Speedwell Cavern

The Speedwell Cavern is one of the four show caves in Castleton, Derbyshire, England.

It consists of a horizontal lead miners' adit (a level passageway driven horizontally into the hillside) leading to the cavern itself, a limestone cave. The adit is permanently flooded, resulting in Speedwell Cavern's (locally unique) feature: after descending a long staircase, the visitor makes the journey into the cave by boat. Originally the guide propelled the boat by pushing against the walls with his hands, later the boat was legged through, and now it is powered by an electric motor.

At the end of the adit, the visitor alights from the boat and walks into the cave to see the fluorspar veins, the stalactites and stalagmites, and the so-called "Bottomless Pit". This pit is an extremely deep vertical shaft, now choked to within 20 metres (66 ft) of the surface by rock spoil dumped by miners. The original depth of the shaft has been estimated, from the amount of spoil placed in the shaft over the years, at around 150 metres (490 ft).

A connection was discovered in 1999 between the Speedwell Cavern system and Titan, the largest natural shaft in the UK, which is 141.5 metres (464 ft) high.

Speedwell Cavern
Speedwell Cavern 2015 03
LocationCastleton, Derbyshire
Coordinates53°20′29″N 1°47′32″W / 53.3414°N 1.7921°WCoordinates: 53°20′29″N 1°47′32″W / 53.3414°N 1.7921°W
WebsiteSpeedwell Cavern official website
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Location of Speedwell Cavern, Derbyshire, and the other nearby caves.
A624 road

The A624 road is a trunk road in the English county of Derbyshire. It connects Glossop to Chapel-en-le-Frith passing through Chunal, Hayfield, and New Smithy.

Castleton, Derbyshire

Castleton is a village in the High Peak district of Derbyshire, England, at the western end of the Hope Valley on the Peakshole Water, a tributary of the River Noe, between the Dark Peak to the north and the White Peak to the south. The population was 642 at the 2011 Census.

Charlesworth, Derbyshire

Charlesworth is a village and civil parish near Glossop, Derbyshire, England. The population of the civil parish at the 2011 Census was 2,449. It is 2 miles (3.2 km) south-west of Glossop town centre and close to the borders of Greater Manchester with the nearby village of Broadbottom in Tameside. The parish church of St John the Baptist was built in 1848–49. The Congregational Chapel was rebuilt from an earlier chapel in 1797. Broadbottom Bridge, one end of which is in Cheshire, was built in 1683. Charlesworth holds an annual carnival on the second Saturday in July on its recreation ground on Marple Road, which includes fell races and other events.

The village is at the foot of the "Monks' Road", which was used by the monks of Basingwerk Abbey in North Wales. At the top of the road is the Abbot's Chair, the base of a monastic cross also known as the Charlesworth Cross.


Gamesley is a residential area within the Borough of High Peak

in Derbyshire, England, west of Glossop and close to the River Etherow which forms the boundary with Tameside in Greater Manchester. Gamesley is a ward of the High Peak Borough Council. It had a population of 2,531 at the 2011 Census.

John Gilbert (agent)

John Gilbert (1724–1795) was land agent and engineer to the third Duke of Bridgewater and is credited with the idea that led to the building of the Bridgewater Canal.

John Gilbert was born in Staffordshire. When he was aged 12–13 he was apprenticed to Matthew Boulton, a manufacturer of small metal objects and the father of Matthew Boulton, the engineer. When Gilbert was aged 19 his father died and he left his apprenticeship to superintend the family lime works. John's brother, Thomas, was working as agent to Lord Gower, brother-in-law of the Duke of Bridgewater. Thomas invited John to inspect the Duke's coal mines at Worsley, and here John suggested the idea of a canal, to drain the mines and to convey the coal. Around 1758 John was appointed as the Duke's agent and moved to live in Worsley. Here he started on the levelling and surveying work necessary for this project. Later James Brindley was appointed as engineer to the canal and the Duke, Gilbert and Brindley worked on the plans for the canal and supervised its building from Worsley Old Hall.For the Duke, Gilbert also ran the demesne farm and set up a lead pencil factory at Worsley using plumbago from the Duke's mines in Keswick. When lime was found on the Duke's estate, Gilbert's previous experience helped to develop lime burning as an additional source of revenue. As separate undertakings, Gilbert worked on the drainage of Martin Mere and in the reclamation of the northern portion of Chat Moss. In the 1770s Gilbert worked as agent for the Duke of Devonshire working on a project to build an underground canal for his Ecton Hill mines. This canal now leads to Speedwell Cavern. In the 1780s Gilbert developed the first deep salt mine at Marston Mine near the Lion Salt Works in Cheshire. At the time of his death work was proceeding to his design of an inclined plane within the Worsley mining system.

Legging (canals)

Legging is a method of moving a boat through a canal tunnel or adit containing water. This method of navigating through canal tunnels and adits has been commonly used in canal tunnels during the 18th century.

List of caves in the United Kingdom

This is a list of caves in the United Kingdom, including information on the largest and deepest caves in the UK.

Mam Tor

Mam Tor is a 517 m (1,696 ft) hill near Castleton in the High Peak of Derbyshire, England. Its name means "mother hill", so called because frequent landslips on its eastern face have resulted in a multitude of "mini-hills" beneath it. These landslips, which are caused by unstable lower layers of shale, also give the hill its alternative name of Shivering Mountain. In 1979, the continual battle to maintain the A625 road (Sheffield to Chapel en le Frith) on the crumbling eastern side of the hill was lost when the road officially closed as a through-route, with the Fox House to Castleton section of the road being re-designated as the A6187.

The hill is crowned by a late Bronze Age and early Iron Age univallate hill fort, and two Bronze Age bowl barrows. At the base of the Tor and nearby are four show caves: Blue John Cavern, Speedwell Cavern, Peak Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern where lead, Blue John, fluorspar and other minerals were once mined.

Simon Jenkins rates the panorama from Kinder Scout to Stanage Edge as one of the top ten in England.

Peak Cavern

The Peak Cavern, also known as the Devil's Arse (so called because of the flatulent-sounding noises from inside the cave when flood water is draining away), is one of the four show caves in Castleton, Derbyshire, England. Peakshole Water flows through and out of the cave.

Peak Dale

Peak Dale is a small village in Derbyshire, England. It is located between Dove Holes and Buxton, between 2 quarries one located close to Dove Holes and one to the bottom end of the village. The population falls in the civil parish of Wormhill.

The village used to house quarry workers and their families, but some of the original houses have now been demolished. The village has a club (Great Rocks Club), a playground, and a primary school, which are all used frequently by residents of the village.

Great Rocks Dale lies immediately south of the village.

River Goyt

The River Goyt is a river in North West England. It is one of the tributaries of the River Mersey.

River Kinder

The River Kinder is a small river, only about 3 miles (4.8 km) long, in northwestern Derbyshire, England. Rising on the peat moorland plateau of Kinder Scout, it flows generally westwards to its confluence with the River Sett at Bowden Bridge (a Grade II listed packhorse bridge). En route it flows through the Kinder Gates rocks, over the waterfall known as Kinder Downfall, and through Kinder Reservoir, built in 1903–12 by the Stockport Corporation Water Works. Until the 19th century at least, the name was formerly also applied to the River Sett as far as its confluence with the River Goyt in New Mills.

River Noe

The River Noe is a tributary of the River Derwent in Derbyshire, England. It flows approximately 12 miles (19 km) from its source, the confluence of two streams running off Kinder Scout in the Peak District, east through Edale and then southeast through the village of Hope.

The river flows into the River Derwent a kilometre south of Bamford. The entire length of the river is closely followed by the Hope Valley (Manchester to Sheffield) railway line.

The portion of the river downstream of Hope, along with the valley of the River Noe's main tributary, Peakshole Water, is known as the Hope Valley.Like many rivers in Derbyshire, the Noe was used historically to power water mills, originally these were mainly corn mills but during the industrial revolution some were rebuilt for other uses.

One example of this was the cotton mill at Edale; built in the late 18th century it shares a common design with other mills of the period, including multiple floors with large windows and a shallow pitched roof. There was also a corn and saw mill at Hope, driven by an 11 ft water wheel.At Brough there were a number of mills that used the Noe, including a lace-thread doubling mill, a cotton mill and the corn mill (pictured). The corn mill is notable in that water powered milling came to an end in 1954, when the flow of the Noe was reduced by the upstream diversion scheme. This was constructed to provide additional inflows for Ladybower Reservoir by the Derwent Valley Water Board.

River Sett

The River Sett is a river that flows through the High Peak borough of Derbyshire, in north western England. It rises near Edale Cross on Kinder Scout and flows through the villages of Hayfield and Birch Vale to join the River Goyt at New Mills. The River Goyt is one of the principal tributaries of the River Mersey. In the past, the river was known as the River Kinder; the modern River Kinder is a right tributary of the Sett, joining the river at Bowden Bridge above Hayfield.The 2.5-mile Sett Valley Trail follows the trackbed of the former railway line along the valley between Hayfield and New Mills.


Rowarth is a hamlet about 2.5 miles (4 km) north of New Mills in the High Peak borough of Derbyshire, England. It is on the edge of the Peak District, in the hills between New Mills and Marple Bridge. It is within the parish boundary of the former town.It is locally famous for the Little Mill Inn, a pub and restaurant in a former candlewick mill, with a waterwheel in the adjacent stream. The Little Mill has a retired Brighton Belle Pullman railway coach which is used as guest accommodation.


Sparrowpit is a small village between Chapel-en-le-Frith and Peak Forest in the High Peak area of the Peak District, Derbyshire, England.

The name is derived from 'spar row pit' from the fluorspar mines.

The village has an active community, including a methodist chapel and village hall.

It is situated at a crossroads where the main road (A623) takes a right-angled bend at the Wanted Inn. From this junction, one minor road takes a different and hillier route to Chapel-en-le-Frith, and another heads for Mam Tor and Castleton by way of the Winnats Pass.

The watershed between rivers running east into the North Sea and west into the Irish Sea runs almost exactly through the village.


Tintwistle is a village and civil parish in the High Peak district of the non-metropolitan county of Derbyshire, England. According to the 2001 census the parish had a population of 1,401, reducing marginally to 1,400 and including Arnfield at the 2011 Census. The village is just north of Glossop at the lower end of Longdendale Valley. Tintwistle, like nearby Crowden and Woodhead, lies within the historic county boundaries of Cheshire.

Titan (cave)

Titan is a natural cavern near Castleton in the Derbyshire Peak District, and is the deepest shaft of any known cave in Britain, at 141.5 metres (464 ft). The existence of Titan was revealed in November 2006, following its discovery on 1 January 1999 after cavers discovered connections from the James Hall Over Engine Mine to both Speedwell Cavern and Peak Cavern. Previously, the deepest known underground shaft in Britain had been Gaping Gill on the slopes of Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales.

Dave Nixon, nicknamed Moose, and guru of a group of Peak District cavers, discovered the shaft after finding an account by an 18th-century academic, James Plumptre, in a university library. Initial explorations in the James Hall Over Engine Mine led to the discovery of a large shaft named Leviathan, before further excavations revealed the existence of Titan.

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