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MOVIES: Mines around REETH and ARKENGARTHDALE


PUNCHARD COLLIERY

Exploring Fox's Level, Agnes Level and Punchard Colliery (and a few caves).

Following on from our previous video and explore of Routh Level (link below) we continue to follow the beck all the way up to the colliery, Punchard Coal Level at the head. En-route we stop off to look around some caves, the terrible Fox's level and finally Agnes level before making making our way back via the massive lime kilns.

The sound at the beginning of the video is through a high pass filter to reduce the wind noise, it was far windier up there than the small dead cat covered Rode micro could handle! (the wind reduced after 1 minute 30 seconds so sound returns to normal from that point on)


ROUTH LEAD LEVEL

This is the first part of a two part video as we head towards Punchard Colliery (Punchard Coal Level), stopping to explore all the adits that we find along the way.

In this video we explore Routh Level and follow the workings far deeper into the ground than anticipated, the external spoil heap hides a substantial working that extends to a fair walk underground. Once in the mine, we examine the very rough looking entrance portal with some dangerous looking hanging boulders, then make our way through some interestingly coloured water to which leads us to a shaft and our favourite find - a loose shale fall!!

Continuing on we eventually arrive to the terminal roof collapse before making a grim discovery about the camera.


DANBY LEAD LEVEL (PART 1)

After a long detour to pass a flooded road at Stang Forest we eventually arrive at Danby Lead Level. This is our first visit to the mine so we decide to explore as deep as possible following the horse level which. We encounter several roof falls along the way and many areas where the level splits to follow another direction (which takes us to Part 2 of this video), eventually leading to a tightening of the passage and ultimate end of the accessible level.

Danby was just about completely worked out at around 1816 whereby a new 66ft internal shaft was sunk to access a continuation to Surrender North Vein of which was followed for over 3200ft enabling the mine to once again became profitable in the 1880's. Water was a problem for Danby as the workings tended to flood during heavy rain, so Turf Moor and Moulds Mine were hewn and intersected ease the draining problem.


DANBY LEAD LEVEL (PART 2)

Having explored the Horse Level we take a look through the other internal adits around the level. The mine features several off-chutes or cross cuts as well as some more decent roof falls that we have to crawl past to give access to the workings beyond. I have a slight accident where I fall head first and tear my new suit on some of the fallen material as well as a quick explore through a small rise in the roof space of a chamber area.

Danby was just about completely worked out at around 1816 whereby a new 66ft internal shaft was sunk to access a continuation to Surrender North Vein of which was followed for over 3200ft enabling the mine to once again became profitable in the 1880's. Water was a problem for Danby as the workings tended to flood during heavy rain, so Turf Moor and Moulds Mine were hewn and intersected ease the draining problem.


DAM RIGG LEAD MINE

The spoil heaps outside give little indication as to just how deep this place goes into the hill, we measured one mile from the entry point to the terminal roof fall at the end horse level. There are two crosscuts off the main level, roughly heading East and West - one of which has suffered a tremendous roof failure whereby a massive slab has sheared and is sat perilously on top of some smaller material, we called it a day at this point as there would be no digging through it if it were to move.

We explore the entire mine as far as we could reach, through there is more areas to find up some rather tall rises, all of which would require a long vertical climb. We didn't realise how tight the entrance was until we got back, I captured the moment as we exited on the camera. Unfortunately as we were walking back to the car, I stood on a piece of upturned timber with nails in - wrecking my new boots! (not to mention a minor hole in the foot as well.)


BUNTON LEVEL (revisited)

We revisit Bunton Level to test out some new gear whilst trying to find out what makes a strange - almost female voice sort of sound deep within the mine, we explore all the way to the end of the main level passing the strange dam construction eventually reaching the final blockage.

I've upgraded the camera so this is really a test video as we play around with different settings to try and find out what works best for us.


OLD MOULDS MINE

The Right Hand Branch (Part 1)

In Part 1 we explore the right hand route which has many falls to negotiate as we follow it all the way to the far West stope. There are many intersections to discover along the way but in this video we follow the right hand rule and make our way as far as possible. This area of the mine appears very old in its construction and is a complete contrast to the left hand passage we find in Part 2. The mine was founded around 1800 and was driven to follow a fault that runs from East to West, eventually to intersect Surrender mines via Jacobs North Vein. Turf Moor mine runs directly above in some areas and Justice vein could be reached from Old Moulds (see my other YouTube videos of these sites below).

The mine is in a very fractured state, many areas have suffered collapses and with obvious strain going on in the walls.


OLD MOULDS MINE

The Left Hand Branch (Part 2)

In Part 2, we explore the left hand route whereby the mine takes a completely different look. Gone is the stone arching to be replaced with very heavily faulted rock and some very high roof spaces. We arrive to some lovely timbering that are failing and are allowing the shattered stone to begin to consume the space below. This part of the mine appears a lot newer and seems to have used more modern techniques to extract the ore when compared to the area that we saw in Part 1. The mine was founded around 1800 and was driven to follow a fault that runs from East to West, eventually to intersect Surrender mines via Jacobs North Vein. Turf Moor mine runs directly above in some areas and Justice vein could be reached from Old Moulds (see my other YouTube videos of these sites below). The mine is in a very fractured state, many areas have suffered collapses and with obvious strain going on in the walls.


OLD MOULDS MINE

Looking for the False Floors (Part 3)

In search of the false floors. In Part 3 we further explore the right hand route in search for the false floors, we look down every junction and crawl way to we previously found in Part 1 of this series of videos. After recording Part 1 and 2 we returned to the car for a coffee, we decided as a test to record this part of the series using different camera settings and more advanced encoding software of which I have on trial. Let me know in the comments if you think the quality is better or worse than part 1 and 2. Thanks! The mine was founded around 1800 and was driven to follow a fault that runs from East to West, eventually to intersect Surrender mines via Jacobs North Vein. Turf Moor mine runs directly above in some areas and Justice vein could be reached from Old Moulds (see my other YouTube videos of these sites below). The mine is in a very fractured state, many areas have suffered collapses and with obvious strain going on in the walls.


TURF MOOR LEAD MINE

This is the first part of a couple of movies that we have made of the mine where we explore the horse level before we work our way up into the stopes.

The mine is probably liable to flood because of its location in the valley, and we find that deep in the mine is an area that looks as though it has recently had very high water levels as well as a lot of unexplained animal traces.

This movie is fairly heavily cut down but I may release the full length video at some stage on our YouTube channel (as it is nearly 2 hours long).

Unfortunately we had a few issues with out batteries for the lighting and eventually the camera memory card became full of footage so we plan to return in the near future to complete this movie.


JUSTICE LEVEL

Second part of our explore around the area of Turf Moor Mine.

In part 2 we head off over to look around the hush where we find the top of a sealed shaft and an observation post, we head past the old farm or mine shop before we make our way to Justice level to the North East.

Once we slide down into the entry portal we soon come across a number of very heavy roof falls where we encounter some rather tight crawls which eventually lead to a small open area.

Unfortunately as seen in this video, we've been plagued with battery problems (stemming from the first video) which lead to us exploring this place until the camera card runs out of space. First time for us that this has happened as we carry loads of spares.

We plan to revisit to complete the video!


TURF MOOR LEAD MINE (Part 3)

We find pony tracks, stopes and crumbling walls.

The mine is crumbling with evidence of high pressure bearing down on the splintering blockwork. Heading through the dug out collapse we arrive to a number of junctions that will eventually lead us to the final stope before the mine drops down to workings deep below. In this, part 3 of Turf Moor Mine, we explore all the way to the end of the level where we find some pony prints in the mud and some other interesting features such as a cut out in the rock with a chalk label of "Cowsons Chair" and some amazing four way blockwork junctions. Galena is still evident and left in the walls as well as the remains of an ore cart.

Due to the recent splitting of the blockwork before the dig, I would be very careful to proceed beyond this area - it is certainly moving as during the two visits that we were here making this video, noticeable movement has occurred.


KNOTT'S LEVEL LEAD MINE

I explored knott's level many years ago and decide to return with the camera and re-visit the mine. Immediately it becomes obvious that the level has suffered a large collapse not far from the entrance, then a further (and older) fall at a junction in the passage.

We explore to the far end of each heading with one rather tight crawl leading to a terminal fall. The mine has many interesting features including a massive band of quartz that fills the wall and was clearly what the miners were following in search of an ore body, though no stopes appear to have been worked.

As we begin to leave the mine we notice some small bats sleeping about the walls, strangely they were very deep in the level so were a rather unexpected find.


WEST STONESDALE

West Stonesdale mine, also known as both Stonesdale Moor Lead Mine and Startindale Mine was sunk in 1850 by the Blakethwaite Lead Mining Company with the intention to work the extremity of the Blakethwaite vein. Unfortunately the venture proved to be unprofitable at the far reaches as the vein contained little or no extractable ore and the mine was forced to close in 1861 never to be reopened. The building at the head of the shaft housed a hydraulic engine that powered both the pumps and winder that pulled from a depth of 270 feet.
In the movie I mistakenly say that the round building is the base of a chimney, this in fact is an old lime kiln (date unknown) and although the mine is in an area of coal pits and collieries - this mine is in fact a lead mine, not a coal mine as I thought at the time of recording.


BUNTON LEVEL

This was my first visit to Bunton Level located North of Gunnerside. Originally driven into the hillside as a drainage level, Bunton level winds all the way to join the Old Gang series of mines to the East. The mine broke into the abandoned workings of 1680 at a depth of 102 feet from the surface which consisted of a number of small deep level shafts and ultimately joins into the Friarsfold vein of which penetrated the water table, hence the requirement for both Bunton and Sir Frances drainage levels. This being my first trip into the mine, I take it canny ans stick to the drainage level whilst making my way up towards an internal water control dam. Working further into the mine takes us to a much smaller and wetter area; there are at least two other routes that take a south east direction as well as four ways to access the upper workings. My mind was playing games though for some reason, I was sure I could hear either children or women talking/singing - obviously this was very unlikely and would have been the noise of the water flowing over obstructions on the mine floor. I set the camera and leave it on its own to see if it recorded any of the sounds, it didn't (I think).


BARRAS END LOW LEVEL.

On the way driving to the Gunnerside mines we came across what looked like a half decent heap of spoil at the side of the road. Stopping to investigate we happened upon a small adit that runs below the road on the way to Low Row, we couldn't of course drive right past it without stopping to investigate.

At the entrance there is a large pile of profiled stone work which was part of a building or wall that protected the mine entrance, making our way in we find that the floor is very thick and dense mud (we wish we used our full suits rather than just wellies). We find it uncertain as to the reason for the adit as outside there is not enough spoil to warrant a 'mine' which makes this a likely drainage adit, air flow or exploration dig.

Some of the block work passageways are really starting to show signs of stress with some good deformations in the arching, we're obviously not the first to enter as there are a lot of foot prints in the mud which look fairly fresh. The tunnel ultimately leads to a complete blockage though strangely enough the foot prints continue right through?


SPENCE LEVEL.

As we return from the Brandy Bottle Incline we couldn't help but notice that we had passed several other adits on the way up the valley. We decide to pass a bit of time by exploring Spence Level (not to be confused with Hard Level Force, the lower/wetter level).

The working was commissioned to direct water into a series of external ponds via a system of leats that would have been used to power various water powered equipment such as a water wheel (pit evident in the ground not far from the entrance).

As we work our way into the level, we come across a small 'rabbit hole' low to the ground, as we poke our heads into the hole we can hear a strange noise coming from within, we're not sure what was causing the noise but we continue on our way up until we meet a heavy fall. Climbing over the fall we can head up into a stope like area with some massive rocks hanging like grapes in the roof, as we turn around we notice that a particularly large rock is held in place by one rather rotten looking stemple. All exciting stuff!


 

BRANDY BOTTLE INCLINE.

Having walked for about 40 minutes past the Old Gang smelting works we can't help but find the large double adit entrance to the Brandy Bottle incline, its self an impressive sight.

This is the first time we've been back to this mine for over 11 years, at that time there had been a large collapse in the level and we decided not to explore further. In this movie we return to find that the collapse has been cleared as we make our way down the very steep incline into the workings.

We go as far as the junction in the incline and firstly take a left turn  exploring as much of the area as we can, then return to the junction and continue right down to the bottom of the incline to find a load of smashed wagons (probably having fallen from the haulage).

As we make our way back up we veer off the main drift into some side workings and through some crawl areas that meet up with the top of the shafts that we noticed in the haulage run. This movie is about one hour in length as there was a lot to see!

We return to the incline a second time just a few weeks after the first visit because we noticed that the camera was hunting on the focus during descending the incline. On our return we are armed with a new front element fitted to the camera because the first has a number of small marks that seemed to be upsetting the camera focus.

On this visit we return down to the smashed up trucks at the bottom of the incline but has we ascend we notice a load of funny miners graffiti etched (with soot from a candle) onto the rock wall that shows that someone at the time was upset about some trucks having been stolen. It was worth the revisit to notice the text!

As we continue to ascend the incline we veer off and further explore the right hand passages, at the end of the level (at a collapse) we hear a strange deep distant noise. We decide to return to the small crosscut that adjoins the levels underground before making our way back up the incline to the surface.

Latest update: 09-10-2020

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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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