The Peak District Mines Historical Society was formed at a meeting held at Sheffield University
on the 14th of February 1959 by a group of interested geologists at the University.
In 1976 a massive operation at Wills Founder Shaft, Winster, resulted in the recovery of a
unique water pressure engine. This led directly to the opening of the
Peak District Lead Mining Museum at Matlock Bath, where the engine
is displayed along with many other artefacts and historical displays.
The Museum provides an
interactive educational facility for all ages and visitors can also undertake a guided tour into the old fluorspar
workings at Temple Mine, just across the road from the Museum and owned and managed by the Society.
The impressive Pump Room is the primary venue for the Society's winter series of lectures, slide shows and
video presentations which are generally very well attended.
Early in its history the Society acquired a lease of the surface remains at
Magpie Mine, Sheldon. Over the last 40 years much effort, both in
time and money, has gone into the preservation of the site.
Our Field Centre is located in the old Agent's Cottage
and is available for use by members and their guests for a nominal fee.
Since its inception the Society has published a bi-annual
Bulletin. This has grown into one of the leading journals
of mining history, and circulates throughout the world.
Groups of members from within the Society are involved in a number of active
projects, such as the
Crich Lead Mining Display at the
National Tramway Museum, conservation and archaeology work at High Rake
(completed in 2008) and the recently-completed archaeological excavation and conservation programme at Silence Mine amongst others.
The Society also arranges regular underground meets, training sessions and mining history walks as well as hosting a
series of winter lectures, slide shows and video presentations. There is always a
calendar of current events to interest
both the serious mine historian or researcher and the active underground explorer.
Having recently celebrated its 50th birthday, the Society has a large and thriving membership of both active and academic members,
who are working together both above and below ground to record, preserve, explore and document the mines and mining history of the Peak District.
A PDMHS member carefully traverses a flooded shaft in Neptune Mine, Cressbrookdale
The Museum owns and manages Temple Mine at Matlock Bath, which is open for public visits