A Peak District Icon…


Magpie Mine, Sheldon, Derbyshire

The White Peak area of Derbyshire’s Peak District conjures up a vision of countryside made up of high moor and deep limestone dales.  A tourist destination and a playground for walkers, enjoying today’s peaceful scenic countryside and Historic Stately Homes.

For many, the above industrial buildings seem incongruous, standing high above the surrounding countryside.  This is Magpie Lead Mine.

It is a reminder that this area of Derbyshire was once a place of much industrial activity.  Indeed, the Romans were drawn to region for its mineral resources of Lead and Fluorspar. The Lead mining was an important economic industry over many centuries with mines spread over a wide are of the Peak.

Magpie Mine, is perhaps the most iconic landmark and reminder of the areas mining tradition.

Lead has been mined at Magpie for over 300 years.  The first commercial mine on the site was in the 1600’s, Its fortunes varied over the centuries, perhaps reaching its peak in the mid 1800’s.  The mine closed in 1883. Later there were attempts made to revitalise the mines fortunes, both in the early 1900’s, then again in 1950’s closing for the last time in1958.

Perhaps I should add that Magpie was also the scene of an alleged underground murder of a miner who was suspected of deliberately breaking into a Magpie seam from a neighbouring mine. A number of miners were charged with murder but eventually the charges were dropped.

Magpie Mine has often feature in one of my walks across the Peak, its industrial past contrasting with the peace and serenity of the area today….. but at the same time exploring Magpies remains does add a mystical feel to the day…..  maybe it is the alleged ghost of the murdered miner.

Time and fortunes always change, an no matter what life holds for you…..

Please Remember ….

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

8th November

(C) David Oakes 2022

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