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Report - Holmes bank chert mine Derbyshire 06/2010

Discussion in 'Mines and Quarries' started by Oldskool, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. Oldskool

    Oldskool Guest

    Being my first mine didnt really know what to expect....but it was a really interesting explore.Visited with J4m35 and Eotech...

    Records tell us something about the Longstone chert industry. In 1784, for example, a day’s wages for getting chert was 1s 6d (7.5p). Expenses included the cost of gunpowder and delivery from Longstone chert pits to Chesterfield Wharf, Cheddleton, Gyte Moss and Longnor Bridge.

    The last two working chert mines in the Peak were the Pretoria and Holme Bank Mines at Bakewell. Pretoria opened in 1902. The chert bed was up to 18 ft (5.5 m) thick. It was extracted by removing the underlying limestone so that it fell under its own weight. The limestone was used to build roof supports.

    The chert was loaded onto flat wagons, drawn to the surface on a narrow gauge railway. Nearly 40 men were at work on the site in 1905; only two underground workers were employed by 1964. Commercial output ended about four years later.

    A visitor to Holme Bank Chert Mine in 1892 describes being given a lighted candle and taken to one of the work faces inside the mine. About 40 men were labouring by candlelight, hard at work cutting up a massive block of chert recently loosened by blasting. The broken stone was taken away on wheeled trucks drawn on rails by small ponies.

    Chert was in such demand that the same visitor was highly critical of the 17-18 shillings (85 - 90p) weekly wage paid to the hard-working miners. Some had 25 years’ experience and all worked long hours underground.

    Holme Bank Mine closed around 1960. A block-making plant then operated on the site, utilising the chert. Commercial extraction had, however, ended




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    Thanks for looking.........Oldskool.....

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