Visiting Magpie Mine - How to get there.
Magpie Mine is about 5km west of Bakewell, at Grid Ref. SK173682, postcode DE45 1QU. The nearest public road is from Bakewell to Flagg. The mine stands well back from the road, and cars must be parked at the roadside. (The access track is a private road for use only by the local farmers and by Society Members: please leave the gateways clear.) The mine site is Open Access Land, allowing public access on foot, and there are no restrictions on opening times. (For a map showing the extent of the Open Access Land, click here.) Several public footpaths cross the site, offering a choice of walking routes from Kirkdale, Sheldon, and Hard Rake. If you depend on GPS or SatNav to find Magpie Mine, be careful that it doesn't send you into Sheldon village, which is about half a kilometre north of the mine.
Cyclists may use the access track from the road at their own risk – the surface is very rough and potholed.
The mouth of the Sough is on the south bank of the River Wye at SK180698, about 1.5km west of Ashford-in-the-Water. Park in the lay-by on the A6 and use the path over the river at the side of Shacklow Mill, or follow the path alongside the river from the bottom of Kirkdale.
Magpie Mine is a historic mining site, not a theme park or museum, and facilities are therefore very limited. It is the unspoilt nature of the site that attracts many of our visitors, and so we have no plans to change it.
Except on Heritage Open Days or by prior arrangement, none of the buildings are open to the public. Society members wishing to make use of the buildings should contact the Cottage Warden.
Apart from a small area at the centre of the site, the ground surface is very uneven and not suitable for wheelchair access. It is not possible to improve the surface finish without destroying the historic nature of the site.
All known shafts on the site are either blocked or have been safely capped. However, there are some unprotected drops, steep slopes and uneven ground, all typical of an industrial location. Look where you're going, and keep young children under control. Do not climb on any of the buildings or other structures, and keep off the steep faces of the spoil tips. Please don't drop stones (or anything else) down the shafts.
There is no access to any of the underground workings at Magpie Mine.
Guide books and other information:
The Society has published a guide book to the history of Magpie Mine. Copies (£1 each) are on sale at the Peak District Lead Mining Museum in Matlock Bath, and also from the Agent's House or Smithy when Society members are in attendance.
Guided tours are available on our Heritage Open Days, (usually the second weekend in September: please check in the Events section of our website for details.) Tours can be arranged at other times for groups of six or more visitors if booked in advance – please contact MagpieBookings@pdmhs.com or the Peak District Lead Mining Museum. For those looking to make an educational visit to the site, a Teacher's Pack is available for download here.
Magpie Mine is a Scheduled Monument (Number 1019490), which means it has been listed by Historic England as being an important archaeological resource for the ‘educational and cultural benefit of future generations’. Listing affords some protection against wanton destruction of the site, but it also imposes certain obligations on visitors. It is an offence to damage or deface any part of the Monument: it is also an offence to use any form of metal detector or to dig anywhere on the site without the appropriate consent from the Secretary of State. The full text of the Scheduled Monument listing can be found here.
Wild Flowers: Magpie Mine is host to a range of wild flowers, including specialised plants which are adapted to high concentrations of lead in the spoil hillocks. In 2010, the site was awarded Higher Level Stewardship status under Natural England's Environmental Stewardship scheme, which enables the Society to receive funding for scrub clearance, grazing, maintenance work and educational visits to the site.
The land is grazed sensitively to protect both the wild flowers and historic remains. It is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) to pick or dig up any wild flowers, or to introduce non-native species. Look at the flowers and plants: draw them, photograph them, but leave them for others to enjoy
Dogs (and other pets):
Cattle and sheep are grazed on the Magpie Mine site and in the surrounding fields. Please keep your dog under control, ideally on a lead. Be aware that cattle can become particularly aggressive if they feel their calves are under threat, either from humans or from dogs. Please don't leave bags of dog waste on the site – take it home with you.
You are very welcome to take photographs of the Magpie Mine – many hundreds of people, both novices and experts, do so, and their results can be seen on a variety of websites. If you intend to sell your work or undertake a commission for profit, then we would appreciate a donation towards the upkeep of the site.
By prior arrangement, film and television production companies may use the site for filming, for which there will usually be a location fee, dependent on the scale of the production. Please get in touch with us at the earliest opportunity in your planning stage, as we may be able to offer additional facilities, props, and advice.
Drones (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or UAV's):
You should make yourself familiar with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) rules on flying drones and follow their guidance. (Click here for the CAA website.) Make sure you can see your drone at all times, and don't fly higher than 400 feet. Drones fitted with cameras must not be flown within 50 metres of people, vehicles, buildings or structures, or over congested areas or large gatherings such as our Heritage Open Days. If an unmanned aircraft is to be used for any kind of commercial activity, prior permission must be obtained from the Civil Aviation Authority.