UK Mining Walks & Visits Log

Midlands - Peak District Mining Walks

Journals of mining walks

    Castleton - Peak Forest Area Mining Walk 26 October 2011
  A Brief Description

Distance = approx 21km
Route = Roads, track, footpath and steep climbs
Start / End = Castleton (SK147829)
Weather = Sunny & cloudy and warm

This is a long walk which I altered from the original planned route due to lack of time and daylight.
I parked my car at the fine tourist spot of Castleton along the road parking areas (which is free mid week) and the cloud and mist was lifting nicely. Making my way through Castleton past the town ditch and the war memorial I took the road towards the cement works and Pindale. After about 15 minutes I could see my first planned site of Ashtons (Pindale) Mine (SK162825) across the fields slightly to the left and part hidden by the trees. However, prior to getting there and just before the start of Pindale I noticed a partly overgrown shaft cap with a boulder on the lidded plate of Pindale End Mine (SK160824) so I took and few photos and at a good look then made my way to Ashtons Mine. Here were the remains of the restored engine house (now occupied) with a shaft mound (see photo) and remains of powder magazine behind. Also in the front garden of the nearby house is a wheeled kibble (ore bucket) set on some narrow tracks (see photo). I made my way back along the road to Pindale and from the track I could see some circular brick lining in the hillside, this may be relating to the lime kiln which was in the area. Making my path up the dale I soon noticed some brick & concrete buildings(see photos) to the left of the path; these are probably relating to the old quarry which was in Pindale. Also a little further along the valley a line of boulders seperates the path from the Pindale Scrins (old lead vein mine workings) in the side of the dale (see photo). After the climb I came to the top of the dale and to the left were some warning signs for the active quarry, I took the track to the minor road. Going right along the road for a short while are the remains of Siggate Head mine (SK156822), however I have visited this before so instead I turned left along the road then followed the track along the line of the part filled Dirtlow Rake.

Following the track for a short while a modern barn was seen to the right of the track and immediately west of this is a capped climbing shaft of How Grove Mine (SK151819), the rest of the mine and dressing floor area are a little further to the west in the hillocks. Here I found the excavated remains of two buddles, the crushing circle and stone, a coe with hearth outside, a collapsed shaft hollow and some leats (water channels) (see photos). I have been here a few times before and I think this site is best seen in the winter when the grass has died back. From the west end of How Grove was an unfilled section of Dirtlow Rake. After a drink and removing my jumper I followed the track along the course of Dirtlow Rake. The track runs alongside the now restored and backfilled quarry albeit some of the quarry face has been left visible; a notice board to the right of the tracked gave some details of Dirtlow Rake and also marks the site of Hollandtwine Mine which the surface was removed by the quarry. Continuing a little further along the track I came to the site of Hazard Mine (SK136812) with the grilled engine shaft and wall remains of the gin circle and possible coe (see photo). I returned along the track to the site of Hollandtwine Mine and took the footpath heading southeast and across the fields to the site of New Venture Vein. The first mine I came to was that of New Venture West Mine (SK149809) which included remains of some rake feature, some low walls and coe. A little further to the east and by the side of the road is the site of New Venture Mine (SK153810) which is located with its belland yard wall and features include, capped shafts, opencuts, dressing floor and wall of deads (a wall of waste rock).

From the path by the road I took the path heading southwest and passing the site of Long Rake Founder Mine with a sunken filled shaft and nearby 'Bathom Pot'. Contiuing along the path and across the Moss I came to the site of an abandoned quarry on Moss Rake (SK145799) which includes a number of derelict buildings (see photos). Around the site of this quarry is also the Raddle Pits Mine of which little is seen and likely to be buried, although there was a single grilled shaft which had been partially exposed on one side (see photo). After view the area I continued along the path which generally follows the line of Moss Rake and soon I came to a concreted shaft and possible adjacent collapsed climbing shaft and a little further west was a boulder covered capped shaft (see photo); these shafts mark the location of Hugh Grove (SK142800). After Hugh Grove I headed along the path alongside Moss Rake towards Peak Forest. The next site on my list was going to be Royal Oak Mine; however before reaching that site I came across three unexpected sites. The first of these was Claytons Ground (SK137797) and comprised a large square buddle with two adjoining sunken features, the remains of a coe and a nearby crushing circle (see photos); this was a nice find so a took a few photos and made a sketch of the site. A little further to the west of this site and to the south of Piece Barn were two more sites, both with a shaft and coe and one in a belland yard wall (see photos). A few minutes later I came to the site of Royal Oak Mine (SK128793) which comprised a standing crushing stone and some ruined walls of either the belland yard or a coe, also near to the site was a small building which had the appearance of a powder magazine (see photos). Heading further along the path and just before the road I came to the site of Hill Venture MIne (SK126793) where the site includes numerous capped shafts, come ruined coes and opencuts, there was also a capped shaft on the other side of the road. Taking a short detour south along the Limestone Way I came to the site of Boggard Hole Mine (SK126794) which was on the otherside of the wall from the path, however I did manage to see the crushing stone and wall remains of the belland yard.

Turning back to the road I followed the Limestone Way uphill past the site of Cop Mine (which due to time constraints I had to miss out) I decided to take a short break on the hill overlooking Clear the Way Mine (SK129804) and Old Moor Mine (SK134808). After something to eat and drink I followed the path down to the site of Old Moor Mine and had a quick look around at the remains including some shafts (one capped) and the opencuts and hillocks of the mine site. My original route was to go down along Oxlow Rake then back up to Watts Grove; however I had already seen the sites there and time was getting on so I changed the route and followed the Limestone Way northerly back to the track along Dirtlow Rake. Turn west along the track I headed towards the site of Slitherstones Mine and noted a number of smaller rakes and vein along the way (see photo). From the junction of paths I followed the one heading southwest towards Watts Grove, however just prior to this site I spotted a few more capped shafts on a short rake (see photos) although at present I'm uncertain of the name(s) for this site. Arriving at the site of Jowel Grove Mine (SK123808) and to the left of the path slightly uphill is the obvious site of a crushing circle and half of the stome next to the grilled engine shaft and nearby remains of a coe; and between here and the path are also a number of other capped shafts. A little further westerly and in the same belland yard is the site of Watts Grove Mine (SK122808) which comprises a grilled engine shaft with possible ruined coe, gin circle and water storage pond (see photos). After a short while and trying to get a good photo looking down the shaft at Watts Grove I decided to take the path in the western wall of the site and made my way to the site of Smiler Mine (SK118807). Just prior to the walled enclosure of Smiler Mine are a some capped shafts on the same vein and adjacent the gate in to the site is a sunken stone floored circular feature, although I'm not sure what it is. Before entering the site was a good view along the veins and the opencuts, upon going through the gate I made my way along until I reached the site of the capped engine and climbing shafts. From the far end of the site by the fenced opencuts I turned around and started to make my way back; whilst heading back I easily noted the site of a 'rectangular' buddle although I missed the water storage pond but had a good view of one of the wall of deads in the opencut (see photos).

Ideally I would of liked to of made my way to look at the other mine to the west of Smiler Mine; however instead I made my way northwards towards the site of Burning Drake Mine, on the way I passed over the hillocks and hollows of Upper White Rake and in the distance was Eldon Hole. After a short while I reached Burning Drake Mine (SK118811) which comprises the remains of a coe, walled crushing circle and at least one shaft all set in a belland yard. From the eastern end of the site can be seen a number of large shake holes along the vein and to the north of these were the hillocks marking the line of Eldon Bent Vein (see photos). From here I made my way across the rough ground to the track which I took a short detour to have a very quick look at Eldon Hill Quarry (SK113813). Retracing my steps back I soon same to the site of Slitherstones Mine (SK123814) on the left of the track to which there is no access. The time was getting late and so I took the route back towards Castleton. On the way I managed to have a quick look at the shafts and coes along Linicar Scrins (SK126816) and the remains of James Hall Over Engine Mine (SK135820) and other capped shafts along the rake. Near to the eastern end of the rake and near Cow Low are the ruined remains of a building which I've passed lots of times, but this time I made the short detour to have a better look and take some photos. It was starting to get darker so I made my way down Cow Low from which you can see Peveril Castle, back through the narrow streets in Castleton to the car.

An excellent and very tireing walk which I would of liked a few more hours to of pulled in all the other features I missed out.