Long Rake near Youlgrave, Derbyshire is a seven mile West-East gash in the landscape
which was filled with calcite and other important minerals. The Long Rake Spar Mine
Company was started in 1867 to extract the calcite which is used for road white lining,
surfacing for horse arenas, graves, terazzo floors and pebbledash.
The processing plant for Long Rake Spar Mine is still in operation and the mine is
private. Underground operations ceased in 1981. These pictures were taken around 2002.
Since then the mine has become largely inaccessible due to mud and collapse.
The huge open rake which was several hundred metres long was filled in around 2001.
Hundreds of tons of infill are now making their way down to the lower levels making the
mine very dangerous. The main lower levels are at 300 and 375 ft below surface and had
battery electric locos for taking the calcite in tubs to the winding cages. The
headstocks are still in situ.
Two further references about the mine ("Long Rake Spar Mine, Youlgreave" by R.P. Shaw and
"Not-So-Old Mining History: Long Rake Spar Mine" by W.A.S. Sarjeant can be found in
"Mining History" - Volume 12 Number 5 - Summer 1995.
Photographs by Peter Hague.
Long Rake Spar Mine - Youlgreave, Derbyshire
Photo number 1 of 2
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