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Great Masson Cavern

Entrance of Great Masson Cavern


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.

Usual entry is in large opening at the SE corner of the disused quarry on Masson hilltop, accessible from Salters Lane just east of Jugholes lay-by. No access agreement in place but no known restrictions. Show Cave entrance is in grounds of Heights of Abraham, close to cable car terminal. Normally no access permitted via this route. Part of Masson Hill SSSI.

Large numbers of cars are having a negative impact on the businesses of both the owner of the quarry and Low Farm, especially when cars are parked carelessly. Large or articulated vehicles need a lot of room to manoeuvre to access the track. We could jeopardise access to Masson Cavern outright if we are unthoughtful with parking, so please consider using other venues for large groups coming in individual cars, or car share/arrange a minibus.

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.

This site is part of the DCA SSSI Conservation Monitoring Scheme.
See the DCA website for competition details.


WARNING. 12/12/22. There has been a significant roof-crack recently developed, around the initial section of Crichman Chamber near the old founder shaft where the water drips come from, just beyond the hole from from the entrance passage. A piece of roof has fallen and more may still, so please be very careful around this and make a plan in case of a blocked exit.

24/10/22 'Passing Place' signs have recently appeared at the main regular 'parking' spaces on Salters Lane, placed by Derbyshire County Council. The space opposite the track to the quarry, regularly used for parking, requires large farm vehicles to turn/exit there, so please use alternative spaces if parking to use the quarry or Jugholes. Recent reports indicate damage has been inflicted on parked cars. Please be aware of a potentially provocative situation when visiting the site.


Gunn, J, Shaw, R, Worley, N. (2022), The evolution of Masson Cavern, Caves and Karst Science Vol 49, No 3, p.87 - 106., British Cave Research Association
Barnatt, J., Worthington, T. (2022), The Upper Nestus Pipes: An Archaeological Appraisal of the Masson Cavern Workings, Mining History, Vol 21, Nos. 5 and 6, 120 pages plus survey, Peak District Mines Historical Society Ltd
Bird, Dicky (2023), Great Masson Pictures 1977, PDMHS Newsletter, Page 2 -3., Peak District Mines Historical Society Ltd
Additional information (references)