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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, 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. ^ 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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392 news items

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 ...
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 01:01:35 -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 ...

Matlock Today

Matlock Today
Mon, 19 Jan 2015 04:11:15 -0800

Rural Derbyshire faces funding loss. The Great Ridge in the Hope Valley, stretching between Mam Tor and Lose Hill, taken by Colin Lee. Published on the 19 January 2015 12:08. Published 19/01/2015 12:08 ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Sat, 03 Jan 2015 23:01:03 -0800

Top 10 hotels for walkers in Scotland | England | Wales · • Five great UK coastal walks. Walkers on Mam Tor with Edale valley and Kinder Scout in the background, Peak District. Walkers on Mam Tor, with a view of Edale valley, Peak District, Derbyshire, UK.
British Mountaineering Council
Wed, 21 Jan 2015 03:09:48 -0800

Other lofty but low-gradient hills that transform into winter playgrounds under a coating of snow include Ingleborough, Roseberry Topping and Mam Tor in the Peak District. Even the steeper slopes of namby-pamby southern hills such as the South Downs ...

Ilkeston Today

Ilkeston Today
Tue, 06 Jan 2015 09:48:16 -0800

Chinese names to make Peak king of tourism. The Great Ridge in the Hope Valley, stretching between Mam Tor and Lose Hill, taken by Colin Lee. Updated on the 06 January 2015 17:41. Published 06/01/2015 16:19 ...
Derby Telegraph
Thu, 22 Jan 2015 10:22:48 -0800

1Play in the Royal Shrovetide Football game at Ashbourne, which is held annually on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. 2Experience the atmosphere at the iPro Stadium when Derby County play Nottingham Forest. 3Enjoy the Towers and Tunnels and ...

Derby Telegraph

Derby Telegraph
Fri, 02 Jan 2015 05:07:30 -0800

With much of the country shrouded in early morning fog, photographers climbed to the summit of Mam Tor in the Derbyshire Peak District to witness the spectacle of dawn breaking above Castleton. Snow in Tissington. Sheep warming up in the morning sun ...

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