Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

A change is as good as a rest


The thing with living in a beautiful place is that it makes you a tad lazy, beautiful landscape is all around, so there is less impetus to look else where.

But at the weekend I made a bit of an effort, I went to look at the snowdrops at Hopton Hall, in Derbyshire (and I’ll post on that in a day or so) but rather than bowling down the A roads, I pointed the car south and followed the lanes. If you don’t have a route plan, you never know when you are lost and in any case I don’t do lost, only ‘geographically confused’ but it makes it more of an adventure. The landscape I drove through is very different to home, its a lot more down dale than it is up hill, the stone is different, it’s limestone which gives the landscape a different colour palette,

Dead trees 

it’s softer but I am a ‘gritstone girl’ at heart, my personal preference is more moorland. I stumbled across this place


Magpie Mine its a lead mine , records date back to 1740, but its probably older, I knew nothing about it,or of its existence, I was unlucky, as in reading up about it when I got home it seems there is usually some one around at the weekends from the Peak District Historical Society  to explain it’s history, but it was early in the day and there was no one about, in fact it felt a little eerie, so it was no surprise to read of it’s troubled and murderous history and it’s ‘widows curse’


I’ll come again, perhaps linking it to having a look at Arbor Low stone circle which is not very far away, but no time today, as I wanted to get to Hopton

Edit 19/02/08

In response to ‘gunner’s’ comment, I’ve added a photo, of the ground around, the mine,


I imagine a lot of the undulations to be old workings and spoil from the mine, (I think that’s known as  a bing,)  but I was taking no chances, I’d been warned,


so I didn’t wander around as much as I wanted too.






Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

12 thoughts on “A change is as good as a rest

  1. Thanks for the day trip. I envy the grass and the snowdrops and the blue skies. It is still winter here – emphatically. The Magpie Mine stories resonated for me. Many Cornish miners found their way to the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan (even farther north and wintrier than Grand Traverse Bay) back in the 19th century. There the troubled and murderous history repeated itself. Mining’s never been an easy trade, and many a widow has cursed a deadly hole in the ground.

  2. That’s a lovely part of the country. We lived down there for a while. I like the Monsal Dale area – which isn’t too far from there.

  3. It’s has been a little too mild for early February, it will lull us into a false sense of security.
    It must have been a very tough life, mining and very dangerous one.
    Monsal Dale and Dove Dale are very pretty.

  4. I’ve been to Hopton Hall, in the dim distant past, and would love to look round Magpie Mine. Terrific photos and interesting links! Thanks!

  5. while i’ve never been to dear old blighty your blog got me interested in “magpie mine” and its “widow’s curse”, found this via google if anyone’s interested.


  6. Welcome ‘gunner’ the more I read about this place the more in awe I am, at the tough conditions theses guys (when did women and children go down the pits?)worked in. I saw the wooden winding wheel, (pictured in the photo in the link,) I was curious about it, but there were warning signs up asking you to keep to the path because of the workings, as no one knew I was there and there was no around to advise I didn’t fancy,disappearing down an unmarked mine shaft never to be found! I stuck firmly to the path I’ll add another photo to the post to show the terrain

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  9. These type of place fascinate me. I always want to know exactly what went on. What the purpose of this or that was. How it changed. Etc.

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