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Blue John Cavern

Those visiting Derbyshire are commended a visit the Blue John Cavern in Castleton. It is here where the rare and prized Blue John mineral is found, a breathtaking semi-precious stone famed for its unique blue, purple and yellow banded structure differing from any other flour-spars in the world.

It has been suggested that the Blue John Cavern is the finest of its kind across all of Western Europe allowing the public to venture into the beautiful cave system in search of the breathtaking mineral. Inside is home to eight of the fifteen known varieties of Blue John stone where miners still to this day venture to find the rare veins in the limestone. Blue John has been mined here for centuries and continues to be in the winter months. 

History of the Blue John Cavern

As Britain’s rarest mineral, it is no surprise that the history of Blue John remains much of a mystery. It was believed to have been originally discovered by Romans around 2,000 years ago when they settled in Castleton looking for deposits of lead. Instead, they discovered the mesmerising blue, purple and yellow banded mineral and crafted it into valuable ornaments and Blue John jewellery. Evidence showed the Blue John was also transported overseas during this time as two Blue John vases were discovered in Pompeii during excavations.

As years passed, Blue John increased in popularity becoming highly regarded for its colour and crafted into vases, tables, columns and windows and owned by nobles in Buckingham Palace and Chatsworth House. During this time, the Blue John Cavern became one of just a few mines in Castleton to supply high quality stones to craftsmen and women and the same mining equipment used in the past is still on display inside the cavern. To this day, the Blue John Cavern continues to mine for the mineral as well as offering tours to locals and tourists alike. You can see Blue John in its natural state along the stalactites, stalagmites and huge caverns, see the famous Waterfall Cavern and stand in the Variegated Cavern which stands at 150 feet high and 30 feet wide.

Where is the Blue John Cavern?

The Blue John Cavern is situated in the middle of Castleton, a picturesque village in the county of Derbyshire in the Peak District National Park. Nearby, you can also find the Blue John Gallery boutique where you can shop a stunning selection of handmade Blue John jewellery. We highly recommend a visit to the Blue John Cavern so you can appreciate the wonders and beauty of the rare mineral before a visit to our store. Then, come treat yourself to a piece of history with one of our Blue John necklaces, rings, bracelet, earrings and cufflinks.


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