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Monument record MDR2275 - Rope Walk, Peak Cavern, Castleton

Type and Period (1)

  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

The floor of Peak Cavern is divided into eight to nine longitudinal terraces, each used as a separate ropewalk. The cavern also contained two cottages in the 18th century. (1) Ropewalks in Peak Cavern have been in use for at least 400 years up until the 1970s. One was originally owned by the Duchy of Lancaster, who provided guided tours to the public. (2) Twine and rope makers are thought to have begun to use the entrance to Peak Cavern in around 1750. A description from 1761 notes the inhabitants of the cave 'with difficulty adding to their poor pittance to maintain their wretched lives by spinning pack thread'. Ropewalks were constructed on the cavern floor, each ropewalk being a family business. Early photographs show some of the walks and the rope makers around the end of the 19th century, and there has been some survival of some of the ropemakers' machinery, such as trolleys and drying frames. (3,4)

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Harris, H. 1971. Industrial Archaeology of the Peak District. pp 121-122, 196.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D. 1984. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology - A Gazetteer of Sites. Part I. Borough of High Peak. p 11.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Castleton Historical Society. 1986. About Old Castleton.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Stroud, G. 2002. Extensive Urban Survey: Castleton - Archaeological Assessment Report.. p 14.



Grid reference Centred SK 1486 8260 (20m by 41m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

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External Links (0)

Record last edited

Jan 11 2016 12:14PM

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