Report - - Wapping Mine & Cumberland Cavern, Matlock Derbyshire | Mines and Quarries | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Wapping Mine & Cumberland Cavern, Matlock Derbyshire


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
An interesting explore that sadly, we didn't have enough time to complete fully after taking a few detours around the various routes that were on offer. We'll definitely be back here again soon to make it all the way through to the end of Cumberland Cavern.

You can check out all my photos from this explore here on my Flickr.

Wapping Mine is an old shaft and adit working on the Moletrap Rake. From 1924 onwards the mine was reworked for fluorspar and the main areas of working where on the Moletrap Vein and the Maze located at the northwest end of the mine. The Maze is a confusing warren of passages and pockets, which did not actually yield a large amount of fluorspar. After 1936 not much more activity took place until 1953 when it was worked again quite intensively for around 3 years. During this time an opencast section was started at the adit, which advanced westwards along the rake, however a collapse in 1954 brought the front end of the mine down. The Incline Level, located southwest from the main adit was also driven in this period in an attempt to cross the vein from the Main Stope working, but this proved to be unfruitful.

Cumberland Cavern, whose original name is Cumberland Mine, is an old working most likely developed at the same time as Wapping Mine. It is above the Wapping workings by some 12m, and has two connections with it. The Funnel Cave at the end of the Forth Stope in Wapping and the Devils Pit, which leads into the Maze. A lot of the workings in Cumberland Cavern seem to have broken into natural chambers, which is reinforced by the fact that there a very few shot holes. The mine looks to have been worked once and was opened in 1780 as a show cave. Queen Victoria visited the show cave and it then became known as Royal Cumberland Cavern. After the show cave was closed, somewhere in between the late 1960's and early 1970's a gang call the "Troggs" occupied the show cave resulting in large amounts of graffiti in some of its chambers. Today, the orignal entrance to Cumberland Cavern has been sealed, but access can still be gained via Wapping Mine.

Today the whole complex is part of Masson Hill SSSI.

The explore:
Entrance into Wapping Mine is via its adit and there are currently no known access restrictions according to the Derbyshire Caving Association's registry. For anyone looking to go into Wapping Mine to try and make their way to Cumberland Cavern it is worth trying to follow this map while you are navigating:



Looking towards the entrance:


A few pictures from inside Wapping Mine:




We didn't make it all the way into Cumberland Cavern this time around, but a return visit will be on the cards soon to make it into the show cave.


Down t'pit
28DL Full Member
Looks like you only made it 100ft. Did you get lost .;)

I find the maps are not very helpful unless you've had a wonder around to get your bearings


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Yeah we did get a bit further than this but was too busy route-finding to take any decent photos, ultimately we ended up failing at both haha. Tried binning the map off and following the arrows but that just got more confusing.

We'd taken a mate in who seemed to think we were searching for something and got pretty bored of us going in circles, so we left in favour of a maccies meaning to return nother day - any tips?


Down t'pit
28DL Full Member
Follow the main level from the entrance, you get a junction where you have to crouch - turn left here. Go straight until you see a slope with a log wedged above it. Go up the slope and turn left, up the rocks. This is now Cumberland mine and fairly easy to follow on your second map.

For an alternate way back you can drop down the Devils pit go back on yourself and follow the streamway. Keep going straight past the room with props then take a left which will take you back to the main roadway.