Peak District Mining Heritage Walks, Field Meets, and Underground Mine Trips

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Here are the guided walks, field meets, 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. Walks/meets are organised by the Society, the Museum, and by the Underground Exploration group, with slightly different logistical arrangements: see below.

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

The schedules will usually be updated quarterly, when each newsletter is published.

Online calendars are now available:
https://tinyurl.com/pdmhs-meets-webcal
https://tinyurl.com/pdmhs-meets-ical

Mining Museum Heritage Walks

Sturdy footwear and waterproofs recommended. Walks always end near a pub! Tickets are £3 from the Peak District Mining Museum; pop in or phone 01629 583834. Walks are open for anyone to join, well behaved dogs on leads welcome.

5th July 2022 (7pm) – Stanton in the Peak.

2nd August 2022 (7pm) – Alport Mining field (surface only).

6th September 2022 (6.30pm) – Bakewell Chert Mine (surface only).

Society Field Meetings

Walks/meets organised by the society are free, and are open to all (not just PDMHS members, although you might like to join PDMHS.). However, pre-booking is required when walks are limited to a certain number of people, and contacting us in advance is recommended.

The format of some Society Field Meetings will sometimes be very similar to Museum Heritage Walks, but we might spend a little longer discussing interpretation, and participants other than the leader are likely to chip in their knowledge, as well as asking questions. Society Field Meetings are definitely not “just for experts”, and any meets which involve more than walking around on the surface looking at the remaining features and learning about the history will be clearly indicated as such.

As the walks are weather-dependent, changes due to weather conditions will also be posted on the website; it is advisable to check back here before you set out.

CANCELLED – Finding and Exploring with Your Phone

This meet has been cancelled due to lack of interest.

Meet at Magpie Mine at 7pm on Tuesday 12th July. Leader: Adam Cooper

We will use the Magpie Mine site and surrounding area as a “playground” to learn more about using GPS-enabled mobile phones for fieldwork, both finding known features and for recording observations. The aim of the day will be to gain some practical experience and to better understand what this kind of software is good for (and what it is not good for).

The focus will be on using the Android app “SW Maps” (softwel.com.np/download_software), although participants are welcome to give a show-and-tell about apps which they use.

You should install SW Maps and copy several files to your phone before the meet. The required files will be sent by email on request to arc@hilltop-cottage.info.

Matlock and Matlock Bath: Geology and mining and some quarrying (part 2)

Sunday 9th October. Leader: Lynn Willies

Meet at 12.30 with cars at Spa Road (leads to Snitterton from Sainsburys Petrol Station (a few yards from the last-time meeting place. We will distribute cars so some are left there, whilst others take the party to the start, parking just before the highest point on Salters Lane, near Jugholes and the road on towards Masson Quarry. From there we will walk to the quarry, and on over Crichman and High Loft Mines and Great Rake, paralleling Spar Veins, above Masson Cavern. Then through the woods to Ember and Coalpit Rake (Devonshire Cavern). Then via Upperwood, past Hopping Pipe, and Tear Breeches Steps and down the Wapping, past Cumberland Cavern and Wapping Mine. This will take us to Masson Mill where we can pick up a bus back to Matlock bus/train interchange, and a short walk to the cars.

This will be an easy, largely downhill, walk but some rough ground, so boots and weatherproof clothes.

We should see excellent mineralisation controls, follow the course of the Masson Pipe, an abandoned fluorspar mine c. 1970, possibly a buddle, the upper opencast and mine entries on Coalpit Rake, the Monks Wall, more spar mining remains and as well as the fine views, the locations and entries to Matlock’s major mines.

Contact: Lynn Willies (01629-584322)

Underground Exploration Group

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. Meeting times/places for UEG meets may be found in the members’ newsletter or by contacting the UEG.

You can contact the UEG here.

Bull Tor Rummage, Cressbrook

Sunday 17th July 2022. Leader: Adam Cooper

Observations & Discoveries 77 (newsletter 179) reported a recently rediscovered mine site with an intriguing level entrance which was not explored. The sound of falling water could be heard within and in 1948, Nellie Kirkham described the site as “quite promising” but didn’t have a good enough light to explore (and seemingly never returned).

The aim of this trip will be to: visit the surface remains previously noted; to investigate the level entrance; and to look around for things which were previously missed. Those wishing to take part in any underground exploration must have BCA insurance.

For further details email ueg@pdmhs.com with Bull in the subject line.

Gell’s Mine, Via Gellia

Sunday 14th August 2022. Leader: Martin Long

A continuation of the winze recording in Gell’s Mine.

Those descending the winzes will need to be competent SRT practitioners, though non-SRT roles are also available.

For further details email ueg@pdmhs.com with Gell’s in the subject line.

Mouldridge Mine, Pikehall

Wednesday 7th September 2022. Leader: Paul Chandler.

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! An optional challenge is the ‘ore chute’ squeeze! A great little mine, a fun trip and one of my favourites! Evening trip. Eight places available. Preference will be given to novices & new members. Meeting time/place will be supplied when you book. Please email ueg@pdmhs.com to book or Tel: 07908-607513 (text is best). Optional drinks after the trip at the Miners’ Standard Inn, Winster.

Deep Ecton Mine, Staffordshire

Sunday 18th September 2022. Organiser: Martin Long

See the Heritage Open Days article in newsletter 183 for full details.

To register as a volunteer please email ueg@pdmhs.com with Ecton in the subject line.

Pretoria Chert Mine, Bakewell

Tuesday 20th September 2022. Leader: Paul Chandler.

One of the premier mines in the Peak District and you will see why if you attend, it is truly ‘special’! An evening trip to explore this fascinating mine, with its impressive packwalls, artefacts, and in places, more holes than rock! An easy grade, dry trip, which is suitable for novices, entry to the mine involves a 15ft(5m) fixed ladder climb, so a belt or helmet mounted light is essential, boilersuit or old clothes will be fine. The passages are mostly large walking size, steeply inclined in places. An optional short crawl leads into another section of the mine, with a colourful surprise at the end! Well worth bringing a camera/smartphone. Eight places available. Meeting time/place will be supplied when you book.

Please email ueg@pdmhs.com to book or Tel: 07908-607513 (text is best).

Reference:

Mining History (PDMHS) Vol.19, No.6 (2017).

Holmebank Chert Mine, Bakewell

Wednesday 5th October 2022. Leader: Paul Chandler.

An evening trip which is ideal for novices. Further details will be in the October 2022 Society Newsletter.

Wapping Mine/Cumberland Cavern, Matlock Bath

Tuesday 18th October 2022. Leader: Paul Chandler.

An evening trip which is ideal for novices. Further details will be in the October 2022 Society Newsletter.

 


Updated: Adam Cooper, July 10th 2022

Caving films screening

There is an upcoming event which may be of interest as some PDMHS members are also cavers.

2-3 September 2022: “Spirit Of Adventure” at Sheffield Cathedral. 

The caving specific features are 

The Ario Dream: The Quest for Europe’s Deepest Cave trailer

THE RESCUE  the enthralling, against-all-odds story of the daring rescue of twelve boys and their coach from deep inside a flooded cave in Northern Thailand in 2018. British cave divers played the leading role in the rescue. Trailer

The Honour Of Being Human audio story and caving exhibit

Museum developments

We are exploring the opportunity to relocate the museum to National Stone Centre near Wirksworth.  This will be a new-build project to create a world class visitor experience and an internationally significant centre of excellence for the quarrying and mineral products industry on the existing site. The NSC merged with IQ, the Institute of Quarrying, in 2021.   

The Museum is very highly rated on TripAdvisor as a visitor attraction and the new build will include space designed to accommodate the Mining Museum collection.

The NSC site is a 40-acre SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).  Visitor features include a half mile self guided outdoor Geo-Trail through the disused limestone quarries whose rocks once formed part of a tropical island with shallow lagoons, barrier reefs and white sand beaches! These rocks are packed with fossils including corals, brachiopods and crinoids.

Follow the ongoing progress on the Museum web site Developments pages

Online newsletters – April edition is published

The April 2022 edition of the newsletter is now available from the Members Content area and should arrive by post within the next few days. The next edition is due out in July and contributions are solicited by the first day of June.

We aim to add the latest newsletter to the website at the same time printed copies are distributed.  The link to all newsletters can be found in the Members Content area.

The printed newsletter is monochrome, in recent online copies photos are reproduced in full colour. 

Peak District SSSI monitoring competition

The monitoring of caves in SSSIs is an important conservation matter.  The relevance to PDMHS is that many mines join natural caverns and some caves have been worked for minerals. To encourage participation a competition has been set up. Monitoring forms in respect of caves in the Peak District SSSIs will be entered in a prize draw and the winner will receive a £50 Starless River voucher. Full details on the DCA website at Derbyshire Caving Association. – SSSI Competition (thedca.org.uk) .