Peak District Mining Heritage Walks and Underground Mine Trips


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.

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

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 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. 

The 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 James at

Sunday 11 February – Underground trip into Mouldridge Mine, Pikehall

An easy daytime trip to this popular mine with plenty to see, suitable for complete novices.  The trip is limited to 8 places. Further details about our underground trips can be found here.

Organiser: Paul Chandler. 
A short, easy walk lasting about 2 hours led by Paul Guion (East Midlands Geological Society) to look at a very important geological site, and the site of a former Derbyshire coal mining village that was “moved” in the 1990s. Only one place still available.
Meeting arrangements will be supplied when booking your place(s). Booking is essential as this walk is limited to 20 places – so please book early! Contact Paul, either by email at or tel: 01246-220773. 

This evening trip will visit one of the less well-known and consequently seldom-visited Via Gellia mines. It is suitable for novices but involves a short section of flat-out crawling to access the pipe workings. The trip is limited to 6 places. Further details about our underground trips can be found here

Organiser: Paul Chandler. Fully booked.
A walking trip (no crawling involved) lasting about 2 hours into the last working fluorspar mine in Derbyshire. Meeting arrangements will be supplied when booking your place(s). Booking is essential as the trip is limited to only ten PDMHS members (sorry, no guests). 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. Contact Paul, either by email at or tel: 01246-220773. 

Documents Safeguarded for Future Study

Recently two historically important volumes were offered for auction at a saleroom in Derby, but fortunately were spotted in the auction catalogue by Clare Herbert. Those of us who looked at the catalogue were convinced that these volumes were of great importance to mining historians, and to those studying other aspects of Peak District history too.

Steve Thompson visited the saleroom in advance of the auction, and was allowed to use an office to study and photograph the volumes. The smaller volume dates back to the 1820s, but the larger one, of over 300 pages, bears the signature and date “J Mander, 1790”. It contains detailed copies of some very early indentures and articles of agreement, as well as precise transcripts of documents dating from the 13th to the 17th century.

This examination further convinced us of their value, and that the Society should make every effort to purchase them for deposition in the PDMHS Collection (D6967) in the Derbyshire Record Office at Matlock, where they will be held in secure archival storage, and will be freely available to historians for study.

Richard Shaw agreed to attend the auction to bid on behalf of the Society. The auctioneer’s estimate was £300 to £500, and Steve had been told during his visit that they expected “little interest outside Derbyshire”. How wrong can one be !!!

Bidding, most of it online, on this lot was at first fast and furious, but finally came down to a few online bidders versus Richard in the saleroom. The price reached £1,000, then £1,100, and Richard finally secured the lot with a bid of £1,200 (about £1,500 with the buyer’s commission).

This purchase has been something of a triumph for the Society, as we have not only ensured that they will be available for study in Derbyshire, but have prevented them from being taken abroad, as there were bidders from Australia and the USA !!!

The Society would like to appeal to members to offer donations to help cover the high cost of this purchase. Contributions can be:

  • sent to the Hon. Treasurer at the Peak District Mining Museum, Matlock Bath (cheques payable to PDMHS Ltd., and including a note that the donation is for the purchase of Lot 3739),
  • made by PayPal via the special acquisitions page on the Society website mentioning “Lot 3739”,
  • or if you wish to contribute by online banking please contact for details.

All contributions will be most gratefully received.

Details of the Society’s Collection and our Special Acquisitions can be found here:-, and this includes a link to the online catalogue of Derbyshire Record Office Collection D6967.

One of the title pages showing the much faded signature “J Mander 1790”.
The auction house kindly permitted Steve to photograph the hundreds of pages of the volumes before the auction.  This meant we would have a record of the contents even if we not were able to win the auction.

New Threat to Peak District Mining Museum

Derbyshire Dales District Council has recently announced that, to save money, it intends to close the public toilets next to the Lead Mining Museum in Matlock Bath.

The Mining Museum would be particularly badly affected by this move, as it would make it extremely difficult for the Museum to accommodate school visits – which make up a large part of its income. This comes at a time when the Council’s financial support for the Museum’s rent rebate is being reduced year on year, so it is a “double whammy” to the Museum’s ability to survive in the coming years.

Other local businesses in the south end of Matlock Bath would also be affected, as it would mean that the nearest toilets for visitors would be half a mile away.

An online petition has been started to show the Council the strength of local feeling about this issue. Please show your support for the Museum by signing it here.


Sponsored walk for Ashgate Hospice on behalf of Dave Williams

Former PDMHS Chairman and Recorder Dave Williams needed hospice care for a period last year due to serious health problems, and some of his friends have decided to do a sponsored walk to raise funds for Ashgate Hospice in recognition of the help they gave Dave in his time of need.

Sponsorship/donation can be done online, please go to if you wish to contribute to this worthy cause.

Peak District Heritage Talks

A series of illustrated heritage talks is being held this year at the Peak District Mining Museum in Matlock Bath. All the talks begin at 7.30pm. 

The next one will take place on Wednesday, March 7th (please note change of date).

Tickets are £6 each (or £5 for members of PDMHS or Friends of the Pavillion). Half price for under 18s. Tea & cake in the interval are included in the price!
Tickets can be bought in advance or on the night from the Peak District Lead Mining Museum (subject to availability). Phone 01629 583834 to reserve tickets. 

These events are all wheelchair accessible.

These are joint fund raising events for the Peak District Lead Mining Museum and The Matlock Bath Heritage Group.

Derbyshire heritage event - Cromford and High Peak Railway talk at the Peak District Mining MuseumWednesday 7 March – the Cromford and High Peak Railway.

A talk by Andy Pollock at the Peak District Lead Mining Museum in Matlock Bath. Find out about the Cromford and High Peak Railway – why it was there, and what it connected to. 





Derbyshire heritage event April 2018Tuesday 3 April – The Arkwrights through Art

Doreen Buxton has agreed to repeat her talk on the Arkwright family as seen through art work, that she did last year to a packed audience. In this talk she shares many paintings and sketches of the Cromford Mill and Willersley Castle and considers what this can and can’t tell us about their mills, lives and homes.



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