Blue John Caverns is one of numerous caverns and caves located within the beautiful Hope Valley in Derbyshire. It has been a popular attraction with locals and tourists alike for many years. According to the attractions website the Caverns were supposedly formed approximately 80,000 years ago after the melting of nearby Ice Glaciers formed  underground rivers, as a result it created the caverns which we see today.


Blue John Caverns, by Flickr user steve p2008 shared under Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0) Image Source

The history of the Blue John Caverns goes as far back as 2000 years when the Romans invaded Britain. Supposedly the Romans discovered the very rare Blue John Mineral which is solely located within Castleton, Derbyshire. The Blue John mineral is mined by hand using tools, as it is extremely fragile. Explosives are only ever used for special circumstances.

Blue john slices

Blue John Mineral, by Flickr user Pete Birkinshaw shared under Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0) Image Source

Here is a short clip from a BBC Radio Manchester programme called The Outsiders, broadcast around 1973. We are able to listen to presenter Ken Howarth on his trip to the Blue John Mines, the tour guide gives us some interesting information on the history of the mines and also Blue John mineral.

Blue John Caverns are a beautiful place to visit for anyone who enjoys adventure and  for anyone who fancies going underground for a great day out.

You can listen to the full radio show at Manchester Central Library (ref: MISCEL/524).