Dave Williams

It is with great sadness that we must announce that
former PDMHS Chairman and Hon. Recorder, and
long standing Society member, Dave Williams passed
away peacefully in the afternoon of Tuesday the 20th of
November in the Burton Closes Care Home in Bakewell.
Dave’s many contributions to the study of mining history
are immense, and he will be greatly missed.
We extend our sincerest condolences and heartfelt
sympathy to Dave’s family and his very many friends in
the mining history community, and beyond.

A full obituary will be published in the April Newsletter.

Mike Luff and Steve Thompson

Observations & Discoveries

The quarterly newsletter usually carries a section: Observations & Discoveries.  Adam Russell constructed an index which Rob has converted to a database which can be seen in the Members section of the web-site. Each site in the database has links to both Ordnance Survey and Google maps in order to benefit from the unique features of each. This is now enhanced with Google and OS maps showing all indexed sites on a single map with clickable links to the relevant newsletters.  It is hoped that this will encourage more members to lead heritage walks by helping identify sites to visit and providing easy access to the often extensive O&D notes about those sites.

A demonstration of that is below in a short video, the image quality is compromised in order to reduce the file size and make the video load faster. You can change the settings to HD for a better image and click the bottom-right icon to make it full screen. 

The database and interactive maps can be found in the members only section of the web site.

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

Peak District Mining Heritage Walks and Underground Mine Trips


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

Sunday 28th April – Heritage Walk: the Matlock Cable Tramway.  

The cable tramway up Bank Road, Matlock in Derbyshire.Leader: Paul Chandler. 
This is an ALL DAY walk. Meet at Darley Bridge car park and picnic site on the B5057 (grid ref SK270622, nearest postcode DE4 2JY), on the B5057 just before the Square & Compass Inn if you are coming from the A6.
Party size is limited to 15. For meeting time, further details or to book your place(s), please contact Paul Chandler, either by email: meets@pdmhs.com or phone: 07908 607513 (Mobile/Text is best). 
This is a relatively easy walk, with a total length of 7.51 miles. There is one gradual ascent to Farley Moor, and a steep, becoming more gradual descent into Matlock. Finally, nice and flat back to Darley Bridge! Enroute, paths, field paths, tracks, a few stiles, woodland, pavements, steep steps, tarmac roads – quite a variety!
Matlock once had a cable tramway, similar to the one still operational in San Francisco. On our arrival in Matlock, we will walk the full route of the tramway from Matlock Bank down to Crown Square, viewing an unusual shaped stone building & picturesque tram shelter (both associated with the tramway). Paul will be bringing copies of two amazing photographs showing the operational tramway, plus an informative article!
Other features of interest on this walk are two old mills (both in use, but not working), Warney Mill and Dakeyne Flax Mill. The Dakeyne brothers are perhaps best known as the inventors of the disc engine which was installed in the 1830s beneath Bateman’s House in Lathkill Dale. There is also a short, gritstone mine level to explore.   
The walk route is as follows: Darley Bridge – Two Dales – Ladygrove – Farley Moor – Hurker Wood – MATLOCK – Derwent Valley Heritage Way – Darley Bridge. Distance: 7.51 miles. 
A packed lunch & drink is optional, as various food outlets are available in Matlock, where lunch is planned. Bring usual walking equipment, a torch (optional) & camera. A copy of the walk route map is available from Paul on request. Dogs must be kept on leads. Optional drink after walk at the Square & Compass Inn, Darley Bridge.
The walk will be repeated for Society members who are unable to attend on this date.  
More information about the Dakeyne engine can be found in PDMHS Newsletter No. 140, October 2011 – Book Review “The Romping Lion: The Story of the Dakeyne Disc Engine”.

Tuesday 7 May – Underground trip into Peakshole Sough, Castleton.
Leader – Adam Russell
Meet at the Visitor Centre Car Park, Castleton, at 7pm. 8 places available. To reserve your place, contact meets@pdmhs.com. Prior booking and BCA insurance is essential.
The sough level leads to interesting pipe workings and there is an intact planked walkway at the far end. There are climbs on fixed ladders in upper levels to the upper levels where there are tight crawls so this trip is not suitable for complete novices, the water in the sough may be over welly depth depending on weather.
More details are available in Bulletin vol.9 no.3.

Trip by kind permission of Peak Cavern.

Tuesday 11th June – Mining Heritage Walk to Magpie Mine, Sheldon. 
The Square Chimney at Magpie Lead Mine in the Peak District. Photo © Andy GillingsLeader: Paul Chandler.
This is an EVENING walk of less than 5 miles. Meet in Ashford village, near the packhorse bridge, where there is a small car park & street parking.
Party size is limited to 15. To book your place(s), and for the meeting time or further details, please contact Paul Chandler, either by email: meets@pdmhs.com or phone: 07908-607513 (Mobile/Text is best).  
The walk includes a mini surface tour of Magpie Mine site, plus various features of mining interest on the way. 
The walk route is as follows: Ashford – Little Shacklow Wood – Sheldon – MAGPIE MINE – Sheldon – Great Shacklow Wood – Ashford. Total distance: 4.74 miles (approx).  
It involves a gradual ascent to Sheldon, including a short rocky/muddy section through woodland. Also an optional stepped descent in woodland on the return route, plus short road sections, field paths, stiles and tracks. Optional drink afterwards at the Bulls Head Inn, Ashford. 
Bring usual walking equipment, a torch for viewing shafts & levels and a camera.
A copy of the walk route map is available on request. Sorry, no dogs on this walk.

Advance Notice – trip to Zip World Titan, Blaenau Ffestiniog – Interested?

Sit back and zip away as you and your friends fly down Europe’s largest zipping zone! Take flight on 3 exhilarating zip lines and soak up the amazing quarry views during the experience of a lifetime (Info from website). SUMMER Availability April – October. How many Zips? 3. How far? 1890m. Starting height 482m above sea level. Duration 2 hours. Cost? £50. WINTER Opening – £30, but only two Zips. Note: VELOCITY 2 is the scary/fast ZIP at Penrhyn Quarry, North Wales.

Here are some photos from PDMHS member Rob who went on the underground zip-wire trip in 2015 and reports it as well worthwhile (and safe!).
Organiser: Paul Chandler – It is intended that TITAN will form part of a walking/adventure weekend, I am planning in North Wales, possibly in May 2019. If interested, please register your interest (without obligation at this stage) with Paul. Email: paul.derbyshirecaver@btinternet.com or Tel: 07908-607513 (Mobile/Text is best) / 01246-220773 (Landline).