furniture direct to the public. On Sundays the items were included in an expensive pound of carrots to work around the then Sunday trading laws. The site is now better known as DFS. 

Continue reading

Stoney Middleton Mining Heritage Walk Report

The weather forecasts before our walk on October 13th had been pretty ominous, with rain, high winds and even lightening forecast. But PDMHS walkers are a hardy bunch, and a total of 14 of us turned out to brave the elements at our meeting place at the bottom of Coombs Dale in Stoney Middleton

This was an all-day circular walk which was packed with features of mining interest. Only a couple of fields from our starting point, we crossed over Peakstone Rake by the site of Wren Park Mine, before entering Coombsdale Wood with its old limestone quarry. The quarry has been used as a tip for domestic waste in the past, and here we found a large shaft covered with scaffolding poles – which we concluded was probably an old lime kiln which has been almost completely buried by the tipping. 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?

Stanton Moor Industrial Heritage Walk Report

As with many of our recent walks, we were lucky with the weather at the end of October for our guided heritage walk looking at some of the disused gritstone quarries on Stanton Moor. Fourteen of us met near Birchover, including one couple whose ancestors quarried at Stanton for at least 200 years. They brought with them the wonderful photograph below of several members of their family with a steam crane at one of the quarries. 

A steam crane at one of the quarries on Stanton Moor Continue reading