UK Mining Walks & Visits Log

Midlands - Peak District Mining Walks

Journals of mining walks

    Wirksworth Mining Walk December 2012
  A Brief Description

Distance = 14km
Route = Paths, some steep hills and some minor roads
Start = Black Rocks (SK290556)
Weather = Rain showers

Again I had a few days off work and had decided to go on a few walks, unfortunately the first day was too wet, but the next day looked a little better so off I set. Arriving at Black Rocks it was raining, so on went the waterproofs and away I went. The first site is in the car park at Black Rocks and are the remains of Cromfordmoor Mine (SK291557) with part of the engine house and shaft on Gang Vein. Heading out of the car park I came on to the line of the Cromford & High Peak Railway, a little further along the path are the obvious tips below Black Rocks. This is part of Cromford Moor mine with a few shafts (run in) and the extensive tips. Following the path up past the tip I came to a small ruined building tucked away in the corner of the wall. The building is shown on old maps to be an old smithy, it is likely to be part of the quarrying and possibly part of Barrel Edge Quarry (SK294556). On approaching the quarry area there were a number of different routes to take (some sign posted), I decided to take the old route (and public right of way) through the quarry. Taking this route revealed some nice unexpected features including part completed millstones and a stone at the top of a wall (old tramway end) which was inscibed with 'Nil Desper E' possibly translates as 'We must never despair' and may relate to the Stewart Family.

Climbing out of Barrel Edge quarry I continued along the path along the moor past the trig point and further on to Bolehill. Taking the path from Bolehill towards Wirksworth I could make out the spoil mound of Bage Mine (SK291550) behind the farm building to the north. A little further along the path was a fairly large spoil mound (fenced) of George Mine (SK290547). Approaching the railway I did consider taking a detour to see the remains of Meerbrook Sough Engine House (SK288545) on the otherside of the railway, however I had a fair way to go so decided to see it some other time. Crossing over the railway bridge gave a nice view of the station and sidings at Wirksworth. Making my way along the road in to Wirksworth I took the lane head uphill alongside the site of the old (now restored) Stoneycroft Quarry SK285544) with some memorials along side the path above the quarry. Continuing along the lane I took the path which leads to the tunnel with the Middlepeak Quarry to the west and north and Dale Quarry (SK282542) to the east; in the quarry face above and to the south-west of the tunnel were seen some roads in the old lead workings. Following the path I came alongside the road, in the trees next to the path and on the otherside of the road (SK281541) were a few mine shafts of an unknown mine. Following the path along the road for a few hundred metres there was a nice small ruined building next to the path and the road. Crossing the road and heading south I soon spotted some shallow shaft hillocks on Elder Tree Vein (SK278540).

From the road I made my way along the very muddy path which heads back to Wirksworth and runs alongside Yokecliffe Mine and rake (SK275538) which is marked by some shafts mounds and hillocks, there are also some shafts in the fields to the south. At the end of the muddy path, the path joined the lane; to the left of the lane and tucked in to the hillside is an old limekiln (SK282538). After seeing the limekiln I made my way through the streets heading to the western outskirts of Warmbrook. In the field immediately behind the last row of houses is an old building and a patch of rough ground with a capped shaft in the middle; this is the site of Upper Blobber Mine (SK279535). To the north and west and on the otherside of the hedgerow was seen a small overgrown mound which marks the site of Willow Close Mine (SK278535). After following the path west for a short while I soon came to the site of Goodluck Mine which comprises a number of shaft caps and hillocks surrounding a walled enclosure with a capped shaft amonst the trees (SK275533). A little further and I reached Summer Lane, taking a short rest on a bench I was looking in to the next field which enclosed a number of shafts earthworks and hillocks. In the field to the east was a large odd looking boulder, this is on the approx site of Old College Dream Mine (SK273532). To the south of the footpath and up the slope are numerous shafts and features, the lower set is College Dream Mine (SK272532) and on the brow is Staffords Dream Mine (SK272532). Continuing along the path I came to the road opposite Stainsborough Hall, turning right along the road I soon met the junction with the main B road; on this junction is an old stone marker (SK 26684 53475) dated 1705.

Taking care I headed southwest along the road to the junction with the road to Hopton, a few metres west of here is an old limekiln (although I missed it out on this walk). However, turning north I took the path uphill, part way up the hill I passed a series of shafts and rake workings, unfortunately I do not have a name for this mine. Further up the hill could be seen the mine along the western part of Yokecliffe Rake. The mines going west to east include Newclose; Quickset; Laneside; Smithycove; Old Taylors and Old Gells. The remains here include a number of shafts, rake workings, mounds, buddles, gin circles and ruined coes. Following the path northeast they a number of small shallow vein workings in the fields to the south of the road. From the road I was heading towards the obvious site of Intake Quarry (SK271549) above and to the north, however just before reaching the quarry was a shaft of an unknown mine. The path crosses the Cromford-High Peak Railway at Intake Junction and the entrance to the old quarry site is here, however I took two short detours. The first being to have a look at Lamb Intake (SK267551), although there was little to be seen over than a covered shaft mound. The second detour was to have a look at the Hopton Tunnel, after taking some photos I turned around and followed the former railway heading back.

The railway is a nice route and passes a number of nice sites; the first being Middleton Top Engine House (well worth a visit) and adjacent Redhill Quarry (SK275553). The next being the Middleton Incline itself with old wharf and wheelpit at the bottom of the incline. The next being a number of quarries forming part of the National Stone Centre, and inclunding Coal Hills Quarry (SK285553) wiht Waggon and some tubs and nearby Lime Kiln in the car park. The final site seen was a between the stone centre and the end; and was a little narrow gauge railway and station of Steeple Grange.

An excellent walk and plenty of mine sites, although a bit wet and muddy.

Mine Links

Photos

    Cromford - Bonsall Mining Walk December 2012
  A Brief Description

Distance = 12km
Route = Paths, some steep hills and some minor roads
Start = Car park at Cromford (Arkwrights Mill) (SK299570)
Weather = Showers and sunny intervals

It was two days later than the previous Wirksworth wal, but the weather was a little better, but still damp everywhere. For this walk I decided to start in Cromford next to the Arkwright Mill, which I had a look around after the walk. Cromford contains some other nice features such as a number of mills and the Cromford Canal Wharf, however on this visit I was concentrating on getting in some mining sites whilst there was enough daylight. I was hoping from a clear sky at night to attempt some night photography along the canal.

From Arkwright Mill I headed back to the main A6 road and took the lane running along the northside of the mill pond (SK294569), the lane rejoins the A6 and at this point I took the footpath opposite. The path runs alongside the stream and a series of old mill ponds and buildings (SK291570 to SK288571). After following the path alongside the brook I came to where the path heads to the road and the site of Slinter Mill (Sk286571), originally this was a lead smelting mill and the chimney on the west side can still be seen. After taking some photos and having a look at the notice board I headed back along the path along the river to the path which heads uphill on the right to climb up to Slinter Tor. The climb was fairly steep and reaching the top was a gated adit entrance along the right side of the path, this is the entry to Owlet Hole (SK289571), slightly above this is a second entrance; although I am not sure if this is an adit or not. Continuing along the path I soon came to a field with a number of hillocks and mounds, these appeared to be old workings associated with Alabaster and Slinter (Slingtor) Veins (SK289570). Following the path and crossing Alabaster Lane I soon came to the next set of veins and workings which include a number of old mines, the most prominant features being mounds, a coe and earthworks related to the mines of Horse Grove (SK290568, Rose Rakes (SK290568) and Hough Vein (SK290567). Following the path I came down to the track which runs up alongside Dene Quarry, in the fields to the right side of the track are a number of shaft mounds relating to Greatorex Vein (SK291565) and Dragon Eye (or Foxholes) Vein (SK290565). I headed up the track along the side of the quarry; on the right side of the track were numerous hillocks, shafts and remains relating to a series of veins and mines which include: Stoney Butts (SK289566); Old Tail Edge Vein (SK287567); Mary Rose Vein (SK287567); Kidds Dak? Close Mine (SK286567) and Samuels Scrin (SK286567).

Followng the path I came to a point where the quarry track crossed the path and headed northward, the footpath at this point was a bit unclear to find, but involved heading right, through a stile then back on myself. To the northwest of this point could be seen the site of Thatch Meadow Mine (SK283568). Following the path along the edge of the quarry, the path turn sharply south, to the right (west) of the path of the remain of part of Portobello Mine (SK281564); the remaining section of the mine having been quarried away. Heading south along the path were seen numerous hillocks and humps of Portobello, evenutally the path came away from the quarry side. After a few hundred metres and above the path were some curious shaft mounds, unfortunately I cannot find a name for this feature. Not too far away I took the footpath heading towards Middleton, by the side of the path I across another very nice set of hillocks, walls and remains of an unnamed mine. Taking the track and path northeast I headed back in towards the quarry, however turning back west along the next lane. Along both sides of the lane were a number of hillocks and features; to north is Nogg Mine (SK281563) and to the south could be seen Stitchen Mine (SK280562).

Upon reaching the lane at the farm I could see the shaft mound for Hallicar Vein (SK278565) beyond to the west, following the lane northwards, I soon came to the western end of Portobello Mines tothe right of the path. To the west and above the track were the remains of Hallicar Olive Vein Mine (SK279567) set in its belland yard wall and remains of a coe. A while later and after following the lane north, I came across the remains of 2 shafts mound/hollow seperated by a wall, to the south and above this were the remains of a small ruined unknown building. The shafts belong to Hit or Miss (SK281571). Making my way down the steep slope I crossed the Via Gellia at the bottom and began the steep slippery climb up the other side, passing the Briars Well (a spring) before reaching Bonsall, where I took a nice break and the chance for something to eat. From Bonsal I made my way up the hill taking the path pass Superfine(?) Vein to the top of Masson Hill and the site of the top of Gentlewomens Pipe (SK286590), turning southwards along the path, I entered a small wooded area, this had a few old mine shafts and mounds which again I cannot find a name for. From Masson Hil, I made my way heading south above Matlock Bath along the set of paths taking me past Ball Eye Quarry and back to Cromford.

I nice walk, fairly good weather, however previous rain made this another muddy and occasionally slippy walk.