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.

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

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


Saturday November 24 – Underground training trip in Devonshire Cavern, Matlock Bath. Fully booked.

Leader: Martin Long

Meet at 1pm at the Mining Museum.

This trip is primarily intended as an electron ladder training session for new members, or for any members wanting a refresher in ladder technique. Booking is essential – contact meets@pdmhs.com to reserve your place. 


Tuesday December 4 – Underground trip into Nickergrove Mine, Stoney Middleton

Leader:  Arthur Wilson

Meet at 7pm at the sub-station parking at the bottom of Eyam Dale. 8 places available. Booking is essential – contact meets@pdmhs.com to reserve your place.

A walking trip into this part-natural mine located in Cucklet Delph. The trip may involve ladder descent and tight free climbs into a lower level then exit up Didsbury Shaft if desired.

Optional drinks afterwards at the Miners Arms, Eyam.

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

Museum Heritage Events

The Peak District Lead Mining Mueum (part of PDMHS) hosts Derbyshire Heritage Events and offers Guided Heritage Walks in Derbyshire – for dates, times, costs and other details please check the Museum Web Site news page or their Facebook page.

Derbyshire Heritage Talks are hosted at the Museum in Matlock Bath. Talks are on Tuesday evenings at 7:30 and cover a wide range of historical aspects of the area, including the mining heritage but also industrial archaeology, folk-lore and social history in Derbyshire. These heritage events are well attended and tickets should be purchased in advance (at the museum or by phone to 01629 583834) to avoid disappointment. Tickets cost £6 (£5 to PDMHS members and Friends of the Pavilion).

Derbyshire Heritage Event - The Poisonous History of Lead Mining and SmeltingNovember 6th – The poisonous legacy of lead mining & smelting 

Dr Lynn Willies will be explaining why certain parts of Derbyshire and the Peak District have higher lead levels and the impact this can have.  
He will give some clues to place names which are linked to smelting sites and will, of course, go into gory detail about the effect of lead on the human body!!

Limestone quarries in Wirksworth DerbyshireDecember 4th – The Wirksworth quarries

Explore the last 300 years of limestone quarrying in Wirksworth with speaker Tony Holmes. Tony has a huge collection of drawings, pictures and photographs of the quarries that he has worked in and studied over much of his life.

Hazards of lead mining in DerbyshireJanuary 8th 2019 – Mining hazards

A talk by Dr Richard Shaw.

Discover the dangers faced by Derbyshire miners and the dangers that remain long after the work stops.

Continue reading

Heritage walk report: Ecclesall Woods 22 Aug 2018

This was an experiment to see if a mid-week daytime walk would attract any participants.  It did, 11 on the walk (could have been more, a further 2 missed the start point and one had to cancel).

It was also an experiment from the leader’s perspective, claiming limited knowledge and welcoming corrections and additions from the participants.  That aspect worked out OK too.

It was a pleasant woodland walk of about 7km featuring, as well as some items of lead-processing interest and extractive industries, other natural resources and non mining historical features dating as far back as 2-3000 BC.

A map and full details are available on this web site to logged-in members as a PDF.

Magpie Mine Heritage open day: 16 Sept 2018

The Society is pleased to announce that one of the Heritage Open Day events in the Derbyshire Peak District will be held at the Magpie lead mine, near Sheldon, on Sunday 16th September 2018.

The day’s events will include:
– guided tours of the buildings and other surface features of the mine. Tours take place on the hour from 11.00am to 4.00pm, with the last tour starting at 4.00pm. (Tours last about 1 hour). No booking required – just turn up on the day.
– light refreshments including tea and coffee

There is no charge for entry or for the guided tours but donations to PDMHS to help fund the upkeep of the site are most welcome. Continue reading

Website offline 11/7/18

The PDMHS web site was offline for 10 hours on 11 July. The webmaster spotted the problem within a few minutes and raised a support ticket with our web host CWCS.  They found that a cluster of servers was affected. Rebuilding and restoring from backups then took about 10 hours. To put it in context this represents 99.9% availability on an annual basis against a target of 99.99%. Although regrettable, even business critical computer systems do experience occasional technical issues and reliability remains far better than, for example, TSBs recent 5 day outage.

Emails sent to PDMHS addresses will have been delayed until the server recovered.

CWCS maintains backup copies of all web sites they host but in addition we take our own daily off-site copy of the PDMHS site.  This places us in the position that, should the need arise, we could restore the web site to a different hosting service.