Boulton & Watt Engine image
Ecton Logo for masthead
Keeping this Hill Alive
EHFSA is back in operation after the Covid pandemic but we do need additional tutors. See the box on the EHFSA page

General Activities


Ilkley USA visit to Ecton
Ilkley U3A visit
Sally Mosley walk October 2017
Sally Mosley walk
Oct 2017

Additional information

There are several items that may improve the quality of your experience at Ecton:

Powerpoint presentation

The ECTONHILLPowerpointTemplate can be used as a "pre-visit" primer.  It can easily be adapted to suit the needs of any particular group.

Historical Leaflet

The historical leaflet: Ecton Hill Copper Mines in the Manifold Valley provides a brief history of the activities at Ecton.  It can be used as a "pre-visit" primer or handed to visitors, before during or after their visit.

Geological information

For those visitors who would benefit from a more detailed description of the geoligy of Ecton the following documents should be of assistance:

A map of Ecton Hill

Outline map of Salt's Level

What makes an ore deposit worth working

Some possibilities for activities by groups/organisations are offered below depending on the interests of the visiting group.
The charge is £10 per person with a minimum charge of £100 per group.

 ACTIVITIES for Geological Societies

If you are organising a visit to the Manifold Valley with your own leader, you can arrange an easy and level underground visit, led by one of our Tutors, into the mine to see the main shaft and Ecton pipe, lasting about one hour. You can eat your packed lunch at the Centre. Afterwards, continue on your way.
If you would prefer an activity organised by our Tutors, spending a couple of hours or most of the day around Ecton Hill and an underground visit as above, this can be arranged. Evening or daytime activities are possible.
There is plenty of scope for geological observations at the superb fold sequence at Apes Tor, a few hundred meters away from the Centre. Changes in surface geology can be investigated in a walk over the hill and small samples of the minerals can be found on the mine tips. More details about the geology and the geological setting of Ecton Hill, aimed at teachers of A Level geology, are posted on this website under Geology Workshops.

After a recent activity at Ecton the Oxford Geology Group produced a written report and a video record that is available on YouTube.

ACTIVITIES for U3A and other organisations studying Geology or Technology/Science

 A typical activity includes an introductory talk on the geology and mineralisation. This is followed by an underground visit, and, if time allows, a walk on the Hill, to see evidence of mining in the past, or a walk along the road to see some spectacular folding in the limestone.
Groups interested in the technology of mining and mineral separation, as well as in the geology, can be accomodated. Talks on the geology, mineralisation and technology are included, as well as an underground visit. A walk over the hill includes the former engine house, built for the installation of a Boulton and Watt steam engine, as well as much evidence of former mining activities. Practical activities related to mineral separation and chemical identification of the metallic ions in the minerals, can be included, as well as a demonstration of “black powder”, the explosive used to break the rock in the mine.

ACTIVITIES for General Interest and Walking Groups

An activity day generally lasts from 10.00 or 10.30am until 3.30 or 4.00 pm).

Activity Days for adults or adults with children all include an easy and level underground visit into the mine to see the main shaft and evidence of mineral extraction and tour of Ecton Hill. In addition, participants may collect mineral specimens from one of the mine waste tips. Depending on the aptitude and interest of participants, options include: the chemical testing of minerals, making “black powder” and the separation of minerals by panning and other methods.  The activities can be selected, in advance, by discussion with the Tutors who will be in charge of the programme.


All  activities normally include an underground visit into the mine to see the main mine shaft and evidence of mineral extraction, and a hill walk to see some of the evidence for mining activities. Some groups may include these in a walk from Hulme End, for instance. Activites are suitable for adults or adults with children.

Discuss your ACTIVITY

Contact Susan Wilkinsonto discuss your requirements on:   01732 456997.

Other Visits booked via another organisationS

Visits for Local History Groups

It is possible to arrange a full day visit commencing with a tour of Buxton, with a registered Derbyshire Blue Guide in the morning, followed by lunch, and the afternoon at Ecton. The morning walk, starting about 10am -10.30am, would take in such historic features as The Crescent, The Opera House and Devonshire Hospital, all built with money from the Ecton mine. The afternoon activity includes an easy and level underground visit into the mine to see the main shaft and Ecton pipe as well as a surface tour of the Hill (moderately strenuous) where there is much evidence of past mine workings.
Alternatively, a full day visit to the mine can be arranged, in which participants can learn about the history of the mine, take an underground visit into the mine as above with a more extensive tour of the hill to see the evidence of past mine workings.

Booking your ACTIVITY

Step 1:

Choose a date for the visit by going to the Ecton Availability calendar. (Use the "back" button to return here.)

Step 2:

Complete theActivity Booking form  selecting General Activities (Includes Special Interest Visits) (Google Form).  If you are unsure of the actual number in the group, an anticipated number is sufficient to enable your visit to be organised. Please enter whether the visit is a half or a full day and give an approximate arrival time.  (If there are problems dealing with the form, please contact Susan  01732 456997.)

Step 3:

Your request will be entered in the booking system and you will be contacted shortly thereafter to confirm the booking and to give you the names and contact details of your Tutors/Guides.

Step 4:

Once your visit is confirmed, arrangmeents wil be made to pay for the visit.

Step 5:

Make sure you read the document: Essential Information for General/Special Interest Activities . This gives all the details you need to prepare for your visit.