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Eldon Hole

Eldon Hole

Eldon Hole, a gash in the ground near Peak Forest, used to be feared as the entrance to a bottomless pit or even to Hell itself. Eldon Hole is still a dangerous place.

In Elizabethan times, the Earl of Leicester bribed a peasant to be lowered into the depths. The poor man had gone quite mad by the time he was hauled back up and died ‘of a phrenzy’ eight days later. Hobbes(of Wonders of the Peak fame) said that the unfortunate man had been lowered to 750ft (230m) but Cotton(of Wonders of the Peak fame) claimed to have personally measured 2,650ft (808m) with a line. Claims reached the ridiculous in 1700 when a Dr Plot declared that Eldon Hole was 16,800ft (5,100m) deep. Not until 1770 did brave John Lloyd, FRS, spoil the myths by a careful exploration which gave a depth of 228ft (70m) .

Eldon Hole is on Eldon Hill north of Peak Forest in the Derbyshire Peak District. It is 20ft (6m) wide and about 100ft (30m) long at the surface but its steep sides drop to over 200ft (60m). People and animals have lost their lives by getting too close.

Perhaps the legendary underground river awaits discovery beneath the enormous heap of animal bones, rocks and waste which have fallen down Eldon Hole over the years.

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