Bagshawe Cavern is a significant mine and cave system situated east of the village of Bradwell in the Peak District, England. Mining records are available from the 1750s when the mine was known as Mulespinner Mine and in the early years of the twentieth century miners broke into extensive natural cave passage. In the second half of the twentieth century Bagshawe Cavern was operated as a tourist attraction.

Today the Eldon Pothole Club are involved in the maintainence and exploration of the mine/cave complex. Bagshawe Cavern is open to any competent, experienced and suitably equipped cavers who provide documentary proof of public liability insurance and pay a small fee.

If you would like to visit please email The Custodian, Amanda Revell, giving reasonable notice: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Very important information for visitors

  • The fee for the use of the cave is £2.00 per person. Payment should be arranged with the Custodian.
  • The entrance to Bagshawe Cavern is inside a locked building known as The Coe. The Custodian will provide a code which should be entered on the pushbutton combination lock on the Coe door. After entering the code turn the knob clockwise for access. If the wrong code is entered turn the knob anti-clockwise to clear and re-enter the code. Pull the door to The Coe shut behind you immediately to prevent unauthorised access by people (or local pets). Exit is by simply turning the latch on the inside of the Coe door and does not require a code, key etc.
  • Fill in details of your trip in the logbook located inside the Coe prior to descending.
  • Note that Bagshawe Cavern is not inspected for safety. There are unprotected vertical drops, deep water, unstable boulders and sections of Bagshawe Cavern flood quickly and catastrophically under some conditions. By entering Bagshawe Cavern you must accept serious injury or death as your own risk and indemnify the landowner of all liability towards yourself and members of your party. You must not enter Bagshawe Cavern unless you are experienced in underground exploration, properly equipped and prepared.
  • Ensure that you have notified a person(s) of your intention to explore Bagshawe Cavern and the time that you are expected back. This should be someone reliable and who can carry out an agreed cave rescue call-out procedure if you are not back at the agreed time. The Custodian will not perform this role for you.

 

Additional information for leaders of commercial, voluntary and educational groups

  • For conservation reasons group use is limited to designated areas of the cave. The 'Use by Area' document shows the areas that are open to groups and is available [here]. Leaders of commercial, voluntary and educational groups must adhere to the leader:group ratios that are specified in this document to promote the conservation of the cave. Leaders must also be conversant with the relevant sections of the Bagshawe Cavern Conservation Plan. Click [here] to download a .pdf copy. Copies of both of these documents are available in the Coe and can also be obtained from The Custodian.
  • The fee for the use of the cave applies to instructor(s) and assistant(s) as well as group members.
  • Bagshawe Cavern is situated in a residential area. Leaders of groups should ensure that groups do not make excessive noise whilst visiting the Cavern.
  • There are no toilet facilities at Bagshawe Cavern but public toilets can be found in the centre of Bradwell.

 

Visiting the gated sections of Bagshawe Cavern

Certain parts of Bagshawe Cavern are particularly fragile and have historically been subject to a leader system, as per the details within the Bagshawe Cavern Conservation Plan and the 'Use by Area' document [here].

This restrictive leader system is in the process of review by the club, in the hope that making access easier will encourage more trips to the area, whilst still offering a level of protection suitable for the cave in it's current state.

If you would like to arrange a visit to one or more of these areas please contact the Custodian or the Eldon PC Chairman.

Bagshawe Cavern is located a short distance east of the village of Bradwell in the Peak Districtat national grid reference SK171808. Parking for a few cars is available in a small car park adjacent to the cavern.

Click [here] for an aerial photgraph showing the location of Bagshawe Cavern.

Harry Potters Bedroom (the dig under the stairs )

11.03.2020

After a winter of failed trips , mainly due to key failure , lock failure , equipment failure and failure to drive past the pub, we happened upon this dig when a trip was cut short by a faulty lock. On our way back out we went up to see the Stemple of Doom . Dave has not been in to this passage before, and I could not remember what it was like .
 
Dave went beyond the stemple for a quick look ,and on the way back to the main passage we poked our heads in a small opening directly below the bottom of the entrance steps , back filled presumably by the miners .We realised the miners had filled a natural water worn passage with spoil, and after pulling a few rocks out we knew it had potential.
 
The opening into this area is just to the left, after  you turn left at the bottom of the steps .
 
We broke through after only 3 trips, and about 4ft in depth of spoil .An easy trip for a couple of average blokes (it takes us longer to get changed ) with an average trip time of 1 minute and 32 seconds .
 
Below it opened into open passage about 3 to 4 mtrs wide and about 1.2 mtrs high .Dave got quite excited at this point, a joyous thing to behold .Upstream finished at a choke after about 6 mtrs . This is probably directly under the mined passage at the bottom of the steps . Downstream went for approx 15 mtrs ending in silted up wide passage draughting very strongly . This is following the line of the mine downhill.
 
At this point we must add we are not the first people in here , a small trench has been dug towards the upstream choke and there was a single set of footprints at the downstream end . There can only be two explanations , either towd man had a look before he chucked the spoil down or the Revell's have been in but seen fit to back fill it .
Bog exiting the breakthrough point, by Dave Cowley
 
It doesn't make sense for the revell’s to back fill it as it is a great example of natural passage very near to the entrance .
 
The one nagging doubt is that why would towd man dig the trench ?
 
We now know that downstream heads straight for the end of Armoured mud ball crawl in the lower series and is virtually the same height .We also know where the upstream passage continues, and that is our next project .
 
It has become very apparent that the history of this part of the mine has been lost with the passing of the generations of the Revell’s, and we would be keen to hear from anyone who knows anything about the construction of the lower steps and the mine area at the bottom.
 
Bog at the downstream end, by Dave Cowley
 
It also seems surprising that nobody ever realised large passage sat within feet of the showcave .
 
This opens up exciting opportunities for a large section of cave heading towards Moorfurlong or elsewhere up the hillside, and is something we never considered, but when you reflect on the large amount of natural features in the mine area at the bottom of the steps, it suddenly seems obvious .
 
If anyone has any articles about the mine or early exploration of that area we would be keen to hear from you .The next dig is again through miners spoil so lets hope it was a big hole they chucked their rubbish down .
 
Dave Cowley , Bog (Team Average)
 

Continuing on we now needed to find the continuation of Harry Potters bedroom.

The first place to look was the chamber immediately to the right at the bottom of the stairs .This is full of rubbish including quite a bit of glass, but behind that is a silt bank in front of a natural bend in the passage .One corner certainly could be connected to the small dug out channel at the top end of Harry's and was probably open before the steps were cast on top of it .

We had hoped the silt bank was hiding a continuation ,but this was not the case . Somewhere lies the key to all this as the bottom of the steps has large natural passage obscured in many places by all the stacking .

Lockdown has stalled our efforts ,but there is a continuation around there just waiting to be found .

As soon as Boris says go we will resume the quest for Mulespinner series .

Dave Cowley , Bog (Team Average)

 
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