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Speedwell Cavern is located at the foot of the impressive Winnats Pass near the village of Castleton in the Peak District National Park. The cavern is one of four show caves in the Castleton area. The others are are the Blue John Cavern, Peak Cavern, and the Treak Cliff Cavern.
Speedwell Cavern has a number of chambers and an underground canal which was dug by miners in search of lead in the eighteenth century. The visitor descends 105 steps from the entrance to reach the canal, to commence a fascinating boat ride through the flooded mine workings, the boat trips are fully supervised by experienced guides.
The water that fills the canal travels underground from Perryfoot, near Sparrowpit, and eventually emerges at Russet Well, just near the entrance to Peak Cavern in Castleton.
At the terminus of the canal is a large water-filled hole, known as the "Bottomless Pit". This pit is an extremely deep vertical shaft, the base of which is now filled to around 20 metres (66 feet) of the surface by debris dumped there by the miners. The original depth of this shaft has been estimated to be around around 150 metres (490 feet).The visitor leaves the boat at this point to walk into the cave and view the fluorspar veins, the stalactites and stalagmites.
Open all year. Gift shop with a wide selection of gifts and mementos is available including jewellery made from Blue John stone, the superb flourospar mineral unique to the Peak District Caverns.