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Report - Delabole, Quarry Drainage Tunnel, Cornwall, Aug 2012

Discussion in 'Mines and Quarries' started by djflava, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. djflava

    djflava Doped up on Thorozine
    Regular User

    Oct 5, 2008
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    I had the opportunity for a mid week explore, so would of been rude not to..
    This is nothing special just a drainage tunnel for the quarry, which is around a mile long from start to finish and ends up in the bottom of the pit

    The Delabole slate quarry is one of the largest of its type in England and has run continuously since the 15th century making it the oldest working slate quarry in England. In the reign of Elizabeth I the five quarries on the site of the now larger pit assumed considerable importance delivering slate to Brittany and the Netherlands. In 1841 the five quarries combined to make the Old Delabole Slate Quarry.
    The Old Delabole Slate Quarry Ltd was liquidated in 1977 by the company's bankers. It was run under receivership by Rio Tinto Zinc until 1999 when a local management team bought it out. The quarry is now owned by a local family. In 1910, 500 people were employed at the quarry but this has since reduced to 80, the decline due to the availability of cheaper roofing materials e.g. Welsh slate or prefabricated tiles.
    Delabole Quarry was once the deepest man-made pit in the world, but this is no longer the case due to massive open cast mines and quarries in America and Australia.
    The quarry was connected to a narrow gauge railway worked by steam and diesel locomotives to assist in moving the slate: this is thought to have begun before 1834 and continued in use until after 1987. The North Cornwall Railway provided a freight service from Delabole between 1893 and 1964 (passenger services ended in 1966).





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