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Report - The Oolite Crane Tour, Box Quarry, Wiltshire - November 2012

Discussion in 'Mines and Quarries' started by cunningcorgi, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. cunningcorgi

    cunningcorgi 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Apr 12, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Visited with wonkycows.

    The Cranes located in Oolite Limestone Quarries such as Box Freestone seam to have a similar basic design.

    A square hole called a Chog Hole is picked or drilled in the roof along with a rectangular hole for a Lewis Bolt to aid in hauling the crane up. The cranes are a fixed height and the height of the passage changes as deads were levelled over the floor so specially created stone (mostly) or wooden base blocks area created and placed on deads at the correct height. The cranes was hauled into position using the Lewis Bolt and block and tackle, the bottom pivot along with an square cast iron cup support onto which the pivot rotates on, is slid into place into a picked put slot and fixed into position with something placed in a slot running 90deg to it.

    The cranes typically are of Jib type with a vertical support with a Boom supported to the top collar. The whole crane was pivot around in a circle the boom is fixed. The crains were designed to lift up to about 5 tonnes, hauling is done by chain or later hawser metal rope. Both had a hook on the end. Throughout Box Freestone you can actually see a progression in technologies the further north you go with the 1968 end workings having the same design type still made of wood but having safety features such as hand guards, breaking bands and features such as multi gearing options.

    Sadly the cranes are all wood and rotting, usually they rot and drop coming out of the chog hole and fall over as has already happened to the 1968 end working crane. Some people push the cranes and break the boom further wearing the crane.

    (Courtesy of Darkplaces).

    There are twelve cranes in varying conditions still accessable in Box. The majority (eight) are in Clift Quarry in the northern region with a further three nearer to the Lower Hill Series in the south. The vertical remains of a final crane are located at the back of Cathedral.

    (All bar three pics November 2012 - a new bloody memory card then died so three pics from an earlier visit).


    1. Box Crane 1 (front), Stack Passage

    2. Box Crane 1 (rear)

    3. Box Crane 2 (close), Bakerloo Line

    4. Box Crane 2 (full)

    5. Box Crane 3, Trident Way

    6. Box Crane 4, Clift Quarry

    7. Box Crane 5 (front), Finis Laborandi

    8. Box Crane 5 and saws

    9. Box Crane 6, Via Ultima

    10. Box Crane 7, Via Ultima

    11. Box Crane 9, B12 Route

    12. Box Crane 10, Bridgegate Road

    13. Box Crane 11, Bridgegate Road

    14. Box Crane 23 (close), Cliftworks Passage

    15. Box Crane 23 (front)

    16. Box Crab Winch

    17. Box Crab Winch

    Thanks for looking.

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