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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

OS Explorer OL1

OS Landranger 110

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, though now buried under the paving. 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. ^ Historic England. "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.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
40475 videos foundNext > 

The Walking Englishman - Mam Tor Ridge

The number one website for free walks. The report, map and statistics for this walk can be found at http://www.walkingenglishman.com/peakdistrict04.htm For all my walks please visit http://www.walk...

GoPro HD MTB, Peak District, Mam-Tor to Castleton

A walk along Mam Tor from Edale

A 4 mile walk along the great route up and along Mam Tor to Hollin's Cross from Edale - although there was something slowing us down and stopping us seeing the old hill top fort... Presented...

Walk up Mam Tor.

three people and a dog, go for an adverage saturday walk.

Mam Tor Gully ski descent in the Peak District

Rusty biffer skis Mam Tor Gully in the Peak District "Feist-My Moon My Man [*][Boys Noize Remix]"

DJI Phantom - Collapsed Road - Mam Tor, Peak District

A short flight over the collapsed road that used to zig zag up the Castleton side of Mam Tor in the Derbyshire Peak District. It was closed in the 1970's after continuing land slips made maintenanc...

Winterfylleth - Mam Tor (The Shivering Mountain)

Released in digipak format. Re-released on tape in 2011 by Night Birds Records. Re-released on CD in 2012 by Candlelight Records, with new cover art / layout, and two previously unreleased...

Mam Tor Paragliding

Flying from Mam Tor 17th July 2014.

Mam Tor Gully

Rare conditions on a Peak District Gully!

Mam Tor Gully and Ski/Snowboard back down the east side of Mam Tor

A pre-work ascent of Mam Tor Gully and ski back down on a beautiful February morning in the Peak District, and we made it to work for 9am!

40475 videos foundNext > 

1656 news items

OUTDOORSmagic (blog)
Fri, 06 Mar 2015 02:25:23 -0800

If you saw the story and video - above - about the walker who spent an hour clinging to a trig point on top of Mam Tor in the Peak District because of high winds before calling mountain rescue and being helped to safety by a pair of passing walkers ...


Wed, 04 Mar 2015 09:00:53 -0800

The walker called for help when he became hypothermic on the summit of Mam Tor as the hill was swept by sleet and gales this morning. Edale Mountain Rescue Team was alerted by police about 7.55am to a person 'stuck due to winds' on the 517m (1,696ft) ...
OUTDOORSmagic (blog)
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 08:27:20 -0800

We're slightly bemused by this one - the back story is apparently that a fella from Nottingham popped up to the Peak District to take some landscape photos, got caught out by the wind on top of Mam Tor and, unable to walk, clung onto the trig point for ...
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 ...
Wed, 21 Jan 2015 05:52:30 -0800

Mam Tor was a hillfort occupied roughly 3000 years ago during the late Bronze Age/early Iron Age covering some 16 acres and surrounded by grass ramparts that you can still make out, though originally they would have been topped with stone walls for ...

Northwich Guardian

Northwich Guardian
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 05:22:30 -0700

Steve Thomas took the C group up Cavedale and on to Mam Tor and the Great Ridge before returning via Hope after nine miles with 1500ft of climbing. David Eyes took the D group beneath Lose Hill to Aston and returned along Peakshole Water to Castleton, ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Fri, 06 Feb 2015 16:57:18 -0800

There is nothing unusual about snow in northern England at this time of year, of course. But the current cold snap has delivered an exceptionally generous dump of snow on Mam Tor, a craggy old Bronze Age hill fort in the heart of the Peak District.

ITV News

ITV News
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 10:26:15 -0700

Early risers in the Derbyshire Peak District were in for a treat last Sunday morning. Cold air sinks and warm air rises. The air on the hillsides lost heat to space under clear overnight skies and so sank into the valley bottoms. This air was cold ...

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