Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

MOVIES: Mines around WEARDALE


FRAZERS HUSH

Frazers Hush Fluorspar Mine was worked along side the nearby Groverake mine which is only one mile to the East, the mines were adjoined underground and both were closed in the same year of 1999.
On this trip I explore the last remaining open entrance to Frazers Hush, though not part of the main mine workings but a small exploration tunnel that was abandoned in the later years of the mine. Air is a problem in this small working with the oxygen levels taking a dive as I progress deeper into the passage.

Inside I find a small collapsed area with some now backfilled routes off to either side (east and west), as I continue I come across a bottle of wine that has been left on the floor just before we come to the working face at the end of the mine. The vien of fluorspar can clearly be seen but it does appear to be of lower quality which may be why the level was abandoned.


SKEARS LEAD MINE (High Skears)

We return to Skears mine too take another look around, its been a good few years since we last visited this mine, probably over 8 years have passed since we were last down in here.
Exploring the main routes of the mine and looking down the shaft that supposedly lead to the outermost point of the Coldberry workings (I think this was called the Sun Incline but I'll check to be sure).
We make our way down all the ladder ways towards the shaft that would take us to the lower adit at river level (this is the level where  the photo was taken that forms our website background) then we head back up towards the stopes. We make a detour to look at the passage known as 'the pearly gate' which is an area that was shut behind a grate (gate) to allow an impressive amount of salts to form from the flowing water. We then take visit to the newly collapsed area at the very end of the mine before we return to the surface on a glorious sunny day in February.


GROVERAKE INCLINE

Today we return to Groverake inclined adit after about a year. It was surprising just how bad this place has gotten in such a short period of time. It was always slightly 'rough' in places with a small fall not far from the portal, but the first fall is now joined by many others and in places it is a bit tight to get through without crawling , large voids have appeared and it is now possible to look into a space above the concrete arching (which wasn't possible before) and once we get nearer to the heavy timbered section things really take a turn for the worse with a heavy collapse not far from the start of the deep water section - you can still get through but things here are really looking as though the place is going to fall any day soon.

Take a look a the short video, I've overlayed a clip from about 2005 when the mine was an easy straight walk in all the way down to the water at the bottom. (I've got a cold in the video so please excuse the tiredness/heavy breathing/coughing etc!)


BOLTSLAW MINE AND INCLINE.

I can't find any information at all on this mine, even looking back through the old maps it doesn't seem to exist?

Having done more research on an 1892 map the mine we visited is shown as a well, the lower (flooded) adit further down the incline is correctly shown as a Lead mine. Strange?

We take a walk up to the top of Boltslaw Incline with the intention of looking inside the mine to see if it remains open, then onto the winding house at the head of Boltslaw Incline - part of the S&D Stanhope railway that closed around 1923.

For the first time ever exploring mines we find some small bats hiding away in the adit - we pass them going in without noticing them but catch a look on the way back out. The mine does continue right into the hill but must be at a shallow depth as we're really not that far from the summit, the mine that runs underneath us is presumably met via internal shafting at some point - but today being wet and cold we stop when the water becomes deeper some 400 ft into the adit.


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!. Loads of movies recently added in the Weardale area including Groverake, Skears and Frazers Hush mines.

Share this page:

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.

Cookie Policy

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer.

Do you accept?