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Monument record MDR12004 - Blue John Show Cave, Winnats Head, Castleton

Type and Period (1)

  • (Stuart to Victorian - 1700 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Blue John is Britain's rarest mineral discovered by the Romans almost 2000 years ago. (1) The Blue John Mine (currently a show cave) contains shafts sunk to natural caverns and historically important Blue John deposits worked from the 18th century onwards. (2) Behind the modern buildings above the present entrance to the show cave is a grilled shaft of c. 1m diameter, and further to the south-west is a blocked shaft on a small hillock. The show cave comprises over 1200m of passages, some of which have been mined as pipe workings for Blue John. The deepest part of the cave is c. 90m below the surface. This mine has been worked from the mid-18th century onwards. (3) A piece of human tibia was found in a chamber towards the top of Blue John Cavern in early 2012 and revealed by radiocarbon dating to be c. 3500 years old. (4)

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Personal Observation: Shakarian, J (ARS). Personal observation, map evidence, field visit etc..
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Barnatt, J. 2004. An Inventory of Regionally & Nationally Important Lead Mining Sites in the Peak District. Vol. 2: Corpus of Sites. p 3, site no. 1.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Barnatt, J (PDNPA). 1993. Winnats Head Farm, Castleton, Derbyshire, archaeological survey, 1993. p 4, Feature 26.
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: 2012. 'Bones found in cave are around 3,500 years old', The Star. Published on Monday 27 February 2012.



Grid reference Centred SK 1317 8320 (41m by 95m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR3709

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Feb 23 2015 11:12AM

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