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Report - Hodge Close Quarries, Tilberthwaite, Cumbria - December 19th 2012

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by Linden Pentecost, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Linden Pentecost

    Linden Pentecost 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    December 20th 2012

    Hodge Close is a large area of interlinked Green Slate mines and Quarries near Tilberthwaite, Cumbria.
    The actual name Hodge Close originally referred to the main pit working, at over 300ft deep, half of which is now flooded. From the pit working at least seven levels link to underground slate mines, or closeheads as they are sometimes known around here. at least three of these are now flooded, although the top of a chamber reached by one of the flooded levels can be accessed by another of the levels above.
    Hodge Close also breaks into the equally impressive Parrock Quarry via an impressive archway. Parrock has two long levels, the lower of which connected with several interesting underground chambers.
    On the lower bank of Hodge Close, an adit connects to the old Peatfield Slate Mine, whilst another leads to the Knondyke Slate Mine, both parts of Hodge Close. A short tramway from here heads into the woods, above which is the old Calf Howe Slate Mine, high above the deep chambers of Peat Field and Klondyke.

    On this day, last thursday, I set off through the valley, falling into various streams and gaping bogs.

    [​IMG]


    A view of the main Hodge Close pit, taken last summer

    I head for the access level. My feet were allready damp. I saw that the level was about waist deep in water and thought, shall I, hmm, oh well, and plunged in.

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    The level was... damp, but pleasant to walk in, beautiful colours, it was like an underground river!

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    I hadn't been along here before, somehow my past, wimpy self hadn't wanted me to. But today I was solo and thought, why not.

    At the end of the level a closehead was reached


    [​IMG]


    This had inside a number of concrete foundations, perhaps for a compressor? A small tunnel to the right, past a precarious slab on the wall, lead through a partial collapse towards another chamber, which opened into the side of the quarry.

    I then had to climb this ladder, downwards:

    [​IMG]

    Skirting around the side of the incredibly deep water, another level lead me quickly to the top of a flooded chamber. I'm not a cave diver, although I did climb onto the ladder in the chamber roof, and shine my LED torch into the water. I was greeted by the impressive sight of beautiful green and red slate walls, going out of sight in crystal clear water, it looked as though the chamber extended for a fair distance beneath the floor of the level I had taken:

    [​IMG]

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    After staring around for a while, I head back out of the small tunnel, through the quarry and access level to the main Lower Bank of Hodge Close pit.
    The Peatfield Quarry I mentioned earlier as being a system of small, deep underground chambers accessed by a long level, is now an open quarry. The access level leads in for some distance though, before you reach the chambering which has been open-topped to form the open quarry, which also, I think, links through to the Klondyke slate mine nearby.

    I wondered this level, filled with fine slate dust mud from the use of diamond saws?

    [​IMG]

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    This eventually became dryer, after I saw several small toads burying themselves into the mud.

    [​IMG]

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    I can't recommend going in here as the quarry is still working, occasionally.

    [​IMG]

    Well first report done, more coming soon I hope :)

    thankyou :)
     
    #1 Linden Pentecost, Dec 22, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012

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