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 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.

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 our guided mining and industrial heritage walks, contact Chris at meets@pdmhs.com

 

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). THIS WALK IS NOW CANCELLED.

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).


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 Tuesday 1st of May at 7.30pm.

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.

Tuesday 1st of May Ancient Lead Mining in Matlock Bath

Derbyshire heritage event on ancient lead mining in Matlock BathA talk by archaeologist John Barnatt on the ancient lead mining in the area of Matlock Bath.

Please note: this talk is likely to be very popular, so we cannot guarantee that tickets will still be available on the night. Tickets can be bought in advance  from the Peak District Lead Mining Museum (subject to availability). Phone 01629 583834 to reserve tickets. 

 

 

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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 secretary@pdmhs.com for details.
  • If you are a UK tax payer please confirm that we can claim Gift Aid, that means we can collect a further 25% from HMRC.

All contributions will be most gratefully received.

Details of the Society’s Collection and our Special Acquisitions can be found here:- https://pdmhs.co.uk/special-acquisitions/, 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.