Castleton Caves Castleton is home to four 'show caves' – essentially four old underground caves that have proved enormously popular with tourists due to their fascinating heritage and wonderfully interesting interior. They are called Peak Cavern (which is also affectionately known as The Devil's Arse), Speedwell Cavern, Treak Cliff Cavern and Blue John Cavern. The four caves all offer different qualities, and are all a must see for any visitor to Castleton.
BLUE JOHN CAVERN Blue John Cavern is a natural cave with the occasional remaining mine workings. Of the 16 known veins where Blue John Stone is found in Castleton, eight of them are located in Blue John Cavern. The eight veins here are Twelve Vein, Old Dining Room, Bull Beef, New Dining Room, Five Vein, Organ Room New Cavern and Landscape. The name Blue John Cavern is thought to have been made up by John Kirk and Joseph Hall, who worked the mines in the 18th Century. The mineral is still worked here during the winter months in areas way from public view. The miners who work the remaining seams act as guides for the Castleton underground tours.
SPEEDWELL CAVERN-The second of Castleton's show caves is Speedwell Cavern, considered by many observers to be the most popular of the four caves. Speedwell is unique amongst show caves in Castleton – and indeed Britain as a whole - due to the manner in which its visitors access its many features. Guests must journey by a special underground boat to get to Speedwell's several natural chambers and witness its captivating qualities, most notably of all its famous 'Bottomless Pit'.
PEAK CAVERN-(The Devils Arse) Located just west of Peveril Castle and easily accessible from a car park just off Castleton high street, Peak Cavern is one of the most popular landmarks in Castleton. The Peak Cavern is also known by locals as the Devil's Arse, originally because of the allegedly flatulent-sounding noises that used to emanate from inside the cave according to Castleton locals. In 1880 the name of the cave was changed to Peak Cavern from the Devil's Arse in order not to offend to Queen Victoria when she visited Castleton to watch a concert in the cave. Over recent years, the cave has been promoted by its owners using its traditional, more improper name. It is the most famous of the four show caves in Castleton, with Peakshole Water flowing through and out of the cave.
TREAK CLIFF CAVERN in Castleton is of international fame and geological importance. Situated a little higher up the old Mam Tor road, Treak Cliff Cavern has within it an array of delectable stalactite and stalagmite formation. For several years Treak Cliff has been considered a Site of Special Scientific Interest and in agreement with the English Nature, all the Blue John Stone deposits on the visitor route are preserved. However, Blue John Stone is regularly mined in Treak Cliff Cavern, from areas not seen by visitors to Castleton. It is then crafted into jewellery, small bowls, ornaments and other decorative items and is often sold in gift shops around Castleton. Treak Cliff Cavern still mines approximately 500 kilograms of Blue John each year.