Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Take a look inside Ecton Copper Mine Engine House

Free open afternoons to showcase conservation work on historic building

The 1788 engine house built above the 400m deep copper mine
Over the past two years, National Trust volunteers have helped to rescue a special building in the Manifold Valley in the Peak District. With funding from an Environmental Stewardship agreement, major rescue works have taken place to rescue the former engine house and powder house of Ecton Copper Mine.

Volunteer Frank excavating around the engine house
Once owned by the Duke of Devonshire of Chatsworth House, the copper mine employed hundreds of local people and supplied copper for the Royal Navy. The engine house was built in 1788 to house a Boulton and Watt steam engine to raise the copper ore. The smaller stone powder house was built on the hillside a safe distance from the shaft, to store the gunpowder. 

After mining finished in 1890, the engine house became a cattle store for the local farmer, housing nine cows and enough hay to feed them over the winter. The stalls and hayloft have been retained, honouring this part of the building's history.

Now cared for by the National Trust, volunteers have helped with archaeological digs around the engine house, leading guided tours, monitoring wildflowers on the surrounding hillside and repairing drystone walls. 

If you would like to take a look inside, come along to our free open afternoons on Thursday 21st August and Saturday 13th September, 1pm to 4pm. 

To find our more call us on 01335 350503

Monday, 21 July 2014

News from Ilam Park

New additions at Ilam Park

On your next visit to Ilam Park, you may notice some new features in the Italian Garden.

Garden volunteer Bob planting Octavia Hill geraniums in the Regency style urns

Having seen some wonderful photographs of Ilam Park taken 100 years ago (from Derby Library) the Ilam Park gardener and volunteers have been working hard to bring back a prominent feature.

With money gifted to the Gardens Department of the National Trust, 8 Regency style stone urns were purchased, similar to those seen in the old photographs. The urns have been planted with a geranium named “Octavia Hill” which had been grown to commemorate the Centenary of the death of the founder of the National Trust.

So next time you are sitting in the Italian Garden admiring the view towards Thorpe Cloud and Dovedale, take a look at our new stone urns!

Monday, 7 July 2014

Dovedale Discovery

An exciting discovery has been made at Dovedale!

An excavation in Dovedale unearthed a hoard of Late Iron Age and Republican Roman coins, the first time coins of these two origins are thought to have been found buried together in a cave in Britain.

The discovery at Reynard’s Kitchen Cave is significant because not only is it unusual to find Late Iron Age gold coins, but to unearth them actually within a cave setting adds to the mystery surrounding them.

The initial discovery of four coins was made by a member of the public which led the National Trust to carry out a full excavation of the cave.

“In total we found twenty six coins, including three Roman coins which pre-date the invasion of Britain in AD 43,” explains National Trust archaeologist, Rachael Hall.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Spirit of Kinder comes to Sheffield

Press release from the Kinder and High Peak Advisory Comittee 

The annual Spirit of Kinder event, celebrating Kinder Scout and the 1932 Mass 
Trespass, comes to Sheffield on Saturday, April 26.

The event, which will also celebrate 10 years of the implementation of the CROW Act which gave the Right to Roam in open country, is organised by the Kinder & High Peak Advisory Committee and will be held at Sheffield Town Hall starting at 2.30pm. It is free and open to all.
 Group chairman Terry Howard said: “Sheffield’s vital role in the Mass Trespass and the fight to gain access to our mountains and moorlands is often overlooked. We aim to put that right at this event, and also to highlight to important work that Sheffield City Council and the Sheffield Moors Partnership is doing to encourage access to the moors of Sheffield’s Golden Frame.”

One of the keynote speakers, John Mothersole, Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council, added: “We should never forget the community spirit that confronted a great sense of injustice.  That spirit does live on in our commitment to, and enjoyment of, the great asset we have both in and close to our city.  This event reminds us of that, but also needs to drive us forward”.

In addition to Mr Mothersole, the other keynote speaker will be the forthright national President of the Ramblers and General Secretary of the Open Spaces Society, Kate Ashbrook. Sheffield’s Walking Champion, Coun. Peter Price of Sheffield City Council, will be master of ceremonies.

Other speakers will include Bill Bevan, the Sheffield-based archaeologist and interpreter, who will describe the prehistory of Kinder Scout, and Annabelle Kennedy of the Sheffield Wildlife Trust, who will outline the work of the Sheffield Moors Partnership.
Young representatives of the Woodcraft Folk will describe the various Sheffield trespasses which took place during the 1930s, including the often-forgotten successful Abbey Brook Trespass on September 18, 1932.

 Among the organisations expected to attend are the Ramblers (National, Sheffield and Manchester); Sheffield Campaign for Access to Moorland; Peak & Northern Footpaths Society; British Mountaineering Council; the National Trust;  Peak District National Park Authority; Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation; the Sheffield Moors Partnership and Friends of the Peak District (CPRE).

For more details and further information on the Spirit of Kinder Day, contact Roly Smith on 01629 812034 ( or Terry Howard on 0114 266 5438 or ( 

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Grindleford-Dore Railway Update

Dear Friend of Longshaw,

As you know Network Rail has proposed development of the Hope Valley line at Grindleford that would directly and indirectly impact on the conservation values and people’s enjoyment of Longshaw.  We along with many others responded to Network Rail’s consultation pointing out the serious concerns their proposals raised. 

I am very pleased to say that Network Rail are now reconsidering the way forward and the proposals for Grindleford have been put on hold.  We understand there will now be a three month pause whilst Network Rail look at other options.  If they can find somewhere that is a better rail solution for a passing loop, has less engineering and environmental impact then it is likely the proposal will move elsewhere.  This would be great news for Longshaw although there may be effects elsewhere from a new proposal that need to be looked at carefully.

Thank you to all those who took the time to look at the proposals and respond to Network Rail.  We will let you know when we hear more. 

National Trust Peak District Estate 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Updated bunkhouse availability

Below is the current weekend availability, please note dates do get taken fast so it’s advised to book now to avoid disappointment. To check weekday dates please get in touch.

January - June: none
July: 11-13
August - October: none
November: 7-9, 21-23, 28-30
December: 12-14, 19-21

January - March: none
April: 11-13
May: 30-1 June (provisionally booked)
June: 6-8,  
July: 11-13, 18-20,
August: 8-10, 22-25 (bank holiday), 29-31
September: 5-7, 12-14, 19-21
October: 17-19, 24-26
November: 7-9, 14-16, 21-23, 28-30
December: 12-14, 19-21, 24-28

Contact or call 01433 670 368 option 1 for more information and to book

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

History of Ilam Park

We are always interested to find out more about the history of Ilam Park – in the 1930s the hall was partly demolished, with many pieces of stonework saved from the rubble and now used in the Italian Garden. Look out for the chimney pots now used as planters, and the stone window frames in the balustrade.

We recently came across this wonderful photo in a book, which Derby Local Studies Library have kindly allowed us to reproduce to share with our visitors. There is no date for the photograph, but it is thought to be early 1900s. On a visit to this spot today, taller trees surround the church, these were planted around 110 years ago.

Years ago the water fountain would have provided a soothing sound whilst sitting in the garden and admiring the view out towards Dovedale. Today however, the only water to be heard is the mighty River Manifold, flowing through the park before it meets the River Dove.

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