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. 

Mining and Archaeology Walk - the Bradwell Area

  • Dates: 26 – 26 Feb, 2017
  • Contact: Chris James
  • Email: meets@pdmhs.com
  • Phone: 01246 208656
Walk leader: Chris Furness.

A short (2 miles) circular Sunday afternoon walk, mostly on footpaths. The route is packed with places of interest.
We will meet at 1.15 pm in the car park of Brough Mill Shop (closed on Sundays, but we have special permission to park there) - postcode S33 9NG for sat-navs.
From there, we will catch the bus at 1.30pm to go to the top end of Bradwell (fare approx. £1.00 for those without bus passes). 
We will start by visiting the Dale End smelter site, precipitation tunnels and water turbine draught pipe remains. Then on to Hazlebadge Liberty to view sites of veins, shafts and soughs. Also the burial mounds containing cists of the Celtic bronze/iron age beaker people, who may have been the first lead miners in the area.
If we can get permission, we will then go to Wortley to see the mine hillocks and the Cement Works pumping station, which extracted water from Pictor Sough.
Next we will go to see where the outflow from Pictor Sough ran into Bradwell Brook, before it was recently blocked and forced to surface elsewhere! 
From there, we will walk along the fields towards Brough, via the 5th century ancient monument 'Grey Ditch' and past (and inside) the precipitation tunnels of the Brough Lead Smelter (1920s)
The walk will conclude with a visit to Navio Roman Fort at Brough, from where the Romans controlled the lead trade in the area from AD 80 to AD 350, with a break of 35 years from AD 120 to AD 155. It was by far the longest-occupied Roman fort in Derbyshire.
The Roman Fort is situated close to our parking place, and the walk should finish by 4.30pm.
PDMHS members are recommended to bring their copies of the last Mining History (Autumn 2016) with Chris Heathcote's article on Hazlebadge Liberty.