Bagshawe Cavern is a significant mine and cave system situated east of the village of Bradwell in the Peak District, England. Mining records are available from the 1750s when the mine was known as Mulespinner Mine and in the early years of the twentieth century miners broke into extensive natural cave passage. In the second half of the twentieth century Bagshawe Cavern was operated as a tourist attraction.
Today the Eldon Pothole Club are involved in the maintainence and exploration of the mine/cave complex. Bagshawe Cavern is open to any competent, experienced and suitably equipped cavers who provide documentary proof of public liability insurance and pay a small fee.
Visiting Bagshawe Cavern
Very important information for visitors
- The fee for the use of the cave is £2.00 per person. Payment should be arranged with the Custodian.
- The entrance to Bagshawe Cavern is inside a locked building known as The Coe. The Custodian will provide a code which should be entered on the pushbutton combination lock on the Coe door. After entering the code turn the knob clockwise for access. If the wrong code is entered turn the knob anti-clockwise and press the "C" button to clear and re-enter the code. Pull the door to The Coe shut behind you immediately to prevent unauthorised access by people (or local pets). Exit is by simply turning the latch on the inside of the Coe door and does not require a code, key etc.
- Fill in details of your trip in the logbook located inside the Coe prior to descending.
- Note that Bagshawe Cavern is not inspected for safety. There are unprotected vertical drops, deep water, unstable boulders and sections of Bagshawe Cavern flood quickly and catastrophically under some conditions. By entering Bagshawe Cavern you must accept serious injury or death as your own risk and indemnify the landowner of all liability towards yourself and members of your party. You must not enter Bagshawe Cavern unless you are experienced in underground exploration, properly equipped and prepared.
- Ensure that you have notified a person(s) of your intention to explore Bagshawe Cavern and the time that you are expected back. This should be someone reliable and who can carry out an agreed cave rescue call-out procedure if you are not back at the agreed time. The Custodian will not perform this role for you.
Additional information for leaders of commercial, voluntary and educational groups
- For conservation reasons group use is limited to designated areas of the cave. The 'Use by Area' document shows the areas that are open to groups and is available [here]. Leaders of commercial, voluntary and educational groups must adhere to the leader:group ratios that are specified in this document to promote the conservation of the cave. Leaders must also be conversant with the relevant sections of the Bagshawe Cavern Conservation Plan. Click [here] to download a .pdf copy. Copies of both of these documents are available in the Coe and can also be obtained from The Custodian.
- The fee for the use of the cave applies to instructor(s) and assistant(s) as well as group members.
- Bagshawe Cavern is situated in a residential area. Leaders of groups should ensure that groups do not make excessive noise whilst visiting the Cavern.
- There are no toilet facilities at Bagshawe Cavern but public toilets can be found in the centre of Bradwell.
Visiting the gated sections of Bagshawe Cavern
Certain parts of Bagshawe Cavern are particularly fragile and have historically been subject to a leader system, as per the details within the Bagshawe Cavern Conservation Plan.
The restrictive leader system previously in place has been review by the club, with close discussions with the Custodian, and has in 2023 been relaxed to a Derbyshire Key arrangement on both gates. It is hoped that making access easier will encourage more trips to the area, whilst still offering a level of protection suitable for the cave in it's current state.
You are no longer needed to inform the Custodian nor the Eldon Chairman prior to visiting these areas, although it is encouraged that you do contact the Eldon Chairman after the trip so that general numbers can be monitored.
Getting to Bagshawe Cavern
Bagshawe Cavern is located a short distance east of the village of Bradwell in the Peak Districtat national grid reference SK171808. Parking for a few cars is available in a small car park adjacent to the cavern.