WHERE THE CAVES ARE - The Caving Regions > Peak District

Masson Quarry Access

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Pete K:
Masson Quarry

Please note that cavers should treat access to sites in and around Masson Quarry as highly 'sensitive' right now and are advised to stay away from the site in the short term until contact has been made with the landowner.
There has been a resumption of groundworks at the quarry and heavy machinery is present. DCA were investigating the risk to the underground sites in the vicinity but unfortunately, the report has come in today that Gentlewoman's Shaft has been blocked by a large boulder. This is almost certainly a deliberate act to block access to the shaft. Thanks to Jacob (NUCC) for the pic.

DCA are already in communication with Natural England (SSSI land) and Derbyshire County Council (planning). Thanks to those who have supplied information on this matter. We request that cavers stay away from the area while DCA attempts to contact the owner and establish the facts.

Pete Knight
DCA Projects & acting Access Officer

PK, as you know i'm still around, I could double check if you needed. Let me know where are you tomorrow, WS gave me the Peli.

The Peak District Lead Mining Museum in the Grand Pavilion. Matlock Bath, have the key to Youd's Level in the valley bottom, from there it is possible to get up to the Gentlewoman shaft (bit of a wriggle in places!). To borrow the key contact the Museum on 01629 583834 or mail@peakmines.co.uk. The group who reported the blocking of the shaft came to borrow this key yesterday so at least they got underground.

Loss of access hear would be aweful news. Definatly looks deliberate. So if they arnt quarrying, why all the heavy machines? You dont start moving earth on this scale for nothing. And the cutting of the trees in the qaurry??someone must know the score. Good luck Pete/DCA.Hope this can be sorted. This would be a major blow for caving in the area and a sad loss of a major part of the mining history of the area.

Having been up there myself for a look on Saturday, there's no doubt that the shaft entrance has been intentionally blocked; the digger tracks come up from the area of the old settling ponds up to the point where the scoopful of rocks and muck have been dropped. What is mainly happening is scrub clearance, which can be done quickly albeit messily with a 360 digger, so it may well be that if the intention is to bring the area back into use for grazing then the shaft blocking is a stock protection measure. Although some of the old mineral working permissions may not have lapsed, legally they would be required to go through a full review process (known as ROMP)with the County Council's mineral planning team before any opencasting could take place and AFAIK, there has been no such application for review to date.


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