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28 October 2014
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Walk Through Time
You are in: Derby > Features > Walking > Walk Through Time > Stage 6
Wooded path
The remains of Riber Mine
Station to Station. Matlock Bath to Matlock.

This walk takes you through lush and lively woodland, over fresh open countryside and has stunning views from one of Derbyshire's most impressive crags.
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On your right you'll notice a flat, scrubby patch of land (see picture above). This is the remains of Riber Mine. Lead mining was one of the main activities in the Matlock district and evidence of mining can be traced back to Medieval times.

Led Vein
Ancient lead vein

There's still plenty of heavy metal in this area. Lead, zinc and cadmium are just three of the materials the earth is rich in.

The land also hosts Barytes which was important in the paint industry and for making paper. It's a heavy, dense mineral which is also used in North Sea oil extraction because of its stabalising effects.

Fluorspar (calcium fluoride) - which has a cubic crystal - is common in Derbyshire and more specifically anywhere where there's plenty of limestone. The leadminers of the past would have found it and disregarded it. In recent years man has returned knowing that where there was lead there'll be fluorspar and barytes. The examples we spotted had a slight orangey tinge indicating a slight iron contamination.

Discover more...
Local Geology expert Robin Jeffcoats tells us more mining and minerals.

Listen as Robin talks the talk as we walk the walk

We took a walk through time on Otober 16th. Take a look at the pictures.

Another mineral common in the Matlock area is Black Jack (Sphalerite) also known as zinc sulphide. Used in the calamine business and also in brass working.

Early indications of leadmining activity can be found in the caves along this walk, look out for miners pick marks on the walls. This shows where the lead has been extracted from the surface of the rock. Miners would have tapped away at the lead leaving vertical scratch marks behind.
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