The ‘cave’ is the remains of extensive lead mining remains on the hillside above Matlock. It stretches from the summit of High Tor and runs for about 750 feet in a southerly direction. The lead workings are up to 50 feet deep and date from the 17th and 18th centuries. The site is a scheduled ancient monument as a result of its extesnsive lead working.
Features of the site include interesting geological and mineralogical details and a wealth of archaeological features, such as notches for wooden supports known as stemples, sooting from early firesetting and scars from gunpowder blasting.
As part of the development of the site in Victorian times for tourism, the caves were advertised for their extensive ferns. At the northern end of the site, an old show cave descends into the hillside.