Thoughtful Thursday…….


Magpie Mine, Sheldon, Derbyshire Peak District

The buildings at Magpie Mine are a protected monument, a tribute to its mining history.  Deserted and ruined but they still seems full of life, a life long gone.

Every visit to this lonely spot high on the Derbyshire Limestone Peak District, I always stop and ponder.  I try to imagine a busy working environment with harsh conditions both above and below ground.

Derbyshire has been linked with Lead Mining for a great many centuries.  It was lead that attracted the Romans to Derbyshire.  A great deal of Lead mining occurred in this general locality since then.  But for Magpie Mine its historical records appear to start in 1682 with work on what became know as the Shuttlebank Vein. There were in fact a number of Lead workings in the immediate, Magpie Mine, Dirty Red Soil, Great Red Soil, Maypit and Horsesteps…. all becoming known simply as Magpie Mine.

It wasn’t until 1840, and a new owner, that modern equipment was added in the hope of great productivity and of course profit.  Much of what we see today, dates to that period of the mines history.

Trying to imagine those times, and all those centuries of labour before, is hard.  No doubt lots of stories to be told.

There  was though one in particular.  A major dispute in 1833, resulting in a murder charge that followed the deaths of 3 miners whilst underground, but that is another long story.

There are no ghost stories that I am aware of, but when you walk through these Mine buildings,  I often have a feeling that the spirits of those miners walks with me.

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

15th July

(C) David Oakes 2021