Ginger Archaeology



Oakhurst House & Shining Cliff Woods

Located just above the village of Ambergate in the Derbyshire remains the skeletal remains of Oakhurst House. Constructed in 1848 by Francis Hurt; a industrialist who owned the wire works located below. The House and most of the former wireworks have now fallen into disrepair, leaving behind the hollow shell of its former self.

Surrounding the hall we find Shining Cliff Woods, a place riddled with old lead mining shafts that have been reclaimed by the forest. A Truly beautiful surreal place, with an amazing natural pool. GA


Arbor Low

Just a quick post as im getting bits ready for Uni!

Arbor Low is an extremely impressive henge monument in Derbyshire, known as the “Stonehenge of the North” it is situated in farm land near Bakewell. Derived from the Anglo-Saxon name “Eorthburg Hlaw”, which simply means “earthwork hill”.

The overall scale of the monument is overwhelming, along with the impressive bronze age burial mount located on the henge. The walk up to the monument also reveals some very interesting earth workings and other burial mounts located in the North West of the site. Along with a causeway that ventures of down the side of the hill in the North East. GA

An Actual Blog Post 3

This is another “Actual Blog Post” to talk about what’s been going on for the last few weeks!

First off I am continuing the Stop NPIB campaigning, This has involved a few admin bits and messaging my local councillor.  I am waiting for more information to come through from the government before I make the next move and push the campaign again as I feel there s no point at the moment doing another big push on a subject that we still know very little about. The campaign has already done a tremendous amount of work to get party’s talking about the issues and I hope this will continue, and just shows how a petition can have such a impact.

I had a short Interview for Archaeology Mag about Stop NPIB linked to activation in archaeology, Big thanks to Rob Lennox for contacting me, had a great deal of fun finding signal to reply back on top of the Hill fort.

Three Weeks ago I was excavating with Oxford University on a fascinating Hill fort “Moel-y-Gaer” Bodfari in North Wales, it being lowest of the Clwydian hill forts at c 200m, I managed to work on a cross section of a inner defensive boundary mount and a feature that is now looking like a structure! Defiantly had the best views I’ve had on a site before.

The Fieldwork started in 2011 and is ongoing it also featured in the November/December 2015 edition of Archaeology magazine. If your interested in volunteering on the site then keep an eye out on here.

Recent life events have also led me to now commute regularly to Derbyshire to see my other Half, Allowing me to extend my interest on Industrial Mining and heritage sites which literately litter the Wirksworth hills along with this beautiful Iron Age site below.

Website has seen a major update to its code and also a small aesthetic change however not much information has yet been transferred across, this should hopefully start in the coming weeks with my site reports being put onto a public data base that will assessable by all and then the member area will be added allowing people to upload there own sites.

Matlock has some good cake… GA



Wirksworth Lost Tunnels

Underneath Wirksworth; Derbyshire, is a lost Subterranean network of Tunnels built to bring minerals from quarries down to the mainline station.


Dale Quarry Tunnel

Rway%20010The largest of the tunnels was opened from Dale Quarry, situated 1.1 km west of the station yard. Stone was initially conveyed by horse and cart, but plans for a tramway proved unpopular as it would have passed through the town, however they appear to have been granted. Instead A standard gauge tunnel was built under the town, linking the quarry and the station yard and was opened on 17 November 1877.

The tunnel took only 18 months to complete and was opened in 1877, two years later however the quarry was forced into liquidation as a result of the cost of the tunnel.

The quarry continued in use under a new owner but eventually closing down in the early 1920s. Later it was reopened and worked until 1968. The tunnel was still in use at that time, but the stone was carried to the station yard on lorries, rather than the original trains.


Baileycroft Quarry Tunnel


Baileycroft Quarry is first mentioned in 1871, when land was leased with permission to extract 8400 tons of limestone; The start of a major change in the local area where industry shifted from Lead mining to Limestone Quarrying.

In 1877 an agreement was made to make a tramway tunnel from the quarry to the railway near the Baptist Cemetery. Two short tunnels connected by a cutting was constructed. These ran a 2 foot narrow-gauge track.

The quarry was closed in 1906, and the site was being used as a refuse tip in 1922. It is now the site of Harrison Drive, constructed in an effort to improve traffic flow through the town. Part of the quarry face was removed and the quarry filled in with dust from Dale Quarry including most of the tunnel.

The Maps Bellow Show the extent of the Tunnels, Dale being in Red and Baileycroft in Blue. GA



Images From.

Left Map is from Google Earth and the Right is a 1870-1906 Map



Fox Hole Cave

Fox Hole cave is located near the summit of the hill High Wheeldon in Derbyshire. It is owned by the National Trust and access to it can be made through them!

Inside contained the remains of the earliest human remains in Derbyshire, between 3800 and 4500BC, including 2 harts and a pre historic bear skull. (Excavated remains in Buxton museum.) The caves themselves also contain the story of early archaeologists whom hand work and methods; Very questionable methods, can clearly be seen.

The entrance way drops 8 ft down into a passage leading to a chamber 20 ft long where there is a branch to the right leading to a third chamber and zigzag passages beyond. Carved out by ancient water ways.

The cave was discovered and partly explored in 1928 after someone’s local Jack Russell went missing down a small hole and didn’t return, so a plan was devised to find the dog. With the local area being a mining community it must have been a normal thing to simply blow open the hole…. (The animal was unharmed and found safely apparently) but fox hole caves were re-unearthed. Leading to a excavation in 1928.  A more extensive investigation was carried out during the 1961 and 1981, with excavations concentrated on archaeological deposits in the floor of the Entrance Chamber, the Main Passage and the First Chamber, where a sequence of deposits up to 2 metres deep was recorded.

It has been occupied throughout prehistory beginning in the Paeleolithic, while in the Neolithic it was used to house a burial chamber, showing the clear change in culture as we moved to more manmade structures; Round houses and the role of the dead became an important aspect in early culture, so the preservation of these bodies must have been vital as we now have seen how Neolithic and beyond use to regularly bring out there dead in some areas of the world for sacred means. Weather this was the case here is unknown. If I find my pictures I will upload them to here. GA

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