Poole’s Cavern, Derbyshire, 14th May 2016

May 25, 2016
Written by: Rob Slusar

It’s been a while since I did a report, we have been trying to move house which has been going wrong at every turn for the last few weeks so time has been at a premium.

We had set aside a weekend to move, which then didn’t happen, so we took a last minute break up to Derbyshire just to get away from our house full of boxes.

We ended up heading to the Peak District, stopping off at Poole’s Cavern to have a wander around the caves as this is something we hadn’t done before.

Poole’s Cavern is a limestone cave near Buxton which dates back possibly 2 million years. The name derives from an outlaw who robbed travellers in the 15th century, but investigations show that the cave was used by people as far back as the Bronze Age. The caves have been used as a tourist venue since the mid 1800’s, with Mary Queen of Scots believed to have visited more than once.

The caves are home to a large number of stalactites and stalagmites as well as other rock formations.

I took my camera, but as you can imagine getting pictures underground with minimal light is a challenge, but I feel like I managed to get some good results regardless.

There are many fascinating rock formations which have formed over the centuries.

The caves are lit with coloured lights which gives a really nice vibe to photo’s. This trickling stream was once a raging river, which was responsible for forming the caves.

Lines of erosion are everywhere.

This is the “Flitch of Bacon”, named due to it resembling hanging bacon. This would have been the longest stalactite in the UK, but in Victorian times, explorers cut the end off, believing it may valuable as it would shine in certain lights. Many decades later, it was found discarded in a near by garden, and now sits on the ground near the main body.

Poached egg stalagmites, named as such because the mineral content gave the white rock a yellowish centre and tip.

Stalactites and stalagmites all over the rocks.

Needle stalactites.

More of the poached egg stalagmites.

And more. You can see the ones in the foreground that are shorter and darker in colour. These ones are classed as dead, as people have touched them over the years and the oils from hands have created a barrier, meaning water can’t affect them in the same way as others.

These stalagmites grow at a faster rate than others in then cave, and as such are referred to as “new”.

It is believed that the yellow staining continues through the core of the stalagmites. Also, if you cut them, they have rings like trees to show their age.

Some formations formed by water dripping down can end up looking like waterfalls.

This large calcite depost is often called things such as “the cauliflower” due to it’s white fluffy appearance. You can see a little how this one will shine in the light.

More “waterfall” deposits.

Another view of the large calcite deposit.

This is a truly fascinating place, and the guides there are really passionate about it. There are currently 310 metres of cave open to the public, but investigations are still on going and it is believed that there may be several more miles of chambers to be discovered. It really is a good trip if you are in the area.

After this we visited a couple of other sites. I will do reports of these later in the week.

Thanks for looking.

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