Treak Cliff Cavern
is an old lead and Blue John mine situated on
the western outskirts of Castleton, Derbyshire. The mine has been
operational since the early 18th Century, and was already receiving
tourist visitors in the 19th Century to see the famed Blue John
is a semi-precious banded form of Fluorspar, and the
entire world's supply is found only in this one hill. Treak Cliff
Cavern is one of two sites to still mine the mineral,
Blue John Cavern
(at the top of the hill) being the other.
In 1926, new caverns were accidentally discovered by Blue John
miners who broke through from the surface workings, and which contained a stunning array of mineralised structures. The caverns were
then connected internally by blasting, and eventually illuminated with electric lighting by
John Royse, the noted geologist, cave-explorer and then leaseholder, and he officially opened the caverns as a show-cave in 1935;
it has been entertaining visitors ever since with its splendid
displays. Treak Cliff Cavern recently celebrated its
as a working mine, and its 75th as a
I've recently been
producing a new body of work within the caverns, in an attempt to
capture the immensity and weight of the natural forms, combined with
the delicacy of structure, colour and material, all bound and
constantly manipulated by gravity, and which are so brilliantly
displayed in this very special environment. The images are all
composites, made from many images stitched together, essentially underground panoramas.
thanks to Vicky Turner and all the staff at Treak Cliff Cavern for
their hospitality and assistance in producing this project. The
work is dedicated to John Royse, for his inspiring and pioneering
efforts at better communicating the magic of the underground
geological environment to a wider public. More images will be
created as time allows.
are available to buy at a variety of sizes, from actual size down to
A3, and on a variety of materials. To enquire about pricing, please
or phone +44 114 255 9976.