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Hunters Scar Jet mine is located near to Captain Cooks monument and the Ayton Banks Mines, not far from the parking area at Gribdale Gate. The mine consists of a very small working that was originally accessed via a square shaft not far from the access road (now overgrown). It was originally mined for Jet in a small way but later converted to provide clean water via a set of internal tanks and weirs. A concrete lined access tunnel was driven to allow the associated pipework to exit the mine whilst providing a natural run off for the water outlet. Little is recorded about the history of the mine working except that it exists on maps pre-dating 1888 and with the size of the mine shaft the working may have been a lot larger than we can currently access (it seems a large shaft with not a lot at the bottom?) In this movie to fully explore the small working and work our way to the very end of the mine, unfortunately the whole place is a haven for the local spider population of which I'm non too impressed to have to crawl through.


Ayton monument mine situated high on the hillside near Gribdale gate was sunk to extract the high concentrations of Iron ore. The mine was quickly ran into difficulties with 'bad air' and a series of ventilation furnaces were installed (common method of the time) whereby a large hearth was installed underground with a chimney shaft leading to the surface. A large fire would be lit in the hearth causing draft as the fire consumed the air, fresh air was allowed to rush in via a series of air control doors. This of course was not an efficient method so was eventually replaced with a large electric fan situated in an external fan house. The hearths underground still exist and are an awesome sight, unfortunately the bad air still persists and much of the mine is not accessible because of the very low oxygen levels within. The mine was built using a pillar system whereby the miners drove parallel tunnels with adjoining cross cuts to leave pillars of rock to support the roof, eventually the mine met up with the Belmount mine which worked from the opposite side of the hill. As a warning to others, this mine has very poor air quality and is a serious risk to those without breathing apparatus, entry is not recommended without the right equipment as the effects of the low oxygen can easily catch out the unprepared.


Ayton Banks mine was relatively short lived, opening in 1910 and laying silent from 1922 up until 1929 when it was abandoned. Unfortunately hard times hit the country with the looming depression of 1930, the mine having a fairly poor yield and with the difficult location in that the spoil had to be removed 'up hill' from the adit via a series of rope ways lead to its early closure. The only thing going for it at the time was the horizon of the ore, in that around the area the iron stone runs at only a slight rise giving the surrounding mines a natural drainage and easy removal from the face. Little external structures of the mine exist to this day with only a hand full of low brick walls (one of which is the remains of the adit portal) and some substantial spoil heaps which are still relatively bare.
Some deep depressions in the earth appeared some years ago and it is one of these that we gain access to what little remains of the mine.


We made this short movie which was during a very quick visit to the mine in 2017, I had visited the mine almost 12 years previous and spent quite a lot of time looking around and getting familiar with the site. Having not returned for such a long period of time it was easy to get lost again in the labyrinth of passages.

The air in here left us in shortened breath, though there is airflow (two open entrances) - parts of the mine are very still and the air is of declining quality.

Much of the mine is in a state of declining repair with large areas of the roof peeling away, almost all timbers are completely rotten with some large expanses of unsupported ceilings causing some concern.

In this movie we explored right to the end of one of the headings, dates are chalked on the walls dating back to the early 1900's and 1800's - the air at this area is particularly thin so we didn't spend too much time looking around, the parallel passage to the right of the heading is extremely bad air and much of the route is now a lot less pleasant to visit. Its amazing how quickly these places decay over a relatively short time.

Latest update: More 360 degree places added!. Loads of movies recently added in the Weardale area including Groverake, Skears and Frazers Hush mines.

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Safety Notice: To enter a disused mine is extremely dangerous and my result in serious or fatal injury, recovery from an accident would place rescue persons involved in serious danger and in the event of a ground collapse, recovery may be impossible. You should not enter a disused mine or working without training under any circumstances. Respect private property and seek permission from the respective land owner where required, always act responsibly and always inform someone else of your whereabouts.

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