Exploring Magpie Mine
Magpie Mine in the Peak District is a disused lead mine, one of five on the site which is enclosed by a stone wall. The other four shafts are known as Great Red Soil, Horsesteps, Maypit and Dirty Red Soil. Magpie Mine was opened in 1740 and closed in 1958. It was the last working lead mine in Derbyshire, an industry in the area that dates back to Roman times.
I’ve visited the site numerous times over the years, it’s an interesting and evocative location with endless scope for photography. On this visit, the weather was humid with brief thunderstorms. As is often the case, the clearing storms gave way to dramatic cloud formations as the sun reappeared in their wake.
Traveling Light With My Leica MP
I made the decision to travel light on this visit to Magpie Mine. Taking only my Leica MP, 35 summicron asph lens, Heliopan 22 filter and a couple of rolls of Adox Silvermax 100 with me, the sense of creative fluidity is liberating when your camera gear is reduced to the basics needed to make photographs. The essence of satisfaction in photography for me doing just that; making images without the distractions of multiple lenses in a bag full of lesser-used gear!
The horse gin erected at Dirty Red Soil shaft is a reproduction. It is a good illustration of how men and ore were moved up and down the 350′ shaft.
Through the Window
One of the ruined buildings on the site. The window with the view of the tree beyond was just too tempting! Magpie Mine in the Peak District, like most popular locations, is best visited when you have it all to yourself.
I was lucky, I did have the site to myself on this visit. The thunderstorms probably persuaded other visitors to linger over their drinks in the Cock & Pullet in nearby Sheldon!