Blue John Cavern
Mam Tor, Castleton, HOPE VALLEY, Derbyshire S33 8WH
Did you realise that the Blue John Cavern at Castleton in the Peak District is world-famous? Moreover, it’s home to eight of the fourteen known varieties of Blue John stone. Its a beautiful and ornamental fluor-spar. Blue John mineral has been mined here for centuries.
Furthermore, it continues throughout the winter months. There are miners armed with picks and shovels who pursue the stone deep in the mine workings. Here is where its found, in veins in the limestone or loose in the clay beds lining the passageways.
Once mined, the lumps of Blue John are washed and transported to the surface. Then once in daylight, the quality of the stone can be seen more clearly.
With the experienced eye, the craftsman can then scan the material for faults and weaknesses. The most solid and attractive pieces of Blue John are then kept for making beautiful items of jewellery. These are set in Sterling Silver and 9ct Gold. Blue John is also inlaid into larger ornamental objects such as bowls, sails, and candlesticks.
Traditional methods of turning Blue John into jewellery are still used today. You can see the skill of our craftsmen and women working in the Original Blue John Craft Shop which is located in the village of Castleton. This enables you to view this unique stone at it’s best. Our restoration work on antique pieces is a specialty.
Blue John Cavern is steeped in history and old mining equipment is on view inside the cavern. You can take one of the guided tours. They are conducted throughout the cave system at short regular intervals. Each tour lasts approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. During your tour, a series of magnificent natural water-worn caverns are seen.
Blue John can be seen in its natural state along with stalactites, stalagmites and huge caverns. You’ll see the Waterfall Cavern with its multi-coloured dome.
When visiting Lord Mulgrave’s Dining Room you’ll discover where his Lordship entertained miners and where fine veins of Blue John. It can be seen in its natural state within the limestone. You can stand in the Variegated Cavern which is 150 feet high and 30 feet wide!
Your visit to the Blue John Cavern will be a great educational experience for young and old alike.
You can buy giftware, light refreshments, and items of Blue John at the Cavern Shop. Moreover, the Original Blue John Craft Shop in the village of Castleton also has a range of Blue John jewellery. Not to mention crafted items and assorted home and giftware, furniture, Caithness Glass, Beswick, Dartington Crystal, Sophie Allport, Gisela Graham, fashion jewellery, scarves and so much more.
Are you adventurous and looking for something unusual to do with your leisure time? Then come and visit the Blue John Cavern at Castleton – you won’t be disappointed!
Once you’ve visited the Blue John Cavern you may well like to see some of the beautiful creations made from Blue John. Find these at ‘The Original Blue John Craft Shop’. It’s just a short drive away in Castleton you can buy directly from the Online Store