East Midlands Industrial Archaeology Conference

EMIAC 98: 18th & 19th Century Metal Mining in the Peak District - 2nd May 2020

What is EMIAC?

EMIAC, East Midlands Industrial Archaeology Conference, comprises societies from across the East Midlands region. In addition to NIAG, the other members are (see the Links page for contact details):

  • Derbyshire Archaeology Society
  • Leicestershire Industrial History Society
  • North-East Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology Society
  • Railway & Canal Historical Society - East Midlands Group
  • Society for Lincolnshire History & Archaeology

Each of the societies takes it in turn to organise a Heritage Day in their locality.

Heritage Days are held twice a year and are open to anyone with an interest in IA or related historical subjects. The first meeting was held in 1970 with the idea of enabling industrial archaeologists in the East Midlands to get together in different locations to consider topics of mutual interest. No formal organisation exists; the secretaries from each of the organisations meet on a regular basis.

Notes from previous conferences

Notes of recent events can be found on the EMIACs Past page.


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Conference Details


A dual economy of agriculture and mining dominated the area mainly west of the river Derwent between Wirksworth and Castleton for many centuries, mainly for lead, but also copper at Ecton and later, zinc and the gangue minerals such as fluorite and baryte. At its peak it employed 20,000 people who lived in some 50 nearby enlarged villages and hamlets.

The associated technology that developed was at the forefront of British and even World mining. The landscape has many features remaining, with some accessible underground workings having a particularly rich archaeology.

Magpie Mine

Probably the best example of a nineteenth century lead mine anywhere in the UK. The mine has a fascinating history spanning more than 200 years of bonanzas and failures, of bitter disputes and fights resulting in the "murder" of three miners, and a Widows' Curse that is said to remain to this day.

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Conference Programme

The next Heritage Day is being organised by the Peak District Historical Mines Society and will be held on Saturday, 2nd May 2020 at the Lead Mining Museum in Matlock, DE4 3NR.

The conference programme is:

09:00 Registration and coffee

10:00 18th & 19th Century Lead Mining in the Peak: An overview

10:35 Excavating 18th & 19th Century steam engine houses

11:10 Setting the Record Straight: Three Derbyshire case studies

11:45 Diving to Depth at Deep Ecton Mine, one of the richest British copper mines

12:20 EMIAC Business Meeting

12:40 Lunch

13:50 Visit to the Magpie Mine.

16:30 Close of conference.

Cost of event: £15.00.

Event cancelled due to Coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions.

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A Derbyshire mine engine house
A Derbyshire mine engine house.

Image courtesy of the Peak District Historical Mines Society.

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