1. Welcome to 28DaysLater.co.uk - 28DL - The UK Urban Exploring / Urban Exploration / Urbex Forums.

    Asylums and Hospitals, High Stuff, Industrial, Leisure Sites, Residential Sites, Military Sites, Mines and Quarries, ROC Posts, Theatres and Cinemas, Draining, Underground Sites, European and International Sites, Leads, Rumours and News, Kit, Clothing, Equipment, Photography and Video sections plus a lot more.

    Please feel free to browse this website as a guest. Creating an account removes some ads, allows you to post replies, start new topics and threads, and gives you access to more features including bookmarking, live chat, messaging and notification systems.

    Create an account | Login | Request new password

Report - Sandford Levvy Lead Mine (+ WW2 Auxiliary Unit Hideout), Somerset - May 2016

Discussion in 'Mines and Quarries' started by Bertie Bollockbrains, May 13, 2016.

  1. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2014
    Messages:
    760
    Likes Received:
    1,007
    Sandford Levvy is a 450m long horizontal adit in the Mendip Hills, running southwards into Sandford Hill. Two crossroads give short detours to upper and lower level workings but this involves difficult climbing and was not done on this occasion. During WW2 the adit was used by a secretive Home Guard Auxiliary Unit. Remains of bunk beds and flooring can still be seen.

    WARNING – the in-situ rope dates from 2004 and is probably not to be trusted
    ANOTHER WARNING – delicate calcite formations have been taped off behind orange tape. Do not cross the tape and please keep the calcite looking nice.
    AND ANOTHER WARNING – At the first crossroads, the dripping water sounds just like footsteps creeping up close behind you. It’s rather spooky.


    HISTORY

    In 1830, a Mr. Webster dug the adit in an attempt to locate a worthwhile ore body. A find of galena (lead sulphide) was reported and small veins of blende (zinc) can still be found. It was abandoned soon after as it failed to be a commercial success.

    A tight entrance descends into an adit about 1.9m high and 1.5m wide. This is horizontal and goes for 450m south into the hill. There are numerous speleothems, flowstone, cave pearls etc. Small deposits of coloured flowstone on walls and floor. A stretch of paving slabs is a relic of WW2 when the Auxiliary Unit occupied the mine. Their paving slab floor and remains of wooden bunks can still be seen.

    Although this site is not a protected hibernaculum it does play host to a group of lesser horseshoe bats which are protected. The mine itself has a very unique micro-habitat/environment… the first 10m is inhabited by dozens of large cave spiders… the next 10m by hundreds of stone moths… next 10m by bats and from start to end tens of thousands of flies which die as the temperature falls in early winter, then over time the calcite covers them and leaves a spotted pattern on the walls!

    Auxiliary Units were a secret resistance network of volunteers prepared to be Britain’s last line of defence during WW2. They were trained in unconventional guerilla warfare and operated in a network of cells, each cell consisting of 4 to 8 men. They operated from hidden underground bases throughout the UK. It is thought that 400 to 500 operational bases were constructed, with about 3500 trained volunteers. Information and photos of the WW2 Sandford Auxiliary Unit Patrol can be seen here (not shown directly as the photos are copyrighted).

    On a similar note, the GHQ (General Headquarters Line) which was to be the conventional forces last line of defence in the event of German invasion is not too far away. It runs mainly along the Kennet and Avon canal (Somerset to Reading). Numerous pillboxes can still be seen along the canal.


    REPORT

    A nice walk through the woods to the mine. The forest floor is covered in wild garlic. Consequently I have had meals with wild garlic every day since… Thanks Mrs BB for your culinary skills.
    01_zpsy3twytvr.jpg

    Bit of a tight squeeze in and down a muddy slope
    02_zpsjnwpgvip.jpg

    03_zpsxxg2hwzx.jpg

    And opens out into a wide tall adit
    19_zpsx01vfspu.jpg

    23_zpscd4fhpbn.jpg

    21_zps2u5pafmm.jpg

    17_zpssbyhei4n.jpg

    Many calcified dead flies in the adit leaving a spotted pattern on the walls
    16_zpsdowebgza.jpg

    15_zps5jnl5mau.jpg

    At a crossroads we see the zinc blende lode
    24_zpsrjyc07cp.jpg

    A short side passage leads to a deep shaft. Climbing anchor bolts are drilled into the wall above it if anyone wants to go down
    26_zpsoqx45wfi.jpg

    Mining drilling marks
    31_zps0moc4hve.jpg

    A quartz geode. My photo doesn’t do it justice, but I can assure you the crystals did look nice at the time
    06_zpsf3ueqxda.jpg

    Delicate calcite deposits on the ground
    34_zpsins7pasr.jpg

    As we approach the end of the adit, the passage narrows and becomes wet
    37_zpsk3z4agjv.jpg

    Calcite flow deposits at the end
    38_zpsztxojzbp.jpg

    Finally remains of the Auxiliary Unit Operational Base
    08_zpsys7eqgzb.jpg

    07_zpszcxvrald.jpg

    12_zps1gzvfg1d.jpg

    10_zpsl4wsvus6.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    #1 Bertie Bollockbrains, May 13, 2016
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
    troglodyte, new-age, The Kwan and 9 others like this.

    Remove this ad by donating or subscribing.

  2. HughieD

    HughieD 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    535
    Fab pictures in such difficult conditions.
     
  3. Dizzydisco

    Dizzydisco 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2016
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    4
    Looks good
    Think I might be having a little trip down fro this
     
  4. Tom Sykes

    Tom Sykes 28DL Member
    28DL Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2016
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    He Bertie, I run the Coleshill House site you mentioned and we would love to incorporate some of your excellent images on the patrol report with full accreditation. Would this be possible please?
     
  5. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2014
    Messages:
    760
    Likes Received:
    1,007
    ^^^ No issues from me, will be glad if you used the photos.
     
  6. Tom Sykes

    Tom Sykes 28DL Member
    28DL Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2016
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you. Do you have a slightly more PC name we can use to credit please?
     
  7. Bertie Bollockbrains

    Bertie Bollockbrains 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2014
    Messages:
    760
    Likes Received:
    1,007
    Huh? That's the name on my birth certificate

    seriously PM sent
     
  8. The Kwan

    The Kwan Easily Led
    Regular User

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    748
    Really nice mate, looks a bit lush :)
     
Draft saved Draft deleted
Loading...

Users Who Have Read This Thread (Total: 0)

Share This Page

Remove this ad by creating an account and logging in