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AYTON MONUMENT MINE.

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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.

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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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