Magpie Mine Sunrise across the Peak District
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Magpie Mine Sunrise across the Peak District

Magpie Mine is located near the tiny Derbyshire village of Sheldon in the Peak District National Park. The mine was erected to extract lead from the thin veins of lead sulphite that stretch out across this area of grassland.

Stretching beneath the land surrounding the sleepy village of Sheldon within the Peak District National Park is the Great Redsoil Vein. This is a vein of lead that has been mined in the area for many hundreds of years.

In Roman times lead was mined in the area. As mines needed to be dug deeper the problem of flooding became a real issue. At Magpie Mine a beam engine was not enough to get rid of the water. A drainage sough (tunnel basically) that emptied into the Wye was dug in 1881 at great expense, although it did make the mine profitable for a few short years. In 1970 the slough blew out part of the hillside with the pressure of water.

Magpie was not the only mine in the area. The competing mines of Red Soil, Maypitt and Horsesteps were located very close as miners struggled to make the production profitable.

The mine was in constant dispute with the other mines over who had the right to mine which vein. The nearby Red Soil miners and their Magpie rivals tried smoking each other out. In 1833 three miners from the Maypitt suffocated from the fumes. Two dozen miners were put on trial for murder although all were acquitted as the actual culprit could not be identified. In response to the trial breaking down, the widows of the dead Maypitt men put a curse on Maypit Mine.

In 1835 the mine went bankrupt.

From 1839 onwards the mine was started, failed and suffered a run of tragic accidents until it closed for the last time in 1954. You can read all about the buildings of Magpie Mine and the curse that locals claim still lies on the mine by visiting the Peak District Mines Historical Societies website. There is also a series of information posters at the mine itself.

The old saying 'red sky in the morning - shepherds warning' holds remarkably true. To ensure a great sunrise checking the height and density of cloud cover as well as sun direction is vital.

With the promise of a dramatic sunrise display I headed out to the mine. Magpie is located seemingly in the middle of know where. One thing to note is that it is often quite crafty as ether are no hills or edges to defend against the winds rushing across the Peak.

This morning was no exception as a cold wind swirled about the buildings. Then as if a switch had been turned off the wind subsided and the sun began to rise. Colour flooded the area and a beautiful peachy / yellow / pastel orange lit up the mine. That was when I noticed that my lens was completely misted up with the cold. After a quick clean I managed to grab some images.

I hope that you enjoy my 'Sunrise at Magpie Mine'

Get Your Own Limited Edition Print

You can have your own exclusive Limited Edition Fine Art Print of 'Magpie Mine Sunrise' signed by Peter and posted directly to your door!

Location: Magpie Mine Sheldon DE45 1QU.

Keywords: Derbyshire (13), England (28), Peak District (17).

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