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Matlock Bath, Name That Entrance


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Saw an entrance off Matlock bath yesterday. About 15m North of the castle wall near the weir. I have a funny feeling I know the name but some confirmation would be nice.

Took two (bad) pictures of it on my phone.




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Thanks Bograt, but Dido's (as I know it, the mostly flooded one that the scout got rescued from in the 1980s) is about 60m South of the castle wall.


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I think it could be Wragg Mine , same side of the river as Didos about 20m upstream.
Went there in 1979  to look at diving some flooded workings but looked too unstable. Warm thermal water in the mine and blue as Bombay Sapphire , nice place to go on a cold winter day.
Did not record in CDG newsletter though the following journal may be an  interesting read
PDMHS - Bulletin Part I (1959 - 1980) Toft D. & Rieuwerts J.H. 1960 Some notes on a Thermal Spring encountered in the Wragg Mine, Matlock Bath Vol 1 (3) pp 15-16[/i]



Another possibility...

Have a look at Lead Mining in Derbyshire Volume 3 (Elton to the Via Gellia), by J H Rieuwerts, Page 147 - Page 150.

There is a map on Page 148 showing a vein called Moletrap Vein or Great Rake, and it matches roughly the location (and proximity to the weir) you've mentioned. It goes on to talk about Nether Hagg Mine being located on Moletrap Vein (Page 149).

Page 150 said:
Dido's cave is often confused with the outcrop of Great (or Moletrap) Rake at Masson Weir.
I do have definitive knowledge of this area.
There is massive confusion of the mine names here.
The entrance shown in these photos is Hag Mine also known as Didos. It is about a 400 foot long stope, with a walkway above a flooded rift and two big pumping shafts. The clear thermal water made for marvellous diving conditions and it was a favourite of SUSS. It was walled off in c.1980 because it is in Council-owned land. This is a great pity - it ought to have been gated. At the time, I suggested that it be made into a show cave.

Nether Hag Mine is often wrongly called Didos by cavers.
This is the big rift entrance by the weir in the grounds of Willersley Castle. I visited the entrance recently and it is still open.
This was where the rescue of a trapped boy scout was made by Lynn Willies, Terry Worthington et al. It was explored by cave divers of Orpheus who published various surveys in their newsletters. Beware that early surveys show a side passage in a sump on the wrong side, which could prove dangerous to explorers. This is the big system with flooded coffin gates and various sumps. The extent of these workings under Willersley is not clear, they seem to sump more and more as one gets further in. I have not heard of anything being done here in recent years.

I am preparing a book for publication on the mines and caverns in the Matlocks and if anyone knows of any further exploration here beyond what Orpheus have published, I would be pleased to be informed about it.


Hi HistoryTrog,

Thanks for clarifying - it all makes sense now. (y) Sounds a real shame it was sealed and not gated.  :(

  • Hagg Mine (a.k.a Didos) as shown in the photos - just north of the castle wall - blocked.
  • Nether Hagg Mine - near the weir - currently open.

Slight ammendment to my previous post (as I misunderstood the location described)...
Pipster said:
There is a map on Page 148 showing a vein called Moletrap Vein or Great Rake, and it matches roughly the location (and proximity to the weir) you've mentioned. It goes on to talk about Nether Hagg Mine being located on Moletrap Vein (Page 149). 

PS. The map on Page 148 in Rieuwerts does show the position of Hagg Mine with the castle wall nearby.

When will your book be out History Trog?

Also, the map I've mentioned shows Upper Hagg Level - do you know anything about this?
Hag Mine became known in the mid-19th century as Upper Hag, to differentiate it from Nether Hag. So Upper Hag Level was just another name for the pumpway at Hag Mine.

My book is very substantial - over 4,000 source notes. The PDMHS editor is beginning to sort it out but we are still at an early stage. It is a daunting task for all concerned. Still chance for it to be updated if anyone can come up with extra bits of knowledge!


Well-known member
Basically, PDMHS have agreed in principle to publish the work but there's still quite a way to go before the finished article hits the shelves!


New member
AR said:
Basically, PDMHS have agreed in principle to publish the work but there's still quite a way to go before the finished article hits the shelves!

(y) looking forward to it!


History Trog, Tim N and Pipster

Many thanks for clarifying the locations and other details of these two sites as they have been a constant source of confusion in several publications - I have taken the liberty of passed the info on to the CDG Derbyshire Section who are in the process of updating the Derbyshire Sump Index

The OCC Lyre publication did indeed publish the survey with the flooded coffin level being shown to go off on the wrong side of the mine - this happened because the survey had been drawn on acetate (as was common at this time) and was inadvertently flicked over by the Lyre editor and printed upside down ... easily done I am told).  However, the survey that appears in the current (1979) CDG Sump Index is correct.

I have dived Dido's several times and it delightful as the water has thermal spring qualities and its possible to dive without gloves (something of a rarity in a Derbyshire Sump - unless of course you are "Well ard" which I am not). Good vis on the way in and total SH** on the way out.  Used to be popular as a CDG training site years ago but has lost favour to other sites in last 10 yrs or so.  There are some possibilities of further extensions (by diving) in the Nether Hagg but these will require either digging through collapses at the end of a stope or descending flooded stopes  with loads of stacked deads poised along the sides and above - take it from me these need great care as being caught in a 'formerly stacked deads avalanche' when your Dv exhaust bubbles have disturbed/dislodged them is not an experience one should welcome.

I went to dive the real Didos in 1980 and found the entrance blocked with a concrete plug - due to its proximity to both the footpath and the picnic area opening it up subtly so that its open but looks closed would be a challenge - maybe the DCA could open discussions with DCC to get it properly opened and gated ... just a thought as the water, if similar to Nether Hagg, makes for delightful diving, the stacked deads on rotten timber less so. 

Just for the record - Does anyone know who were the SUSS Divers that visited it in the 1970's, when did they visit and what did they find/see?

All the best   

Mark Wright

Active member
The 999 program re-inacted the rescue of the scout in the 80's. Chris Rhodes and Geoff Crossley, who carried out the underwater rescue, featured in it and later received a medal for their efforts.



New member
The BCA library has been very helpful and searched all through the SUSS 1970s journals for any mention whatsoever of diving in there. I had a reply today that these is no mention of Hagg/Wragg/Nether Hagg or Didos in the journals from that time.


I doubt if there will be any written records of any diving that took place in Dido's.  Therefore we need to rely on someone trawling up the info from their memory - Is there anyone out there who knows anything about the SUSS dives that took place? :)


Well-known member
Is Dido's anything to do with Eminem (or e-Mine-m)? Not that familiar with Derbyshire caves, haven't been there for a while. ;)


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SJB I currently have the names of 4 SUSS members who did the survey of Hagg.

Trying to make contact to bother them.

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