MinesMine PlansLinksContactLinksHome

Wapping Mine and Cumberland Carvern, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire.


Back to Mine Index


Wapping Mine is an old shaft and adit working on the Moletrap Rake. A George the 2nd shilling that was found when it was being reworked suggests that is was being worked in the 1750's. The first workings where probably only for the extraction of galena, and these seemed to be limited to a few short ore strings from the Moletrap Vein.

From 1924 onwards the mine was reworked for fluorspar and the main areas of working where on the Moletrap Vein and the Maze located at the northwest end of the mine. The Maze is a confusing warren of passages and pockets, which did not actually yield a large amount of fluorspar. After 1936 not much more activity took place until 1953 when it was worked again quite intensively for around 3 years. During this time an opencast section was started at the adit, which advanced westwards along the rake, however a collapse in 1954 brought the front end of the mine down. The Incline Level, located southwest from the main adit was also driven in this period in an attempt to cross the vein from the Main Stope working, but this proved to be unfruitful.

Cumberland Cavern, whose original name is Cumberland Mine, is an old working most likely developed at the same time as Wapping Mine. It is above the Wapping workings by some 12m, and has two connections with it. The Funnel Cave at the end of the Forth Stope in Wapping and the Devils Pit, which leads into the Maze. A lot of the workings in Cumberland Cavern seem to have broken into natural chambers, which is reinforced by the fact that there a very few shot holes. The mine looks to have been worked once and was opened in 1780 as a show cave. Queen Victoria visited the show cave and it then became known as Royal Cumberland Cavern, though it is not usually referred to as this. After the show cave was closed, somewhere in between the late 1960's and early 1970's a gang call the "Troggs" occupied the show cave resulting in large amounts of graffiti in some of its chambers.

Entrance into Wapping Mine is via its adit and involves a climb through a hole in a wall. The Cumberland Cavern adit is no longer open and entrance into it is via the two links mentioned earlier via Wapping Mine. Care should be exercised in approaching the Wapping Mine adit as there have been disputes with a land owner about access rites due to vandalism, please check with local mining groups for current access details.

Photography Homage

A return visit after 19 years or so, to where it all started.

(Don, Karl and Mike), 3rd January 2009.