Bagshawe Cavern

Mulespinner Mine

Useful Information

Location: Bradwell, Derbyshire. On the southern outskirts of Bradwell village.
(53.3246, -1.7438)
Open: Only after appointment for groups.
Fee: Per Person GBP 2.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=3,600 m.
Guided tours: D=120 min, L=340 m.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Bagshawe Cavern, Custodian Amanda Revell, Bradwell, Hope Valley, S33 9HD. Tel: +44-1433-620540. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1806 found accidentally by lead miners, known as the Mulespinner Mine.
2008 cave closed to the public and now open to cavers only.


Bagshawe Cavern was named after Sir William Bagshawe who owned the land when it was discovered.

This cave was discovered by lead miners in 1806, when it was known as the Mulespinner Mine. The entrance is covered by a small stone building which is used as a changing room, and out of which leads a flight of stairs in a rift opened up by miners. The remains of lead and barytes can still be seen, as well as such geological features as slickenslides. At the bottom of the rift an obvious passage on the left leads into the depths. Most of the passageway is about head height, having been dug by Mr. Revell and his father before the First World War. At intervals the passage opens up into small grottoes and the guide illuminates these with magnesium ribbon. This gives a soft, pleasing light, with delicate shadows, a pleasant contrast to electric lights. The passage ends with some steps leading up to a grotto. Just before this cul-de-sac, a passage on the left leads past some fine stalactites to the Dungeon. A 30-foot pothole, or shaft which requires a caving ladder for descent, may be seen in the floor, but the show cave continues upstream from this point in a wide, boulder-strewn, sandy-floored, dry, stream passage, containing some interesting ripple marks in the sand-a reminder of the presence of water in caves. After a distance of about 300 feet the tourist route ends, but the cave still goes on for the cave explorer!

Note: a visit to a cave like this is the best way for a beginner to start caving. It is an easy cave with an expert guide. Visitors will need to wear old clothes and take a torch as there are no concrete paths or lights.

Text from: Tony and Anne Oldham (1972): Discovering Caves - A guide to the Show Caves of Britain. With kind permission by Tony Oldham.