National Heritage Open Day
Coal Mines of Buxton
On 8th September Buxton Civic Association helped celebrate the national Heritage Open Days by offering a guided walk around the coal mines of Buxton.
Despite a drizzly start the sun and a cooling breeze provided perfect conditions for our explorations on Burbage Moor. Fourteen visitors met at Poole’s Cavern, all booted and clad for the occasion. Before setting off, Alan Roberts and Lyn Noble set the scene by describing the historical and geological context of the coalfield. One group member had fond memories of BCA’s first coal mines walk which took place in “monsoon conditions”!
The walk started at Level Lane on Macclesfield Old Road, named after an 1803 mine “level” which was driven from this point. Then a fight with a few nettles and a steep climb to the moor to the location of an earlier level (1754), with remains of horse drawn tramways and coke ovens and rail sidings from a later period.
The top of Macclesfield Old Road provided an excellent view over the upper Goyt Valley and its extensive coal workings then back to the Axe Edge footpath where we examined air shafts to the levels beneath and speculated about the purpose of the “Buckett Engine Pits”.
Finally, down through an area of early shallow pits dating back to the 17th and early 18th Centuries and back to the cars. The sun continued to shine and the smiling faces (and aching legs) said it all.