Winster Cavers - an adventurous perspective on our natural world.
Follow us on Facebook to keep up with our latest adventures Like our website?
'Like' us on Facebook...



Have you found this site useful? If so, why not make a small contribution to our running costs. Just click on the button below for more details:


Bonsall Leys Level

Bonsall Leys Level, a trial for lead mining in the Via Gellia, Derbyshire

Date: 20th February 2008

A large obvious entrance, easily seen from the road, Bonsall Leys Level was driven (unsuccessfully) as a trial in search of lead ore. Combine a visit with a trip into Slaley Sough and Gell's Adit for an interesting excursion.

Weather conditions:
Cold and dry.

How to find it:
Heading downhill along the Via Gellia towards Cromford, the easiest parking is at the "Goodluck Mine" layby, on the right hand side on a bend in the road. Walk downhill; before reaching the "Tufa Cottage" on your left, and on the same side of the road, you will see a large mined entrance. This is Bonsall Leys Level.

The land on which Bonsall Leys Level lies is privately owned, but a long tradition of sensible use of the land (eg sticking to public footpaths wherever possible) means that, as far as we are aware, no formal approach needs to be made to the landowner for permission.

Kit required:

Immediately inside the large entrance portal there is a "lake". This is not only cold (and usually JUST above welly depth!) but is also full of old tyres and other rubbish, so beware of hidden hazards under the water. The tunnel runs straight into the hillside, with no side passages. Part way along, a couple of enticing small waterfalls can be heard - these emerge from impenetrable thin bedding planes roughly at eye level. The dimensions of the tunnel reduce further in, until the trial ends at a forefield with evidence of pick marks and some miners' inscriptions. A few attractive formations are starting to form on the walls and roof.