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This article is about a peak. For the English independent comic book publisher, see Mam Tor Publishing.
Mam Tor
Mam Tor Castleton.jpg
Mam Tor, July 2011
Elevation 517 m (1,696 ft)
Prominence 62 m (203 ft)
Mam Tor is located in Derbyshire
Mam Tor
Mam Tor
Mam Tor in Derbyshire
Location Peak District, England
OS grid SK127836
Coordinates 53°20′57″N 1°48′38″W / 53.34914°N 1.81069°W / 53.34914; -1.81069Coordinates: 53°20′57″N 1°48′38″W / 53.34914°N 1.81069°W / 53.34914; -1.81069
Topo map

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Mam Tor is a 517 m (1,696 ft) hill near Castleton in the High Peak of Derbyshire, England. Its name means "mother hill", so called because frequent landslips on its eastern face have resulted in a multitude of 'mini-hills' beneath it.[1] These landslips, which are caused by unstable lower layers of shale, also give the hill its alternative name of Shivering Mountain.[2] In 1979 the continual battle to maintain the A625 road (Sheffield to Chapel en le Frith) on the crumbling eastern side of the hill was lost when the road officially closed as a through-route.

At the base of the Tor and nearby are four show caves: Blue John Cavern, Speedwell Cavern, Peak Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern where lead, Blue John, fluorspar and other minerals were once mined.


Mam Tor dominates the skyline west of Castleton

Mam Tor is on the southern edge of the Dark Peak (sandstones) and overlooks the White Peak (limestones), including the notable dry gorge of Winnats Pass. It is a dominating link between the eastern end of Rushup Edge and the western end of the Great Ridge, which together separate the Hope Valley to the south from Edale to the north, and is a popular ridgewalk.

Mam Tor is made of rocks of Carboniferous age, approximately 320 million years old. The base of Mam Tor is composed of black shales of the Bowland Shale Formation of Serpukhovian age overlain by tubiditic sandstone of the Mam Tor Sandstone Formation of Bashkirian age.[3]

In perfect weather conditions, Manchester City Centre, Stockport, and Winter Hill can be seen from here.

Mam Tor landslide[edit]

A section of the abandoned road

The most notable feature of Mam Tor is the active landslip which invades its southeast side almost to the summit, and interrupts the ramparts of the hillfort, unless its builders used it as part of the defences. This rotational landslide began roughly 4,000 years ago. The toe is a debris flow. The landslide is due to weak shales underlying sandstones, a common phenomenon all around the Dark Peak, notably at Alport Castles, Longdendale, Glossop, and Canyards Hills, Sheffield. Indeed three larger landslips occur on the north side of Mam Tor, one of them cutting the main ridge at Mam Nick which allows a minor road over into Edale; another creates the striking crag of Back Tor well seen from Mam Tor.[4]

Evidence for the continued movement of the slide mass is demonstrated graphically by the severe damage to the old Mam Tor road that traversed this flow. The road was built at the beginning of the 1800s and was subsequently relaid until local authorities closed it in 1979. Layers of tarmac and gravel are up to 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) thick in places, demonstrating the numerous efforts to keep the road open. A short tunnel could readily have been made avoiding the landslip zone, but the opportunity to exclude heavy business and lorry traffic from the middle of the National Park was preferred. A local diversion for light vehicles follows the limestone gorge of Winnats Pass. Sheffield-Manchester traffic must now make a slow and lengthy detour over the A628 Woodhead Pass. This is one of the most extreme cases of geological problems affecting main transport systems in Britain, comparable with the railway at Dawlish.

Current mean annual movement is "up to 0.25 m; this increases greatly when winter rainfalls exceed thresholds of both 210 mm/month and 750 mm in the preceding six months."[5]

The debris flow poses no threat to any inhabited buildings; however, small farm buildings lying in the flow's path may soon be overwhelmed assuming a flow rate similar to that of the present. The 2000 study suggests that deep drainage may be the most effective means of stabilising the flow, though this may not completely stop movement.


The summit of Mam Tor is encircled by a late Bronze Age and early Iron Age hill fort. Radiocarbon analysis suggests occupation from around 1200 BC. The earliest remaining features are two Bronze Age burial mounds, one just below the summit and the other on the summit itself. At a later stage over a hundred small platforms were levelled into the hill near the summit, allowing inhabited timber huts to be constructed. The hill fort and burial mounds are a Scheduled Ancient Monument.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mam Tor". National Trust. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Natural Curiosities of Derbyshire, in: The Every-day Book and Table Book; or, Everlasting Calendar of Popular Amusements, Sports, Pastimes, Ceremonies, Manners, Customs, and Events, Each of the Three Hundred and Sixty-Five Days, in Past and Present Times; Forming a Complete History of the Year, Months, and Seasons, and a Perpetual Key to the Almanac, Including Accounts of the Weather, Rules for Health and Conduct, Remarkable and Important Anecdotes, Facts, and Notices, in Chronology, Antiquities, Topography, Biography, Natural History, Art, Science, and General Literature; Derived from the Most Authentic Sources, and Valuable Original Communication, with Poetical Elucidations, for Daily Use and Diversion. Vol III., ed. William Hone, (London: 1838) p 11–16. Retrieved on 24 June 2008.
  3. ^ Waters, C. N. and Davies S. J. (2006) Carboniferous: extensional basins, advancing deltas and coal swamps - Chapter 9 of Brenchley, P. J. and Rawson P. F. (editors) (2006) The Geology of England and Wales, 2nd edition, London, The Geological Society
  4. ^ Cooper, R. and Jarman, D. 2007. Mam Tor, in Mass Movements in Great Britain, JNCC, 167-184
  5. ^ Waltham & Dixon (2000), Movement of the Mam Tor landslide, Derbyshire, UK, The Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, Volume 33, Number 2, May 2000, pp. 105–123(19)
  6. ^ English Heritage. "Slight univallate hillfort and two bowl barrows on Mam Tor. (1011206)". National Heritage List for England. 


Further reading[edit]

  • Coombs, D. G.; Thompson, F.H. (1979), Excavation of the hillfort of Mam Tor, Derbyshire, Derbyshire Archaeological Journal 99: 7–51 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mam_Tor — Please support Wikipedia.
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174 news items

BBC News

BBC News
Fri, 28 Nov 2014 06:16:54 -0800

A 17-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of committing two rapes at an independent school in Derbyshire, police have confirmed. The attacks were alleged to have taken place at Repton School, in the village of Repton, in October. The teenager ...
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:52:30 -0700

Endemol, one of the world's largest independent television companies, has inked an exclusive first-look development and distribution deal with U.K. drama producer Mam Tor Prods., which is headed by Tally Garner. Endemol will provide development funding ...

BBC News

BBC News
Fri, 21 Nov 2014 11:34:31 -0800

A sheep has used his cloven hoof to turn on the Christmas lights in a Derbyshire town. Private Derby XXX, mascot of the local Mercian Regiment, trod on a specially designed switch to light up Ashbourne. The Swaledale ram, described as "quite ...


Sun, 16 Nov 2014 09:35:10 -0800

So we offered a voice to those concerned at the effects of the works, particularly on Rushup Edge near Mam Tor. Here, Chris Maloney puts his opinion on the issue. Derbyshire County Council has halted work on Rushup Edge, clearly demonstrating the power ...

BBC News

BBC News
Mon, 17 Nov 2014 11:16:56 -0800

A man has been stabbed in the chest after being approached by two men as he walked along a Derbyshire street. The 26-year-old was walking on the Hurst Farm Estate in the town of Matlock when he was attacked at about 14:15 GMT. Derbyshire Police said ...

Milton Keynes MKWeb

Milton Keynes MKWeb
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 00:55:19 -0800

They took in some stunning views along Stanage Edge, Ladybower Reservoir and the Hope Valley, and reached the summits of peaks including Win Hill, Lose Hill and Mam Tor. Their heavy bags, combined with windy and sometimes rainy conditions, only ...

Sheffield Telegraph

Sheffield Telegraph
Sun, 09 Nov 2014 02:02:02 -0800

“Particularly good locations at this time of year are Mam Tor, Winnats Pass and the eastern edges such as Stanage, Curbar and Baslow, especially at sunrise when there's a bit of mist in the valleys below.” lThe Photographer's Guide to the Peak District ...


Thu, 06 Nov 2014 04:14:11 -0800

Starting at Doncaster on Saturday morning, the challenging 92-mile route took the riders across some of the county's most dramatic landscapes, including Rotherham, Sheffield, Hathersage, Castleton and Mam Tor. Eight ABP employees joined the ASDA ...

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