Peak District Caving

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Gentlewoman's Pipe Climbing Shaft

Entrance of Gentlewoman's Pipe Climbing Shaft


No access agreement in place

**WARNING. 13/11/2023. DCA has become aware that the quarry is now being used for organised shooting events and both climbers and cavers have been turned away. DCA is working with local BMC reps to contact the landowner and discuss ongoing access for the quarry. Note that there is no access agreement in place to enter the quarry for access to the mine workings. At this time we must advise cavers to exercise caution if planning to visit the quarry and be prepared to go elsewhere. All we know at this stage is that there are planned shoots on Sundays in November, but we have no information beyond this. We will issue further updates once we have more information from the landowner or land agent. **

Note - 10/08/22 - the passage above Old Jant Mine leading uphill to Gentlewoman's Pipe, which was blocked by collapse, has been re-opened after digging by the Peak Caving Club, and so trips uphill from the sough are now possible again.

Climbing shaft entrance into Gentlewoman's Pipe is open to surface but partially covered with a large boulder, with anchors beneath for access - due to partial blocking with further boulders, the approach is very awkward and tight - please consider this if a return trip up the shaft is required. Original way into Gentlewoman's Pipe/Queen Mine workings from Great Masson complex is quarried away, and the remains are in a collapsed state. Mined/natural continuation heads downhill and northeast, eventually passing through Old Jant Mine to the coffin level of Masson Sough, which eventually joins Ringing Rake Sough (AKA Youd's Level). Lidded shaft entrance/exit at the sough tail by the River Derwent at Artist's Corner. Lid can be opened from inside without a key; the key to open from the outside is available from the Mining Museum at Matlock Bath. Deep Shaft is open, and lands near the 'Y' junction two-thirds of the way along the coffin-level - permission and access via Greenhills Farm. Entire system is part of Masson Hill SSSI.

Parking The broad entrance to a dirt/gravel track is on the left shortly after the turn for Masson Lees farm, there is some parking space available here but the majority of this hard ground is required for large vehicles (including large articulated lorries) turning into and out of the farm track and should be left clear. Do not drive or park on or up the track itself. Do not park in spaces on the road marked as passing places. The track itself is used by at least three separate farms and large vehicles requiring a wide turning circle frequently pass along it. For this reason the farmers have asked for the spaces directly opposite the track entrance to be kept clear of parked vehicles.

Following the above advice means there are a very limited number of parking spaces, as such it is advisable to lift share and consider parking further away and walking in where possible, especially during summer evenings and weekends. Other avenues are being explored in the hope of resolving the issue. Doing the most we can to avoid conflict in the meantime will greatly assist with these efforts. However, anyone parking anywhere on Salter's Lane should be aware that this in itself is a source of friction. Anyone concerned about a repeat incident of vehicle damage (broken mirrors) might consider using a dashboard camera!

The above advice was agreed with the BMC, and is also found on their Regional Access Database for climbers.


Warriner, D., Willies, L., & Flindall, R. (1981), Ringing Rake and Masson Soughs, Bull. P.D.M.H.S. Vol.8. No.2., pp.65-108., Peak District Mines Historical Society
Barker, I. & Beck, J.S. (2010), , Caves of the Peak District, p. 165, DCA
Berry, N and Jones, L. (2022), Old Jant Mine Blockage Finally Cleared, The Derbyshire Caver No 156, Page 12., Derbyshire Caving Association