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MOVIES: Mines around WEARDALE


HARNISHA BURN LEAD MINE.

We visited Harnisha Burn mine many years ago, though at the time the mine always seemed to have a lot more water flowing through it. There is a quarry that is almost right over the top of the mine that was blown in sometime around the summer of 2014 and having been inside not long before, we had noticed a new collapse in the horse level - we assumed that after the shock waves coming from the blasting at the quarry that the mine would now be blocked solid.

In this movie we return to the mine (2018) to take a look and see if the level is still passable. The weather outside is dry as we've been here before and seen water almost reaching the top of the archway - when it rains hard, this place can really fill up.

To our surprise the level is still open after the blasting, or at least as far as to the cut off to the Yew Tree workings. There is however some very dangerous hanging rocks that really do looks as though they are soon to become another heavy fall, we were certainly thinking about the danger as we made our way into this one!


HARNISHA BURN OTHER ADITS.

This is only a short movie as we move up the valley from the Harnisha Burn lead mine adit in effort to locate and explore some of the other entrances.

The valley contains at least four other drift entrances that may have intersected the Harnisha Burn mine (excluding all the nearby Yew Tree adits) as well as very numerous shafts that are spread in a straight line as the underground workings followed the vein, though records are not that clear with some very sketchy maps form the time.

After having visited Harnisha Burn mine and noted the bad state of some areas of the horse level, it would be interesting to locate another entrance so that another way could be found to enter or leave the mine, having visited these adits years ago there is a possibility that one could be dug out in future as the blockage appears to be rather 'tidy' to be a full on roof collapse. (we hope).


GROVERAKE (old adit)

As we make our way back from a long day out at the Nenthead mines near Alston, we pass buy the remains of Groverake mine at Rookhope. We still have some power in the camera cells so we decide to stop and take a short movie of the older adit on the site that served as a man way into the mine workings. Unfortunately (for us) the passage is rather wet and flooded with decent roof collapse near to the portal so that all of the water is backing up into the mine. I'm wearing some waterproof gear so decide that is would be worth a look for as long as the camera batteries continue to last.

We enter the mine and make our way towards a point where the level splits, a large gantry is in the distance with a passage leading both left and right of the entry route. Heading onwards the tunnel eventually leads us to the flooded area of the incline drift though the passage is extremely bad to navigate with terrible areas of mud and water that continually hinder our progress though the mine workings.


GROVERAKE (old footage)

This is some old footage that we took quite some years ago while walking around the Groverake workshop/office building. The building has now been demolished because someone decided to set fire to it and also the land has been returned to a pre-mining state, so unfortunately all evidence of the building has now gone forever.

The short movie is comprised of two videos that we took with some years between as we take a (quiet) look around the building. I've added it to this site because I thought that it may be of interest to some people that wish to see the building before it was demolished.


STANHOPE BURN.

Stanhope was once a hive of industry with the enormous quarries that over shadow the town and several small mines that are within easy reach.

Today we explore Stanhope Burn mine, a reasonably open walk through the workings with a few crawl sections. We purposely take a tight crawl through to a section of small flats and worked out areas though there is an easier way through. Much of the mine is still accessible but little remains to be seen in way of mine equipment or other artefacts. Ultimately the mine has flooded at a laddered area which coincides with the air being somewhat thinner and a lot warmer.

Generally most of the mine is within stone with only small sections of blockwork, the land here is less shale than seen in other mines in the Teesdale and Alston area and must have taken a lot of hewing out to make progress.


SANDYFORD SHAFT BOTTOM

I've passed this shaft loads of times while walking around the moor and I've always wondered what was to be seen right at the bottom. I would lay on the ground and look down imagining what sights would be seen and if there were any tunnels that intersected it. I always noticed that in the middle of winter when there was a lot of snow on the ground (this is up Edmundbyers, when it snows - it snows!) that the water level never increases... where does it drain to? The shaft is rather large and right in the middle of the moor (so completely barren surrounded completely in very soft earth), SRT was not going to happen as there is nothing to secure a rope to, and the shaft is too large a diameter for a tripod winch to cover. I decided that sticking the GoPro down would be the best option. It took several attempts to get right to the very bottom of the shaft because of the depth of some 160-170 feet and the slight problem of a load of water at the bottom, but eventually we got there (after some equipment failures with water ingress which really didn't do the camera/light any good at all). So at last, this is what is at the bottom of Sandyford Shaft!

Latest update: More 360 degree places added!. Smallcleugh mine - Album and Movie added to the database, Ayton Banks Mine Trip added and updated to the movies section.

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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.

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