UK Mining Walks & Visits Log

Midlands - Peak District Mining Walks

Journals of mining walks

    Ashover Area Mining Walk 10th December 2011
  A Brief Description

Distance = approx 16km
Route = Roads, tracks, footpaths and steep climbs and decents
Start / End = Ogston Reservoir West Car Park (SK374604)
Weather = Sunny & cloudy and cold, snow on higher ground

After not doing a walk in a while I finally got around to doing this one around some of the mines and quarries around Ashover. It was a cold start to the morning, the sky was part sun and part cloudy and there was a blanket of snow on the higher ground. Leaving the car park next to Ogston Sailing Club (see photo) I took the road then lane heading westerley past Yew Tree Farm, to the right and in the woods is a small disused and overgrown quarry (see photo). Following the path westerwards I soon noticed a small hollow feature in on of the fields (see photo), although I'm uncertain about what exactly it is. After a short while and after finding my way along the frozen paths I came to White Carr Lane and headed north then west along Butterley Lane to take the path heading up to Ravensnest Tor. The climb up the escarpment was a good climb along the snow covered path, although at the top were some excellent views of the countyside, back towards Ogston Reservoir and part of the walk around Milltown Quarry (see photo); a good place for a short break. After taking a short stop I soon came to some interesting features including a nice square large stone cut trough; this may be from a nearby quarry; also around this point the path takes a slight diversion from its original route along the edge of the escarpment (see photos).

Reaching the track I followed it northward for a few hundred metres then took the path up along side the old quarries on Cocking Tor. The path goes up past some old stone buildings, although inthe snow were difficult to photograph; further up the slope are the large stone blocks from the quarrying and on some of these blocks the markings of drill holes could easyily be seen (see photo). In the field to the south of the path can be seen the area of another old quarry. Following the path up the hill I came back out of the trees and to my right was a gate behind which could be seen a building and other remains of quarrying (see photo), please note these remains are on private land. From the quarry at Cocking Tor I headed towards the road and then north to Old Engine Farm; the farm is the site of an old pumping engine for Gregory Mine, adjacent to one of the building can clearly be seen the renovated remains of the shaft wall (see photos). After taking a few photos I took the path opposite the farm past Round Plantation and back to Cocking Tor. I took the oppurtunity to take a look at the escarpment and the views from the edge (see photo), a good view of Gregory Mine and Overton Hall were seen below. I made my way carefully down the steep and slippy slope down to Gregory Mine. The first feature was a sleeper covered shaft along the path which was easily spotted due to the warmer air from the shaft melting the snow above. From this shaft I made my way to the main site of Gregory Mine of which the visible features included some stone retaining wall, two stone buildings in to which someone had inscribed Sept 1955; the waste hillocks; a 'odd' looking stone wall of vertical slabs and the square chimney (see photos).

After looking around Gregory Mine I the path down past Ravensnest to look for some more sough and mine shafts. At Gin Lane I took the route northwards towards Overton Hall and passing the gates on the road with a section of stone cobbled road (see photo). On the other side of the lane to Overton Hall are the remains of the headgear and winch of Overton Mine (see photos). I took a few photos and continued along the lane, after a short while I noticed a small clump of in the field to the left of the lane; this looked like a possible shaft location for Brimstone Dyke Mine. A little further along the lane is an obvious small shaft mound for this mine. I then followed the lane for a while until I almost reached the main road; along which are some good views of Butts Quarry and Ashover. To the left is the disused Ambervale Quarry, however I took the footpath heading northeasterly towards Butts Quarry; a stile along this path made a nice place for a quick bit to eat. The site of Butts Quarry has been turned in to a motorcross track and I was pleased to see some remains were still present at the quarry; these included two buildings, some foundations and other pieces lying around. Making my way out of the quarry and taking the path to Ashover I could see the low tree lines mound of the old railway running alongside the river.

I made my way through the village of Ashover and taking time to have a look at the church along the way. Following the path from Ashover to Fallgate took me around the back of Fall Hill Quarry (see photo). From Fallgate I decided to change my route slightly and take the path up through the Milltown Quarry. This proved to be a wise idea and allowed me to see a number of features which I would of otherwise of missed; these included two sections of old opencut sections of mine workings which you pass over via footbridges. Unfortunatley a large tree obsurced the view slightly at the first footbridge. Furhter up the hill were good views of both sides of the quarry workings and visible in the northwest face of the north quarry I could make out a section of old workings and roads in the vein (see photo). From here I took the lane back down towards the road and took Hunt Lane then the path heading across the river to Brown Lane, this route allowed me to see another section of the old railway (see photo) and a small shaft hollow. From Brown Lane I took path heading back towards Ogston Reservoir; on the way and on the other side of the valley were the clear remains of an old mine adit and mine building, these are remains of Woolley Moor Colliery (see photos). After taking a while to get a good long distance photo I followed the path to Woolley Bridge. An old drainage sough from Gregory Mine is shown to have it's outlet at Woolley Bridge although I'm uncertain as to why it was so long at such a shallow gradient along the river; however I could not see any signs of it from the road. I took quarry lane back towards the car park noticing an old quarry on the left side of the road, now overgrown and a small wood.

Although a short walk it was a challenging one with some steep climbs and decents and made extra challenging with some slippy conditions and limited amount of daylight. Overall an excellent walk even including becoming rather muddy.