Peak District Caving

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Wardlow Sough

Entrance of Wardlow Sough


build Derbyshire Key required.

Originally dug open in 1976 by the TSG, the sough tail had collapsed and became blocked during the 1990s. DCA volunteers assisted Natural England in reopening the sough in September 2019 and helped restore the route of a public right of way that had to be diverted owing to the increasing size of the shake hole created by the collapse. Access is allowed under the Natural England agreement shown here. An adjustable spanner is required for entry and the door must be kept locked at all times when not attended due to the extreme proximity of a busy right of way. Turn each bolt head anticlockwise about a third of a turn until the stopper is reached. The door should then open outwards. Once the party are inside, the last person can close the door and engage the locking latches by hand on the inside. 4m steeply angled plastic pipe fitted with ladders drops you into the sough at the point the old dig entered solid rock. Care required to avoid damage to some inscriptions on the left wall. Crawling and stooping in sticky mud entertains for approximately 40m until the current end is reached at a collapsed dig at a run-in shaft. Further workings exist beyond awaiting a resurvey. Permission for digging would be required from Historic England. There are some small areas of stacked deads and the sough does flow and can possibly sump in wet weather.


Beck, J.S. (1978), , Bull. P.D.M.H.S. Vol.7. No.2., pp.113-114., Peak District Mines Historical Society
Barker, I. & Beck, J.S. (2010), , Caves of the Peak District, p. 310, DCA
Knight, P. (2019), Reopening Wardlow Sough, Descent 270, p.15., Wild Places Publishing
Knight, P. (2019), Reopening Wardlow Sough, Descent 271, p.12-13. Survey, Wild Places Publishing
Knight, P. (2019), Reopening Wardlow Sough, Cressbrook Dale, The Derbyshire Caver 152, pp 4-6, and back cover, DCA