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Report - Middleton & Hopton Limestone Mine, Derbyshire - March 2010

Discussion in 'Mines and Quarries' started by Ojay, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. Ojay

    Ojay Admin
    Staff Member Admin

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    Visited by Ojay, Diehardlove & Fazy_UK.

    Middleton & Hopton limestone mine is situated between Middleton-by-Wirksworth and Hopton Wood near Matlock in Derbyshire.

    Originally starting out life as a lead mine, once limestone was discovered quickly expanded into this massive underground limestone workings.

    Now everyone says it was the only limestone mine in the country, infact not entirely true, there have been other quarries, but this is the only underground mine of it's kind.

    Work started in 1959 and at its height of production was extracting around 120,000 tonnes of limestone a year before closing in 2005. The underground tunnels span for over 25 miles and some say upto 50. This wouldn't surprise me as this place is built on upto 5 levels with large pillars measuring 17 by 17 metres left in place to support the roof of the mine, which are over 15 metres high, and between 20-30 in some of the bigger 'temples'. To sum it up FOOKING HOOJ!

    First things first a big shout to DIEHARDLOVE for showing me around this place. In fact it was more like having some official 'Tour Guide' to be precise. This guy not only knows his shit about mines, he knows this place absolutely inside out. Suppose after 16 visits and spending a combined time of nearly 2 weeks in the place helps.

    Not to mention the most impressive collection of torches and uber lighting I have seen, and also gave me an opportunity to check out some more torches that I will be purchasing forthwith.

    I have seen a number of reports on Middleton over the last 12 months, but TBH nothing can compare you with the size and scale this place, it's nothing short of amazing and one hell of a mooch. We covered at
    least 11 miles if not more, and spent around 5 hours underground, it was epic.

    Ojay "Dude have you got a map for this place? as I don't fancy getting lost!"

    D.H.L "Yes mate, it's in my head!"

    WTF.... This guys knowledge and navigation was nearly as impressive as the mine itself.

    I can easily see why some people don't get to see a lot of the stuff in there, as you could easily walk for 2-3 miles and come to a dead end and have literally seen fek all.

    I soon realised that wearing a hard-hat was useless, as if one of the falling rocks hit you it would be lights out (for good).

    As if the fear of collapsing rocks and getting lost wasn't enough to be getting on with, (oh and not to mention dodging fault lines, where literally a major collapse is waiting to happen) lighting this place up was also very tricky, even with the amount of gear we had. One torch that was good for one shot, was bloody useless for another, and so it went.

    I think the highlight of the day was climbing that big conveyor and walking halfway up to watch the roof mounts swaying about, as they were no longer attached due to the pikey's ripping out the steel famework from the otherside (C***S). One shot and backdown quicktime before the thing collapsed.

    Anyway a top 'splore and good meeting both you guy's. (P.S. D.H.L. the batteries are in the post.) and you have given me an excuse to spend more money on torches.

    Big reespect to Diehardlove once again for his knowledge of this place, as without him would not have been possible.

    No diggers today, On we go

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    Oh dear, whats this? Bollox, on we go again...

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    Into the darkness (for the next 5 hours)

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    Tunnels were hooj, this one is the Main Road in and out of here

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    Over 25 miles of tunnels, heres just a few

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    This sign is here for a good reason, see below for whats in store if you get it wrong (gulp)

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    Rock sorter, oh and D.H.L dicking around with da laser

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    Fazy_UK Graffin'

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    First Aid

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    Aglime, shit loads of this stuff left in here

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    Rock crusher, this thing was the size of a small street and about 3 houses

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    A quick glimpse of daylight, (Hopton site)

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    Security

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    Extraction

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    Used for preparing re-inforcements

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    Then we come across this tunnel deep within the mine, with the biggest conveyor ever

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    Another few miles and I can hear running water?

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    From the other side, it's one big stretch of water

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    Crew

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    Peace
     

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