Catalogue Finding NumberSH:7/ML/E/26/2/0003
Office record is held atCalderdale, West Yorkshire Archive Service
TitleDiary page
Description[Diary Transcription]
some hundreds of low lived fellows / from as far as the Staffordshire potteries/ at the
Moss-house, on the left, about 3 miles from Buxton – You descend to Buxton down a very steep
narrow road with an ill-fenced-off precipice / the case in many other parts of the road/
on the right – the appearance of the town is very singular – surrounded by rude,
bleak, barren lime-stone mountains, covered with lime – kilns – the crescent is situated
so low, and so hid from view, you hardly see the chimnies, till you drive round the
back, and come into the area in front – we went to the Great hotel – had a sitting room
downstairs, C [Charles] preferring it on account of seeing the people as they walked along the piazza -
ordered dinner immediately, and devoured a brace of moor-game which were excellent,
but dear / 16 s/ in consequence of the moors being so strictly preserved – I fell asleep afterwards
on the sopha during which time, M – [Mariana] was very sick and almost fainted - C – [Charles] sent for
Dr Buxton, not at home - then for Dr Dresser (now settled in London) late of Macclesfield,
and originally an apothecary there which from his appearance and manners, one has no
difficulty in believing – Anne and Watson had a double bedded room – I a tolerably good
single one opposite – 10 shilling per week – up I know not how many flights of stairs – All rather
tired and went to bed early – Anne sat by my bed-side, and lay by me upon the bed
till 3 in the morning – I teazing and behaving rather amorously to her she would
gladly have got into bed or done anything of the loving kind I asked her

Thursday 15
L had a kiss The morning fair and tolerably fine but towards noon, threatening rain – walked out and
saw the Crescent – stables – the church – the walks, and the town – A little after 12 set off to Castleton.
Had several flying showers on our way – a pretty heavy one during the time we had luncheon
there, and as we were going to the cave, or as it is called there, Peaks hole –, we were just 3 quarters of an hour in exploring
the wonder of nature from one end to the other, a distance of 700 yards – It was full of
water and quite inaccessible only 3 weeks or a fortnight before we were there – the
man who shows it / and his father – had it before him / farms it of the Duke of
Devonshire, and keeps as good a path thro’ it as he can – the little stream of water
we saw run along it was clear as crystal / we stepped into it 2 or 3 times by
mistake / and remarkably good tasted – The Austrian Princes the Archdukes John and –
visited this wonderful place last autumn / I think/ and the man was much amused
by telling us of the fear they showed at the unexpected shock of the blast – At the
very extremity of the Cavern – we saw cut upon – the rock ‘Gurk of Vienna’ the proprietor
of the curious panharmonicon that was in York last January – our friends whom the
Belcombes and I went to 3 or 4 mornings – to waltz – At the entrance of the cave there is a
board put up against one of the cottage huts, telling the price of showing the cavern

to one two or more visitors – 1, I think, is 1/6 – 2. 2/6 – we, a party of 5 -/C – [Charles] – M – [Mariana] Mr Lawton,
Anne and I / paid if I mistake not, 8 s and 2 s for the blast, or 6 s for the party and 2 s for the blast –
There were no singers in what is called the Chancel – the guide told us the singing was now
given up unless when particularly bespoke; as it was too expensive to answer in general –
There are a few poor looking cottages and a ropery in the entrance of the 1st Cavern the length of
which is 180 feet – the span of the arch 120 and its height from the left abutement /20 feet lower than the
right and the road on which you stand / 70 feet / But, for a further description, vide the little guide book
I bought of Elias Hall who said he was an agent to Mawe, the mineralogist of London had
a nice shop just opposite the Inn and a good collection of specimens tho’ very dear –
the least 6 d and for a little bit of elastic pitch, from Mam Tor, about half an inch square 1s –
such things being too high for me I only bought the small guide referred to price 1s printed 1815 and Mawe’s
Mineralogy of Derbyshire price 6 s, printed in London 1802 – The man showed us some very
neat Derbyshire marble chimney-pieces – One of black marble £11 – 11 – one of bird’s eye
£7 or 8 – One of dog’s tooth £5 – There was a set /3/ beautiful large Black-John vases
at 40 guineas – From the cave we returned to the Inn, got into the carriage, and drove
thro’ the winnets to Speedwell mine, distance about a mile – The winnets is the old
road – for the sake of easing it, they have just made a diversion that branches off
about a mile from Speedwell, and goes by the foot of Mam Tor - The mine is opposite to this
mountain about a mile on the left from Castleton – the entrance is shut up by a door
hung in the rock, looking just like a pig-sty door, or at least giving you the idea of
something of that sort – It rained very heavily all the way there and during the rest of
the afternoon – almost with-out intermission – The man conducted us down an arch, 106
steps, when we came to the water and got into the boat – In a further description vid the little
guide book – This mine the guide told us was driven in a North and South directionion by a Staffordshire gentleman
about 50 years ago / which gentleman it eventually ruined, and is now the property of the guide’s uncle/ to cut across
the general run of lead veins in this country, and collect water so as to float boats to convey
the ore, and otherwise render the work less laborious – They cut 700 yards – and then came to
the cavern– called the Devil’s Hall, 600 feet below the surface of the earth/ heighth of the cavern
not known/ – The Guide was about 9 years old at the time, was present and remembers the
panic that struck them when the blast first opened – upon – them – this yawning- chasm – They
fancied the tremendous rush of water into the abyss, not knowing – whence or how it came,
must inevitably overwhelm them – and therefore endeavoured to scamper off as fast as possible.
They afterwards cut 700 yards farther, beyond the cavern – and tho’ they wheeled all the refuse of this last
DateAug 1816
Extent1 page


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