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Report - Rosedale Head culvert, June 2015

Discussion in 'UK Draining Forum' started by Mutagen, Jun 14, 2015.

  1. Mutagen

    Mutagen 28DL Regular User
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    Continuing my fetish for all things associated with the ironstone industry in the area, I went off trudging over bleak, boggy and barren moor all in the name of exploring Rosedale Head culvert. I've been hiking and biking in this area since I was a nipper but never explored the culverts. Time to put that right.

    History


    Rosedale was pretty much the exclusive preserve of remote hill farmers and the odd monk or two until the 1850s when the ironstone frenzy that gripped much of this area really got going. Mines were established in the east and west of the valley (Sheriff's Pit, on the west side, still has a gaping chasm in the form of an open shaft leading down to the bottom of the workings but, as far as I'm aware, no-one has ever explored it) and several sets of calcining kilns were also built to help increase the amount of viable ore that could be transported by the newly built railway spur. This spur ran up a long and steep incline at Battersby then traversed the valley heads of Farndale and Westerdale before arriving at Blakey Junction. Here, a branch ran south to Sheriff's Pit and another north around the head of Rosedale before terminating at the kilns of the East Mines. Many huge embankments had to be built to maintain a steady downward gradient between Blakey Junction and the East Mines and these obviously necessitated culverts being established.

    Rosedale Head culvert allows for the passage of the infant River Seven which then meanders through the valley before joining the River Rye some 25km downstream. It's in remarkably good condition for a 170-year-old structure, although the base consists of sandstone blocks which are now horribly slippery from mud and moss. The culvert also contains a substantial set of falls after the first thirty metres or so which makes a full traverse a seriously sketchy expedition (they're horrendously slippery, even more so than the culvert base) - I didn't bother and just explored in from both ends, avoiding the falls completely!

    The culvert

    After squelching over a kilometre or so of horribly mossy, boggy and heathery moorland, you spot the embankment at the head of the valley. At this point, the River Seven carves itself a steep little ravine before entering the culvert. The presence of ironstone in the surrounding strata is evident from the colour of the water.

    North portal:

    IMG_0313.jpg

    Another shot of the north portal, showing the embankment. This doesn't do the embankment justice in terms of size.

    IMG_0315.jpg

    Looking back up the ravine from the entrance to the culvert:

    IMG_0321_2_3_tonemapped_1.jpg

    Entering the north portal, you see a well-constructed arched culvert in remarkable condition:

    IMG_0316.jpg

    You can see the culvert falls away a few metres in front of me here - didn't have the inclination to go down here on my arse and get my camera gear wet, so retreated out, climbed the embankment, down the other side and entered from the south portal.

    Looking towards the north portal entrance:

    IMG_0318_19_20_tonemapped.jpg

    The south portal has a much more impressive arrangement:

    IMG_0325.jpg
    The river then continues downstream over some more major falls. But I wasn't after that - I wanted more culvert!

    The culvert has a slight bend in it once you enter the south portal and two distinct roof levels.

    IMG_0327.jpg

    Looking up the slippery falls of doom:

    IMG_0330.jpg

    Looking back and spotting the different roof levels - it really is a high roof in places!

    IMG_0333.jpg

    Looking back out towards the light:

    IMG_0336.jpg

    And one more of the south portal entrance before we trudge back over endless boggy moorland to the car.

    IMG_0339.jpg

    I was on a fairly limited timescale today so didn't get across to Reeking Gill culvert , Nab Scar culvert or any of the others that pierce the embankments that carried the ironstone railway. Ones for another time and another report!

    Thanks for reading.
     

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  2. KM_Punk

    KM_Punk Muppet
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    Really enjoyed this :thumb That stonework is beaut.
    Cheers for sharing
     
    Mutagen likes this.
  3. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Nicely shot mate :thumb

    I think there"s enough stuff from the Ironstone Mining Industry to keep you busy for quite a while ;)

    Does make you wonder if anything actually manages to live in that er.......water !

    Nice to see you doing a risk assessment after Port Mulgrave :D
     
    Mutagen likes this.
  4. Snake Oil

    Snake Oil go in drains
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  5. Mutagen

    Mutagen 28DL Regular User
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    I wish I knew some expert abseilers who could get me down the Sheriff Pit shaft. That would be an explore and a half. Untouched for a hundred years.
     
  6. Dan1701

    Dan1701 28DL Full Member
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    The problem with ironstone mines, as other people have pointed out before, is that the ironstone isn't fully oxidised iron, and when you dig through it tends to grab onto oxygen from the air. As a result two things tend to happen. First of all, the lower oxygen level without any concomitant rise in carbon dioxide turns these mines into deadly traps, because low oxygen isn't anywhere near as obvious as suffocation from carbon dioxide.

    Secondly, you get wonderful preservation of organic remains, like the last explorers who went inside the mine without a working 4-gas meter or even just a Eccles protector lamp.

    So, the procedure for abseiling into a disused iron mine shaft is to lower a 4-gas device down first on a length of rope, and see if the low oxygen alarm goes off. If it doesn't, next trick is to lower in a lit Eccles lamp and see that this stays lit all the way to the bottom (just in case the 4-gas wasn't working). This may seem like an overly-cautious approach, but as climbing back up a rope whilst in a low-oxygen environment is difficult to say the least and as a mines rescue team isn't going to be stupid enough to try fetch you out without using breathing apparatus, it would seem the bare minimum for the job.
     
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  7. Miss Mayhem

    Miss Mayhem 28DL Regular User
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    Beautifully captured,
    Looks lovely :thumb
     
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