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 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 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

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 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 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 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 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 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 or phone on 07908-607513 (Mobile/Text is best).  

URGENT: UEG Old Tor and Longcliffe trips date changes

Due to a problem with access the Old Tor trip planned for 24 Sept 2019 has had to be postponed to 22 October. Consequently the Longcliffe trip advertised for 22 Oct needs to be postponed too, date to be confirmed.

Note that PDMHS-UEG (Underground Exploration Group) trips are limited to UEG members only.  PDMHS members can join the UEG for no charge but they must have BCA underground insurance which can be purchased from the UEG (but if you already have BCA insurance, perhaps as a member of a caving club, that’s fine).  More about UEG here.


EMHERF archaeological conference 5 Oct 2019, Nottingham

There is a one-day archaeological conference being held at Nottingham University on Saturday 5 October which may be of interest to Society members. Its theme is recent research work which is advancing the objectives of the East Midlands Historic Environment Research Framework (EMHERF), in particular one of the afternoon talks focuses on the  lead industry but there are others with an industrial archaeological theme. Tickets cost £20 for the day, bookings can be made through or by cheque with the booking form on this flyer.

Reopening Wardlow Sough in Cressbrook Dale

The DCA is looking for volunteers to assist in the reopening of Wardlow Sough in Cressbrook Dale during the first week in September. Attached is an information sheet outlining the proposal. If any of your club members can possibly help at some point with this important project they should follow the link to Doodle Poll in this attachment and put in their details. Pete Knight, DCA Project Officer, will contact them with further details. 

Relevant article in PDMHS Bulletin 7-2

Smeaton and Watt: unleashing the power that changed the world

steam engine drawingThe 2019 Smeaton Lecture is taking place on 23rd July at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London. The title is “Smeaton and Watt: unleashing the power that changed the world”. 

“The 18th century saw unprecedented advances in our ability to harness power. Much of this was down to James Watt whose invention of the separate condenser and other improvements to the Newcomen engine was the key that unlocked the full potential of the power of steam. Watt then mastered rotative power for factories, accelerating the industrial revolution. Smeaton had also made improvements to the Newcomen engine and he and Watt shared a mutual respect.

This year’s Smeaton lecture will explore this relationship with the help of some letters, not previously published or archived, and uses engineering hindsight to explore the factors influencing successful innovation – then and now.”

Full details of the lecture can be found here.