Matlock, Derbyshire

Saturday, 29th June 2019

The Heights The Caves Victoria Tower Thank You Please Read Me

The Heights

The Heights of Abraham are situated above Matlock Bath and have been known to visitors for 230 years - since at least Georgian times. I visited with my friend, and we found the views and the caves to be of especial interest. The cable cars are a novelty to those yet to visit alpine ski resorts. The views we enjoyed from the "eateries" enhanced the gastronomical experience.

The cable cars are a novelty to those yet to visit alpine ski resorts. The cable system was built and installed by a French company. The system is now celebrating the first 35 years of its existence.
(I could not avoid the reflections in the picture.)

There are some nice views on the way up. When using the cable cars, the operators seem keen to propel visitors into the middle one of the three cable cars.

On a hill top (centre right) sits Grade II listed Riber Castle, which was built in 1862 by the industrialist, John Smedley. The "castle" has now been converted to flats -
or should I say "apartments", which sounds more upmarket?

The Caves

There are three groups of caves, the uppermost group of which is accessible from the Heights of Abraham. In this uppermost group we find the Great Masson and the Great Rutland Caverns. These caves are naturally coated with "a clay-like substance that inhibits deposition" and so lack stalactites and stalagmites. These caves were mined for lead - in the form of Galena - from Roman times to the 1800s, until lead mining became unprofitable here. Fluorspar was also found here.

Entrance to the caves.

Great Masson Cavern

Great Rutland Cavern. Pretty colour effects.

Great Rutland Cavern. Pretty colour effects.

It's a steep, but doable ascent, to the outside world.

Looking back from the cave exit. Daylight rules OK.

The Victoria Prospect Tower

The Victoria Tower was built in 1844 and adds a bit of extra height to the all-round views. The stone spiral stair case is so constructed that those ascending the stairs cannot really safely pass those making their way down. One-way traffic only. When going up, there is only a hand guide on the right; on the left, it's a steep drop all the way down. Visitors are advised to be right-handed on the way up and left-handed on the way down! I'm not sure about "Health & Safety" implications!

The Victoria Prospect Tower.

The view from the top includes Riber Castle, which is seen here to the right.

There are more views as one walks round.

Here we are looking towards Matlock Bath.

Thank You

Thank you, Michelle, for suggesting a visit to the Heights of Abraham. Thank you indeed for a nice visit. Both of us saw and learnt new things. That's what life is about!