Peak District Mines Historical Society
Promoting and preserving mining heritage
(Registered charity No. 504662)

Introducing the Peak District Mines Historical Society

The Peak District Mines Historical Society was formed at a meeting held at Sheffield University on the 14th of February 1959 by a group of interested geologists at the University.

In 1976 a massive operation at Wills Founder Shaft, Winster, resulted in the recovery of a unique water pressure engine. This led directly to the opening of the Peak District Lead Mining Museum at Matlock Bath, where the engine is displayed along with many other artefacts and historical displays.

The Museum provides an interactive educational facility for all ages and visitors can also undertake a guided tour into the old fluorspar workings at Temple Mine, just across the road from the Museum and owned and managed by the Society. The impressive Pump Room is the primary venue for the Society's winter series of lectures, slide shows and video presentations which are generally very well attended.

Early in its history the Society acquired a lease of the surface remains at Magpie Mine, Sheldon. Over the last 40 years much effort, both in time and money, has gone into the preservation of the site. OurField Centre is located in the old Agent's Cottage and is available for use by members and their guests for a nominal fee.

Since its inception the Society has published a bi-annual Bulletin. This has grown into one of the leading journals of mining history, and circulates throughout the world.

Groups of members from within the Society are involved in a number of active projects, such as the Crich Lead Mining Display at the National Tramway Museum, conservation and archaeology work at High Rake (completed in 2008) and the recently-completed archaeological excavation and conservation programme at Silence Mine amongst others.

The Society also arranges regular underground meets, training sessions and mining history walks as well as hosting a series of winter lectures, slide shows and video presentations. There is always a calendar of current events to interest both the serious mine historian or researcher and the active underground explorer.

Having recently celebrated its 50th birthday, the Society has a large and thriving membership of both active and academic members, who are working together both above and below ground to record, preserve, explore and document the mines and mining history of the Peak District. 

Industrial Archaeology Walk - Lathkill Dale

  • Dates: 21 – 21 Jan, 2017
  • Contact: Chris James
  • Email:
  • Phone: 01246 208656


Leader: Chris James. Meet at 10.00am in the Pay & Display Car Park in Over Haddon (DE45 1JE). No prior booking required - all welcome. 

An approximately 6 mile long circular walk on tracks, footpaths and country lanes. Generally easy going, with one steep section up the valley side to get out of the Dale. 
We will be looking at various archaeological and mining features in this beautiful limestone valley, which is also a National Nature Reserve. We will visit the sites of Mandale and Lathkill Dale mines (among others) to see the impressive remains of mainly C19th mining activities, and even get to look down onto the illuminated Lathkill Dale Sough! We will also see various quarries and other features - including prehistoric rock shelters and caves if time allows.

Please note: the valley is quite narrow and steep sided, and it is prone to flooding after heavy rain, so do check this website for the latest information before you set out.

Bring a packed lunch and drink. Please note that there are no facilities of any kind in the Dale itself, but we might have an optional drink in Over Haddon afterwards. There are also toilets at the car park in Over Haddon.

I recently found a video about Lathkill Dale on YouTube, which features some nice aerial drone photography - you can view it here.