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Report - THE OAKWOOD MILL LAND LEVEL Oct 2010

Discussion in 'Mines and Quarries' started by Sven, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. Sven

    Sven Guest
    Guest

    Visited with KB a non member.

    This is one of the complex of iron mines in the Noxon park area of the Forest of Dean. Decided to have a quick look to check on the water table and found it to be well down from normal levels. Most of these pictures were taken on the 375 ft level which spends most of the year submerged, a bit odd walking up levels next to divers lines!

    A bit of history.

    Topography and Geology
    In the Bream area the Oakwood valley runs northwest towards its origin at Sling and Clements End.
    The outcrop of the crease limestone runs nearly parallel to it on the southwesterly side, eventually crossing
    the valley and continuing up towards Clays Farm.
    The dip is about 30 degrees northeast. Iron ore was worked in several places along the crop, mostly from
    churns aligned along the S W / N E joints and inclined with the dip.
    In ancient times water levels would have prevented deep working - probably not any lower than 400 ft OD.
    At some time - certainly prior to 1835 - an adit was driven from the Oakwood valley to the crease
    limestone which it hit at an altitude of 375 ft OD. A level, known as the 375 ft level was then driven for
    about 1000 ft southeast and 3300 ft northwest. This allowed drainage for everything above 375 ft OD and
    easy exit for ore. Workings were carried to the deep of the level as far as water levels would allow.
    Lower down the Oakwood valley, a similar scheme at a lower altitude was carried out with the Oakwood
    Mill Deep level.
    In the adjoining China Engine Gale, the China Engine Pit was sunk to the crease, which it hit at about 235
    ft OD. Again, levels were driven along the crease for about 1700 ft to the northwest and 2900 ft to the
    southeast. Eight large ore bodies were worked up dip to connect with the workings of Oakwood Mill Land
    Level. The China Engine level was known as the 235 ft level. By pumping water at China Engine Pit, the
    crease limestone from Noxon Park at 500 ft OD to below the 235 ft level would have been un-watered, and,
    when the mines were working, it would have been possible to reach the 235 ft level from old crop workings
    in Noxon Park.
    One further shaft was sunk in an attempt to get still further beneath the 235 ft level. This was the Princess
    Louise Shaft which failed to reach the crease limestone at 600 ft depth. Whether this was due to not going
    deep enough or to the Oakwood Bottom fault affecting the expected depth of the crease, I do not know.

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    On the 375 ft level.

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    Collapse with some old timbers.

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    Squeeze through a fall

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    In the bottom of the picture is the water with a submerged timber.

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    Bridge made from old rails.


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    Pick marks.

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    Some interesting flakes!

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    Thanks for looking.
    Sorry about the picture quality.
    If anyone wants a look around these mines let me know.
     

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  2. trickster86

    trickster86 28DL Member
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