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. A charge of £3 is made (both for PDMHS members and non-members) which goes towards the running costs of the museum. Walks are open for anyone to join and well behaved dogs on leads welcome.

Booking should be via the Museum; please refer to the mining museum website and facebook page.

Wednesday Evening Walks

15th May – Bonsall: Clatterway & Via Gellia. Meet 6.30pm at the Lorry Park, Bonsall.

19th June – Portaway Vein, Winster. Meet 6.30pm at the Miners’ Standard, Winster.

17th July – Bonsall Moor’s Scheduled Monuments. Meet 6.30pm at the Lorry Park, Bonsall.

21st August – The Crich Mines. Meet 6.30pm outside the Cliff Inn, Crich.

Special Sunday Walks

26th May – Cromford canal basin. Meet at 11am at Cromford wharf.

25th August – Steeple Grange, Wirksworth. Meet at 11am at the National Stone Centre.

PDMHS members Field Meetings

Many walks/meets organised by PDMHS 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.

Wirksworth Town Quarries

Sunday 28th April, 2024. Leader: Lynn Willies.

Meet at the Limekiln Inn at the north end of Wirksworth town at the Junction of Cromford and Middleton Roads at 1pm. The route will last about three hours over a couple of miles of easy but sometimes steep walking. Parking is possible up the Middleton Road.

We will begin at the pub itself and its quarry, one of the first large lime-burning sites in the town, and then move on to Baileycroft (through which the road now passes), where the defining geology for the town is easily seen. Then we’ll proceed on up Greenhill (mining and quarrying settlement) to examine 17th century quarries and the former hospital. Then over to The Dale or Big ‘Ole Quarry and the story of the first underground tunnel to the new Railway in 1867-70 and subsequent bankruptcy. Then up to top of hill and an overview of Middle Peak Quarries and the link to Big ‘Ole. We’ll take the footpath over top of Big ‘Ole to West End, and if time, take a quick detour to Yokecliffe and the surviving ruins of a kiln noted by Farey in 1815, before ending up at the Station viewing the two tunnels. En route will be stories of various lethal misadventures.

Bonsall Lees

Tuesday 21st May 2024. Leader: Adam Russell

Meet at the car park in Bonsall, 7.30pm.

This walk will pass the Horsedale mines and head out onto Bonsall Lees, which should at this time of year have a fine display of orchids growing on the spoil. A multiplicity of shafts cover the area, and there are some rare mining features in the form of the sites of cog and rung horse gins. The walk is not strenuous and will involve gentle slopes and take around two hours. Optional drinks afterwards in the Barleymow, Bonsall Uppertown.

Upper Cressbrook Dale & Tansley Dale, nr Litton

Thursday 30th May, 2024. Leader: Adam Cooper

Meet at 7pm at SK172754, on Mires Lane between Litton and the A623. There is layby parking at the meet location for a few cars and another one about 200m towards Litton.

This area boasts quite a high density of mining remains set in a spectacular valley and the focus of the trip will be the Scheduled Monument comprising Arbourseats Veins and Sough, Wardlow Sough, Nay Green Mine and Washing Floors, Hading Vein and Seedlow Rake. It will also be possible to see the local geological structures which influence drainage and are the cause of the impressive rock tower usually known as Peter’s Stone (also known as Gibbet Rock, for which there is a story!).

The route will be about 3 miles and will involve traversing steep ground.

The Red Lion in Litton, with it’s pleasant outdoor seating, is the suggested post-trip watering hole.

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.

Goodluck Sough, Via Gellia

Wednesday 17th April 2024. Leader: Martin Long.

Meet at 7pm at the bottom of Clatterway in Bonsall, Grid Ref. SK 2842 5745.

A short but awkward free-climb leads to some interesting workings.

Spinney Level, Via Gellia

Wednesday 15th May 2024. Leader: Sean Caley.

Meet at 7pm at the rough parking area adjacent to the mine, Grid Ref. SK 2607 5616.

Waist or chest-deep water protects this mine from casual explorers. It is also home to some crude graffiti thought to be of Anglo-Saxon origin.

Gell’s and Silvereye Mines, Via Gellia

Saturday 25th May 2024. Leader: Sean Caley.

Meet at 10.30am at the Goodluck Mine layby on the A5012, Grid Ref. SK 2690 5662.

Gell’s Mine has five winzes to carefully cross and water usually over welly depth.

Silvereye Mine has a flat-out crawl near the entrance and several awkward climbs, some with handlines in-situ.

Maury Sough, Millers Dale

Wednesday 19th June 2024. Leader: Shirley Burtonshaw.

Meet at 7pm at the footbridge in Millers Dale, Grid Ref. SK 1517 7314.

The entrance shaft will be rigged with an electron ladder and safety line and leads to passages with water about welly depth.


Updated: Adam Cooper, April 15th 2024

Online newsletters – April 2024 edition is published

The April 2024 edition of the newsletter is now available from the newsletter archive on the members’ website and should arrive by post within the next few days. The financial report for the year to end March 2023 is also available from the archive as a “supplement”. The next edition is due out in July 2024 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 printed newsletter is monochrome, in recent online copies photos are reproduced in full colour. 

Mining History Volumes 19 and 20 Now Available Online

Papers from volumes 19 and 20 have now been uploaded and can be searched by title.

The added papers are:

  • The Geological Setting of the Old Lead Mines of Ashover and Crich, Derbyshire
  • A Gazetteer and History of the Lead Mines within the Liberty of Tideswell, Derbyshire: 1189-1945
  • Letter to the Editor – Manganese Mining at Nuneaton
  • The Mines of Middleton Flats
  • Derbyshire Roman Lead Pigs and ‘Lutudarum’
  • Coal Mining near Buxton: Thatch Marsh, Orchard Common and Goyt’s Moss
  • Managing the Environmental Legacies of Frongoch Lead and Zinc Mine
  • The Monks Who Mined?
  • New investigations and new ideas on Prehistoric-Roman metal mining and smelting in Wales
  • Silver in Queensland: The Problem of Ore Processing
  • Lead Mining Landscapes of Southern Spain
  • Medieval mining in Saxony – Selected Results from Excavations of High Medieval Silver Mines in Dippoldiswalde and Niederpöbel
  • EXCAVATIONS AT PITCHCROFT LIMESTONE MINE, CHURCH ASTON
  • Penmaenmawr Quarries
  • Lead and Zinc mining in Flintshire – the engineering legacy for new development
  • The Neston Coalfield
  • Management of the Mining Heritage on Mynydd Parys
  • Coal Mining on the Peak District’s Eastern Uplands during the 16th to Early-20th Centuries
  • A 13th Century Mining Dispute in the Central Orefields
  • A History and Gazetteer of the Lead Mines within the Private Liberty or Lordship of Hazlebadge, Derbyshire: 1292-1947
  • The 1788 Boulton and Watt Engine House at Ecton: Archaeological Excavations 2012-14
  • Quarrying Chert at Bakewell: A Detailed Archaeological Survey of Pretoria Mine and Observations on Holme Bank, Holme Hall and Endcliffe Mines
  • Index to Mining History – Vol. 19 Nos. 1-6
  • Mining a Globalized World – Local Impacts and International Linkages of the British Exploitation of the Cerro Muriano Mine (Spain, 1897-1919)
  • The Ecton Mines 1880s Dressing Shed Archaeological Evaluation Excavations – November-December 2015
  • Clear The Way or Black Hillock Mine, Tideswell Moor, Derbyshire: c. 1711 – 1940s
  • Ancient Mining Features in the Wigpool Iron Ore Mine, Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire
  • Watergrove Mine, Foolow, Derbyshire: Excavating a 1794-95 Newcomen Engine House and a History of the Mine
  • The Daisy Knowl Underground Stone Quarry, Longnor, Staffordshire
  • Quarrying Black Marble at Ashford: A Detailed Archaeological Survey of Rookery and Arrock Mines, with an Outline History of Extraction
  • Mandale Mine, Lathkill Dale, Over Haddon, Derbyshire: Survey and Interpretation
  • A History and Gazetteer of the Lead Mines upon Eyam Edge, Derbyshire: 1711-1940
  • Coal Mining Near Buxton: Dane, Blackclough and Knotbury Collieries
  • A Smelting Miscellany No. 4 Sargill Lead Smelting Mill and the Development of the Ore Hearth
  • The Coal Mines of Bugsworth, Beard and Ollersett Moors
  • The Re-opening of Longcliffe Mine, Castleton
  • Longcliffe Mine, Castleton Liberty The Recorded History
  • Maps and Sections of a Silver-Lead Mine at Combe Martin, Devon
  • Excavations at Watts Shaft, Old Mill Close Mine, 1973-1981
  • A History and Gazetteer of the Lead Mines around the Village Of Eyam. 1587 – 1988
  • The Restoration of the Deep Ecton Level Entrance in October to November 2018

Members can also access volume 21 from the Members’ Site.

 

Heritage Open Day 10 Sept 2023

PDMHS hosts free guided tours at Magpie Mine during the annual UK Heritage Open Days. No need to book, just turn up. The event is usually very well attended and parking space is limited, however the site is on several footpaths so why not park nearby and enjoy a short stroll through the fields. It’s easy to find: two tall chimneys!


You can print this poster by clicking “View Fullscreen” then a printer icon should appear top right.
Heritage Open Day website posting for the Magpie Mine event
It’s a busy day and PDMHS members are welcome to come along to help, not just on the day but before and after for set-up and tidy-up.

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