Share this article

Home » Beneath the Ridge » Copper in Them Thar Hills?

There's Copper in Them Thar Hills (or not)!


As part of the Beneath the Ridge Project, volunteers within the Sandstone Ridge Trust are researching and cataloguing a great number of shelters and caves along the length of The Ridge. The caves (or mines) associated with the long-gone copper mining industry are all (or so we thought), either lost or closed off to any modern study.

This report details the exciting results from a recent survey of an old adit mine, from the southern end of the Sandstone Ridge. The exact position of this adit has long been known, but other than anecdotal evidence of individuals exploring the caves as children, very little was known about the mine — until now!

From this survey, the caves' dimensions and position have been accurately measured; the excavation process catalogued; notes on the geology recorded, and exactly what the mine was targeting are fully described. Some of the fauna living in the cave is also catalogued. In addition, a history of the mine ownership and operations is given.

Photographs of the adit represent a visual feast of a time capsule. The pick marks, the candle holders, the evidence of the unsuccessful search for copper, all remain in place, exactly as the miners who worked there had left the site on the day that it was abandoned in c1830.

Through the considerable efforts of Peter Winn (SRT Trustee) in assembling the relevant people and organisations to enable this survey to take place, the Sandstone Ridge Trust would like to thank Nigel Dibben and Callum Ewan of the Derbyshire Caving Club, the expertise and experience of whom in investigating underground sites was invaluable in providing an accurate survey of the adit. We would also like to extend our thanks to the Bolesworth Estate in providing access to the site and in granting permissions to survey the adit and to the Bolesworth historian, Wendy Bawn. This was collaboration at its very best.

To read this exciting report CLICK HERE

Our thanks to Nick Holmes in providing this fascinating article