top of page

Carsington Pasture Cave Dig


In the late 1990'S the Pegasus Club was contacted by the Wirksworth Mines Research Group to see if we'd be interested in taking a look at some natural stuff they'd found whilst undertaking a mammoth survey of all the abandoned mine workings and shafts (some 300+) on Carsington Pasture. The contact was made through Arron Smith, who at the time was working with a WMRG member and had built up a rapport through their shared interest in the Derbyshire underground scene. Since their interest was solely confined to Mine Research and history, they gave us a key and permission to explore and dig at the bottom of Carsington Pasture Cavern.


A small group of us, Tony Bennett, Malc Scothon, Aran Smith, Al Steans and Andy Walchester started exploring the cavern and digging there at the bottom where it appeared to be flooded or possibly sumped. It was not a particularly easy dig (are any of them ?), and the prospects were not good. One day on exitting the cavern we were gobsmacked to discover that a group of moto-cross enthusiasts were practising driving up artificial ramps, flying through the air and landing on a target area directly atop a large underground aven in Carsington Pasture Cavern. They were totally unaware that a mere few metres of Derbyshire limestone separated them from 200 ft of nothingness and a potential watery grave. Of more concern to us was the fact that they didn't seem to care either.


This gave us the impetus to divert our attention to the long known about Carsington Pasture Cave, mentioned in Daniel De Foe's tour of England book circa 1513. Malc and I had happened upon the site totally by accident on our way back from digging in Carsington Pasture Cavern a couple of weeks earlier. Malc was quick to notice the potential of the site and the same small digging team plus Geordie Dave concentrated their efforts at the new site.


Progress was suprisingly speedy and relatively easy. The results were totally unexpected and equally dramatic. The rest as they say is history.

Al Steans Nottingham 2016

Time Team's Gallery
Time Team gallery

© Photographs on this page are copywright of 'Time Team'.

bottom of page