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


Tuesday July 17th  – Underground trip into Jugholes Cave, Matlock

Leader – Richard Finnigan
Meet at 19:00 in the layby on Salters Lane, Matlock. 8 places available. Insurance is required for this trip – the PDMHS UEG (Underground Exploration Group) can arrange this if you don’t already hold BCA insurance.

This easy trip into the Jugholes system is suitable for novices. There are some climbs and traverses but these will be roped up. Along the way, some large natural caverns that have been emptied by lead miners will be visited, along with fine examples of 17th century miner’s graffiti and more recent remains left by 20th century fluorspar miners. Optional drinks afterwards (pub TBC but will likely be either Winster or Bonsall).


Tuesday July 31st – Mining heritage walk up Coombs Dale, Stoney Middleton.

Leader – Chris James

Meet at 19:00 in the car park next to the playing fields at the bottom of Coombs Dale (OS grid ref SK236751), on the left of the A623 just before you get into Stoney Middleton (coming from Calver crossroads). This walk is free and open to all – no pre-booking required.

A gentle evening walk of 3-4 miles to look at the site of Enterprise and Shepherd’s Mines, which include the remains of ore hoppers, a coe, a water storage pond (with an unusual feeder leat) and an open trial level for us to look into (bring a torch). For those willing to scramble up the valley sides, there are other entrances and mining features to see as well. On the way back, an optional detour (involving an ascent of about 200ft up the valley side) will give fine views over Stoney Middleton and Eyam Edge.

Optional drink in the Moon Inn, Stoney Middleton, afterwards.


Sunday August 12th – Mining Heritage Walk to Longstone Edge, Longstone Moor, and Stoney Middleton.

Leader – Chris James

An all day circular walk timed to take advantage of the rare limestone heather being in flower. The walk is approximately 7 miles in length, and will involve a total ascent of about 250m. to its highest point. Meet at 10.30 in the car park next to the playing fields at the bottom of Coombs Dale (OS grid ref SK236751), on the left of the A623 just before you get into Stoney Middleton (coming from Calver crossroads). This walk is free and open to all – no pre-booking required. Bring a packed lunch and a drink. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads as we will be on sheep pasture for much of the walk.

On our route, we will pass the entrance to Sallet Hole Mine (which was working until relatively recently), then go up to look at the former opencast fluorspar workings along Hard Rake on Longstone Edge, before heading over to Longstone Moor to inspect an old tramway connected with fluorspar mining, and the site of Cackle Mackle Mine. We will then return to our starting point via the settling lagoons of Cavendish Mill and the disused limestone quarries and lime kilns of Stoney Middleton. Lots of other stuff to see on the way!

Optional drink in the Moon Inn, Stoney Middleton, afterwards.


Tuesday August 14th – Underground trip into Owlet Hole Mine, Matlock Bath

Leader – Adam Russell
Meet at 19:00 at the Mining Museum, Matlock Bath. 8 places available. Insurance is required for this trip – the PDMHS UEG (Underground Exploration Group) can arrange this if you don’t already hold BCA insurance.

This easy trip will visit Owlet Hole Mine, a small but interesting site above Temple Mine which shows evidence of mining from the 17th century through to modern times. The trip is suitable for novices. It involves a climb on a fixed ladder but this will be roped up if required. Optional drinks in the Fishpond afterwards.


Thursday August 23rd – Heritage walk in Eccleshall Woods, Sheffield

Leader- Rob Hindle. 10.00am start. This is a pleasant woodland walk of about 7km with little climb, pausing at about a dozen of the more interesting features. I don’t claim any special expert knowledge of the area and will be pleased to hear from anyone who can add to what I have managed to find out.

An audit of Ecclesall woods identified over 1000 historical features. These include some which are of coal and ganister mining interest – including a small coal mine worked by two men until early WW2. Relevant to the lead industry are what is described as “a lead smelting mill”, numerous Q-pits and some nearby fields which were known as “upper and lower belland”.

Please note: as this is the first time we have arranged a heritage walk on a weekday during the daytime (rather than in the evening), booking is essential on this walk to make sure there is enough interest to make it worth running. Please contact meets@pdmhs.com to book your place as soon as possible. There is no charge for the walk, and details of the meeting place will be given when you book.


Tuesday August 28th – Heritage walk to Chelmorton Low

Leader – Adam Russell
Meet at 19:00 outside the Church Inn, Chelmorton. This walk is free and open to all – no pre-booking required.
This short walk is a re-run of the one scheduled for April which was rained off, and will visit sites of interest on Chelmorton Low, including a number of mines, prehistoric barrows, and limekilns, as well as taking in some fine views. It will involve ascents and descents on steep slopes so please wear suitable footwear – though hopefully this time the ground will be dry! Optional drinks afterwards in the Church Inn.


Tuesday 11th September – Underground trip into Goodluck Mine, Via Gellia

Leaders: Paul Chandler & GLMPC Member. 
This visit is courtesy of the Goodluck Mine Preservation Club (GLMPC).

An opportunity to explore this fascinating old lead mine which is full of interesting features.

Two trips will be on offer: An easy walk around type trip, which will explore the quite extensive ‘visitor route’ in the mine and a more adventurous trip exploring the workings off the visitor route. BCA Insurance is essential for the ‘adventurous trip’, but optional for the other trip. Brief details of both trips are as follows:

Adventurous trip – Leader: GLMPC (tbc). Climbing lots of fixed ladders, crawly bits, etc, but no SRT. Oversuit recommended.

Easy trip – Leader: Paul Chandler. All walking/stooping size passages. Dry, apart from puddles/drips. Muddy underfoot in places. Boilersuit or old clothes fine for this trip.

It is well worth bringing a camera or smartphone for either trip. Duration of both trips is 2hrs (approx), and there is a maximum of ten places available. Priority will be given to Society members, who have not visited before. Donation of £5 requested (free for GLMPC members). To book your place(s), get details of the meeting time/place, please contact Paul, either by email at  meets@pdmhs.com or tel 01246-220773. Please state your trip preference when booking. Optional drink after trip in the local area. Reference: “Lead Mining in the Peak District” edited by T D Ford & J H Rieuwerts (2000 edition).


Tuesday 25th September 2018 – Underground Trip into Holmebank Chert Mine, Bakewell

Leader: Paul Chandler.
Meet 7.15pm Holme Lane, Bakewell, parking on the lane. Insurance is required for this trip – the PDMHS UEG (Underground Exploration Group) can arrange this if you don’t already hold BCA insurance.
Another opportunity for Society members (& guests) to explore this interesting, quite extensive mine, with around five miles of passages! An ideal trip for novices and also of interest to experienced explorers. An easy grade, dry trip. A boilersuit or old clothes are fine for this trip. Mostly large, walking or stooping size passages and easy scrambles. The popular through trip is planned, exiting via the quarry entrance. Well worth bringing a camera/smartphone, as this is quite a photogenic mine. Everyone attending will need BCA insurance or similar. Party size is not limited, but booking is advisable by contacting Paul, either by email: meets@pdmhs.com or tel: 01246-220773. Optional drink after trip in local area. Access by permission of Oldfield Design, Bakewell. References: Mining History (PDMHS) Vol.13, No.5 (1998) & Vol.19, No.6 (2017).  


HELMETS & CAPLAMPS AVAILABLE FOR HIRE. 
If you would like to borrow a caplamp & helmet for yourself and/or a guest(s) for either of the 2 trips above, please contact Paul Chandler, who has a limited number of caplamps, helmets & other equipment for a nominal cost, eg a pint at the pub! 


Sunday September 30th – Barmote Court walk in the Monyash area

 
Leader – Adam Russell
Meet at 10:00am by the market cross, Monyash.
This walk, timed to be as close as possible to the date of the Autumn High Peak Barmote Court, will have a general theme of mining law and disputes. It will visit the ancient and extensive workings on Whalf Pipe, crossing over to Flagg then from there crossing into Ashford Liberty to view Highlow and Hard Rake. We will then return to Monyash, passing Greensward Rake on the way, and call in at the churchyard to view the grave of Charles Millington, the last of the independent Peak lead miners. The walk will in end the Bull’s Head Inn, where the Great Barmote Court of the High Peak met, to partake of ale in the traditional manner (though not in the traditional quantities!).

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.

Peak District Heritage Events

A series of guided heritage walks and illustrated talks is being held this year in aid of the Peak District Mining Museum in Matlock Bath.

Guided walks looking at the industrial heritage of DerbyshireThe guided heritage walks are all being led by local expert Tony Wood. Tickets cost £3.00 per person and must be purchased in advance from the Peak District Lead Mining Museum in Matlock Bath. The Museum is open daily from 10.00am to 5.00pm and can be contacted by email here or on 01629 583834. Card payments can be taken over the phone for a minimum of 2 or more tickets.

All the walks begin at 7.00pm and will finish by 9.00pm. The starting point will be given when you purchase your tickets. The dates are as follows:

Tuesday 10th July: Matlock Bath Village

Tuesday 24th July: Matlock Bath to Cromford

Tuesday 14th August: Cromford Village

Tuesday 4th September: Bonsall Village

Here are the dates of the illustrated heritage talks which are planned for later in the year:

Tuesday 2 October – The history of the Cromford Canal by Hugh Potter.

Tuesday 13 November – The Canadian Soldiers by Charles Beresford.

 

Ivor Brown memorial day 27 Oct 2018

Dr Ivor Brown was a pioneer in the documentation of Yorkshire’s coal mining heritage.  He wrote or contributed to numerous articles in PDMHS Bulletin of Mining History.

The Friends of The Ironbridge Gorge Museums and the Shropshire Caving & Mining Club are holding a day of talks and films in memory of Dr Ivor Brown, Saturday 27th October 2018 in the Glass Classroom, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Offices, Coalbrookdale. Details here.