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Report - Smallcleugh Lead Mine - Cumbria, Sept 2013

Discussion in 'Mines and Quarries' started by Rustynail, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. Rustynail

    Rustynail it's dark in here innit?
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    It's been ages since I posted a report. Too much other stuff going on in life, not to mention work! Anyway, here we go...

    The (very brief) history bit.

    Smallcleugh is an long-abandoned lead mine near Nenthead, Cumbria. It is believed to have been started in 1770 but was soon abandoned. In 1787 the work was re-started by an agent of the London Lead Company across the Smallcleugh Cross Vein, which produced an immense amount of lead ore. Notably, the mines in this area tend to contain large 'flats, which are huge areas of lead ore that, instead of following a vein, are expansive flat areas. In one in Smallcleugh, known since as the Ballroom Flat, a dinner party for 28 people was held by the local Masonic Lodge in 1901. The mine was finished by the end of the 1900s but re-opened briefly in 1963 but little mining was done.

    The mooch

    A nice little mooch with just myself and a pal who is a non-member here. We aimed to find the Ballroom flat.

    The adit.
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    Inside the Old Fan Flat.
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    Somewhere along the way...
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    On hands and knees in the Gullyback Crosscut, heading into Smallcleugh Main Flat.
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    In the Main Flat and looking back into the hands and knees crawl.
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    Smallcleugh Main Flat.
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    Having a breather, a drink from our water bottles and checking the map in the Main Flat.
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    Ore chute near Emerson Cain's crosscut.
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    Junction looking from the old flat crosscut.
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    Wheel Flat
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    Luke Halls (Sugdon's sump) looking back into the old flat crosscut.
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    This is as far as we got. Crawling through some major collapses, we were running out of time and energy. By now we'd been underground 2 1/2 hours and had to be back out and make a safety phone call by a pre-determined time so we gave up the aim of finding the Ballroom flat and turned back. Next time we'll know where we're going and also give ourselves more time.
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    Strange yellow coluring (sulphur?) on part of a heading running through shale with a thin coal seam within it.
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    Bridge of death. A single rail over a drop to a sump or lower level.
    [​IMG]

    Over 4 hours we were underground. We'll feel it tomorrow and will ache like fuck!

    We've been back recently and this time got to the Ballroom Flat. It's hard work getting there and involves a lot of hands and knees crawling. We took another route in this time so I got to see a lot of new stuff that I didn't see last time and took a few pics on the way.

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    And finally... The Ballroom Flat. It was difficult to light and my pic really doesn't do it justice. I should have got someone in shot for scale but I'd say the walls are about 20 feet high.
    [​IMG]
     
    #1 Rustynail, Sep 2, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2013

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