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Report - Holme Bank Chert Mine - Nov '11

Discussion in 'Mines and Quarries' started by Sparky74, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. Sparky74

    Sparky74 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Visited with Dodgem.

    Covered a few times on here, and to a higher standard than my shots, but this is my first time to the mine, and my first propper attempt at Light painting, so constructive criticism welcome, but please be gentle :D

    Some history: -

    Holme Bank was the last of two operational chert mines in Derbyshire the other being the Pretoria Mine, both at Bakewell. Access was from adits in a quarry at Bank Top and the steep workings extended beneath the road to connect with the earlier Greenfield shaft. The chert bed lies on a 1 in 3.7 gradient and the mine was subject to flooding in severe winters. Illumination was by mains electricity in addition to carbide lamps carried by the miners.
    Chert is a form of fine-grained, flinty silica most commonly found in veins in the uppermost beds of a limestone sequence. Chert was worked into tools in prehistoric times, easily shaped by chipping off flakes to produce sharp edges.

    The most useful role for chert was recognised about two centuries ago for the grinding of calcined flint, used as a whitening agent in earthenware manufacture. In 1772 the potter Josiah Wedgwood recommended Derbyshire chert as a major improvement over granite millstones, which left annoying black specks in the pure white flint.

    The chert bed was on average 9 ft (2.7 m) thick, though up to 18 ft (5.5 m) in places. It was extracted by removing the underlying limestone so that the chert fell under its own weight. A hoist powered by compressed air loaded it onto flat wagons, drawn to the surface by compressed air winches along a 1 ft 6 in (46 cm) gauge railway. The ‘waste’ limestone was built up into substantial roof supports.

    Early 19th-century extraction at Holme Bank was from quarries but commercial mining was in place by 1867, when the site was known as Bakewell Chert Mine.

    Later it was also referred to as Smith's Mine, after the owner. The workings consisted of an extensive system of passages with eight entrances.

    In recent years the few underground visitors to Holme Bank Mine have included cave divers, using the clear subterranean waters for training purposes.

    Almost 10 years ago the Peak Park Planning Board granted permission for the mine to be opened up to visitors but this plan has so far not been implemented.

    On with my shots: -

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    I Just couldnt get this one right :banghead Either overexposed or dark patches
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    Every good workplace needs a restroom :eek:
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    After this point and loads more walking round, my next shot resulted in a very misty image, only to find my kit all misted up with condensation, and no cleaning kit on us :( but we did have another good hour wandering round thinking " we've been here before", but we could smell a route and we weren't disapointed :)

    A most enjoyable visit and well worth another :thumb

    Thanks for reading.
     

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