Expeditions, Navigation, Guided Walks and Trekking
I spent a few days down in the Hartington and Wetton area of the White Peak May Day Bank Holiday weekend; remember, when the sun shone. I was instructing a Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Expedition for Adventure Expeditions. As one does on these expeditions, there was a bit of waiting and wandering around the area, trying to find the teams lost on a right of way across a farmers field. Some different views opened up and I found some lovely places;
Just above Wetton Mill, (nice mug of tea by the way) one can look back over to Wetton Hill and Sugarloaf, a quite distinctive hill from this angle.
On the road out of Wetton to the wonderfully named Weag’s Bridge you can look down onto the Thors Cave, I once explored with the young family on a bike trip up the Manifold Track.
Most delightful was Ecton, a small group of houses below Ecton Hill, along with a listed building with a church sire, a historic mining area which was once one of the foremost mines in the British Isles. This is now a scheduled monument with a field studies centre and a valuable educational resource.
Extract from their website:- From Bronze Age times, the copper and lead deposits on Ecton Hill were worked for over 3500 years, ceasing in 1891. During this time fortunes were made and lost. In the 18th century the Duke of Devonshire made a profit of over £300 000, said to have financed the building of the magnificent Crescent in Buxton. Total ore production is estimated at over 100 000 tonnes, mainly of copper ore.
In its heyday in the late 18th C, Ecton was in the forefront of developments in mining technology, and both Chemistry and Geology themselves developed rapidly as a result of these advances in technology. Among the achievements at that time were the sinking of the deepest mine shaft in Britain, the reputed first use of explosives in British mines, the building of an early Boulton and Watt steam engine, and the efficient use of water power for mine pumping
The whole area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and the Ecton mine itself is an underground SSSI. The rock exposures at nearby Ape’s Tor provide outstanding opportunities for the study of geological structures, which can then be seen again underground in Salt’s Level.
Behind the folly is Ecton Wood, carpeted in Wood Anemones, making a wonderful walk back to the end of the Trail or Hartington, my teams destination.