History of the Enchanted Chocolate Mine
J.M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan, was a regular visitor to Kirkby Lonsdale at the end of the nineteenth century. He was friends with the vicar of Kirkby Lonsdale at that time and based the characters in the story of Peter Pan on the vicar’s family. Ever since then Kirkby Lonsdale has had very strong links with the magical faery world inhabited by Peter Pan and his friends.
It is a little known fact that Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, has visited Kirkby Lonsdale throughout the decades ever since. He still regularly visits the town. The last time he was here was in April 2004. This visit coincided with the first anniversary of the Chocolat shop when the owners were uncovering evidence that Kirkby Lonsdale was built over a seam of naturally occurring chocolate. They discovered a cave like cellar deep underneath the shop where there was a natural spring and clear signs of the existence of chocolate. They also discovered that this little oasis was the place that Peter Pan came to when he visited Kirkby Lonsdale. It was his secret place. He loved to shower in the waterfall and relax on the cool chocolate slabs. On one visit he even carved his initials with golden faery dust in the chocolate. He had named the natural waterfall ‘Hook Nose Falls’ as the shape of the rocks in the waterfall reminded him of the shape of the nose of his arch enemy, Captain Hook.
Peter wasn’t happy that his secret place was being uncovered but nevertheless agreed to help with the extraction of the chocolate as long as the owners preserved his secret place especially for children and made sure that it was available for him to visit at any time in the future. Keep your eyes open because Peter Pan could visit at any time.
With this deal in place Peter Pan revealed the naturally occurring source of liquid chocolate that bubbles up from the depths of the earth. He got in touch with friends in the faery world and introduced Redshank, Blue Cap and Chocolate Keeper faeries all known for their connections with mining. Before long faeries had begun drilling and extracting the lovely chocolate beneath Kirkby Lonsdale. (There are two kinds of chocolate: The ordinary kind that comes from cacao pods which grow on trees and the very special rare kind that occurs naturally underground.)
First it was necessary to build the network of tunnels under the town. This took several years and in November 2006 the mine became fully productive when the first consignment of saleable chocolate was extracted.
It was two years later in November 2008 that the viewing gallery section of the mine was ready to accept visitors and therefore opened to the public.
The Wishing Well
Use your skill on our coin chute to direct coins into the bucket. There is a hole in the bottom of the Wishing Well bucket. See how many coins you can get into the well itself!
Because Peter Pan is the boy who never grew up and it is our connections, here at the Enchanted Chocolate Mine, with him that have led us to choose to donate proceeds from the wishing well to Derian House where they care for terminally ill children.