It is not
clear when Golconda was first worked, there is a record of a mine manager
stating that he saw a date in old workings from 1678 but this is impossible to
prove. More reliable records indicate that it may have been in the middle
decades of the 1700's. It is worth noting that Golconda is a synonym for any
Originally the mine was worked for lead ore, but from the
late 1800's it was also worked for barytes, which became the main mineral being
mined. From the period of 1916 to when the mine closed in 1953, only 1% of
output was lead ore. By 1953 the mine had reached a depth of 128m, with some
4.8km of passage.
Golconda Mine is accessed via an 110m shaft from the
surface, which is located on the premises of Viaton Industries. The workings in
the mine intersect a number of natural caves and passages, the most impressive
being the Great Shack, shack being the name given by the old man to any open
caverns found during mining. Access is controlled by the Wirksworth Mine
Research Group, which hold winch meets on a regular basis.
A guided tour by Sally
A trip to see some of the most interesting features, with access
provided by Worksworth Mine Research Group and their trusty winch.
(Arthur, Karli, Mike and Sally), 26th September 2010.