BLUE JOHN CAVERN
The Blue John cavern at Castleton is world famous as the home to eight of the fourteen known varieties of Blue John Stone. Castleton is the only place in the world where Blue John Stone, the rarest and most prized of the wide range of minerals and flourspars is to be found in the Peak District. Located in veins in the limestone deep within the Blue John Cavern, blue, purple and yellow in colour, it has been mined for centuries.
Stone was first discovered by the Romans some
2,000 years ago. Evidence of the Romans love of the stone came when two
vases were unearthed during excavations at Pompeii. It is
thought to have been named "Blue John" by John Kirk and
Joseph Hall who worked the mines in the 18th Century, it is the rarest
natural formation in the British Isles.
Visitors to the Blue John Cavern are taken on a guided tour through the cave system, which lasts about 45 minutes to 1 hour. The tour explores a series of magnificent natural water-worn caverns, where fine veins of Blue John can be seen in their original state in the limestone along with stalactites and stalagmites. The Waterfall Cavern and the Grand Crystallized Cavern with its multi-coloured dome are seen along with Lord Mulgrave's Dining Room, where his Lordship once entertained miners.
The traditional methods of turning Blue John are still used. The original Blue John Craft Shop in Castleton enables visitors to view this unique stone. Light Refreshments and giftware may be purchased from the Cavern shop. There is a free car park.
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BLUE JOHN CAVERN
Visit the world famous Blue John Cavern, home to eight of the fourteen known varieties of Blue John Stone. Open every day (weather permitting) except Christmas Day . Summer: 9.30-5.30pm. Winter: 9.30-dusk. Tel. 01433 620638 or visit - www.bluejohn-cavern.co.uk
Visit the original Blue John Craft Shop (pictured) in Castleton. Open 9.30-5.30pm all year except Christmas Day.
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