OS Grid ref:- SK115811
Eldon Hole, an alarming, evil-looking chasm, was named as one of the seven wonders of the Peak District by the philosopher Thomas Hobbes in 1636, the other six wonders of the Peak are said to be Peak Cavern, at Castleton, Poole’s Cavern, Mam Tor, also known as the 'Shivering Mountain', St Anne’s Well in the spa town of Buxton, magnificent Chatsworth House known as "The Palace of the Peak", the country seat of the Duke of Devonshire and the ebbing and flowing well in Barmough Clough.
At 245 feet in depth, Eldon Hole is deepest pothole in Derbyshire and is situated on the southern side of Eldon Hill, which lies four kilometres to the southwest of the village of Castleton.
The entrance to the hole measures 110 feet in length and is 20 feet wide. A 60 feet pile of stones at the bottom of the hole slope into a large cavern which has a domed roof from which stalactites hang.
Pot holes were often seen as the abode of fairies and supernatural beings in the past and Eldon Hole was once thought to be a bottomless refuge for the devil. Legend states that an old woman's goose was once thrown down and emerged days later from Peak Cavern several miles away with “it’s feathers blackened by the fires of hell”!
Local folklore states that a man called Charles Cotton was lowered down the hole in the past on a rope a mile long and still didn't reach the bottom. In Elizabethan times, the Earl of Leicester had a man lowered into the depths of Eldon Hole. He was found to be unconscious when he was raised and died soon afterwards. Investigation in the eighteenth century proved the Hole to be around 60 yards in depth. Today Eldon Hole is quite regularly descended by potholers, but it is still considered dangerous even with modern equipment.