Magpie Mine Sunrise across the Peak District
Magpie Mine is located near the tiny Derbyshire village of Sheldon in the Peak District National Park. The mine was erected to extract lead from the thin veins of lead sulphite that stretch out across this area of grassland.
Stretching beneath the land surrounding the sleepy village of Sheldon within the Peak District National Park is the Great Redsoil Vein. This is a vein of lead that has been mined in the area for many hundreds of years.
In Roman times lead was mined in the area. As mines needed to be dug deeper the problem of flooding became a real issue. At Magpie Mine a beam engine was not enough to get rid of the water. A drainage sough (tunnel basically) that emptied into the Wye was dug in 1881 at great expense, although it did make the mine profitable for a few short years. In 1970 the slough blew out part of the hillside with the pressure of water.
Magpie was not the only mine in the area. The competing mines of Red Soil, Maypitt and Horsesteps were located very close as miners struggled to make the production profitable.
The mine was in constant dispute with the other mines over who had the right to mine which vein. The nearby Red Soil miners and their Magpie rivals tried smoking each other out. In 1833 three miners from the Maypitt suffocated from the fumes. Two dozen miners were put on trial for murder although all were acquitted as the actual culprit could not be identified. In response to the trial breaking down, the widows of the dead Maypitt men put a curse on Maypit Mine.
Location Of Magpie Mine
In 1835 the mine went bankrupt.
From 1839 onwards the mine was started, failed and suffered a run of tragic accidents until it closed for the last time in 1954. You can read all about the buildings of Magpie Mine and the curse that locals claim still lies on the mine by visiting the Peak District Mines Historical Societies website. There is also a series of information posters at the mine itself.
With the promise of a dramatic sunrise display I headed out to the mine. Magpie is located seemingly in the middle of know where. One thing to note is that it is often quite crafty as ether are no hills or edges to defend against the winds rushing across the Peak.
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