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Ecton is a historic mining area, once one of the foremost mines in the British Isles, now a Scheduled Monument and a valuable educational resource.

The Ecton Mine Educational Trust was formed with the principal aim of promoting education in applied geology, mining and mineral extraction. Thanks to the generosity of the late Mrs Elizabeth Cox, the Trust is the owner of the mine, mineral rights, and the study centre at the l8th century Ecton Mine in the Peak District National Park.

The Trust, with its sister organisation the Ecton Hill Field Studies Association, provides the facilities for school and university teachers to run field courses that introduce young people to subjects relevant to the minerals industry.

Why is Ecton so important and historic?
From Bronze Age times, the copper and lead deposits on Ecton Hill were worked for over 3500 years, ceasing in 1891. During this time fortunes were made and lost. In the 18th century the Duke of Devonshire made a profit of over £300 000, said to have financed the building of the magnificent crescent in Buxton. Total ore production is estimated at over 100 000 tonnes, mainly of copper ore.

The whole area is a site of special scientific Interest (SSSI), and the Ecton mine itself is an underground SSSI. The rock exposures at nearby Ape’s Tor provide outstanding opportunities for the study of geological structures, which can then be seen again underground in Salt’s Level

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Commemorating the life of Geoff Cox, engineer, educator, and visionary, who died 20 years ago, on 2nd November 2003. It was Geoff’s concept to turn an abandoned mine in the Peak District into an educational resource for new generations of mining professionals. Read about his life HERE. (re-published from PDMHS Newsletter 188, October 2023)


  • Heritage Open Day
  • Submersible dives
  • Balance Cone news

More …



The Ecton Mine Educational Trust is a registered charity. Apart from its educational activities it is responsible for safety and maintenance of the mine and its buildings. Funding sources include

  • Donations for EHFSA courses and other visits to the mine
  • Participation in funded scientific research
  • Donations from organisations such as MinSouth
  • Corporate sponsorship – both cash and in kind
  • Grants for restoration and improvement

If you could consider becoming a sponsor or assisting financially in any way, please contact one of the trustees

Ecton is a partner of Resourcing Tomorrow (London, 3-5 Dec. 2024)