About this image
The rock seen here is Carboniferous Limestone. Limestone has fissures and is slightly soluble in water. This means that the rivers have been able to carve deep, narrow valleys and have then often found a route underground, creating caverns and leaving dry valleys behind. Sometimes, as at Winnats Pass, the caves have collapsed, leaving a deep, narrow gorge.
The pass is now the main route west out of Castleton since the collapse of the Mam Tor road, and suffers from tourist traffic congestion. It is also rumoured to be haunted by the ghosts of two murdered lovers.
This image is one of a collection by the famous local antiquarian, Thomas Bateman, of Middleton by Youlgreave. (1821-1861). Bateman organized his collection by inserting them into a 4 volume copy of Lysons Magna Britannia, Derbyshire, creating a fascinating and unique illustrated record of the county. The purchase of the collection for Derbyshire Libraries was made possible by the generous bequest of Miss Frances Webb of Whaley Bridge, well known local historian, who died in December 2006.