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Report - - Bathampton Mines: Singleway, Devil’s and Collapse, Bath, Somerset – May/June 2017 | Mines and Quarries | 28DaysLater.co.uk
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Report - Bathampton Mines: Singleway, Devil’s and Collapse, Bath, Somerset – May/June 2017

Bertie Bollockbrains

The Spice Must Stop
Regular User
#1
These small workings are under-reported on here, with just one report dating from 2007, so I thought I would give an update. They are located in the vicinity of Bath University.

Whilst this report features three separate mines, it is not exhaustive of what is at Bathampton as other workings exist. The entrance to the Seven Sisters mine was blown up by the army in the 1960s and has never been relocated (and caving clubs have looked for it). Another small working was used as a hideout for a World War Two Auxiliary Patrol but is not covered in this report.

Initially did on my own but revisited with @Lenston as I was caught at Singleway by a Golf Club groundsman and I cried and needed a hand to hold.

HISTORY

In 1730 Allan began to develop new quarries at Hampton Down and made roads and tramways. After this, not much is recorded until 1808 when the Hampton Down Quarry reopened, presumably to provide stone to relay the Kennet and Avon Canal as the initial stone here (from Bradford on Avon, Winsley, Westwood etc) was wrongly selected and laid. An incline was made covering the 800 yards from Bathampton Quarries to the canal, sometime within the next two years, as in 1810 the canal was completed. Allan made the great quarry at Hampton Down an open working.

The tram road built circa 1810 had a 1 in 5 gradient and the alignment is still visible. It reached the canal near Holecombe Farm and crossed the Bath – Warminster road by a “dry arch” bridge. Unfortunately this bridge was removed in the 1960s due to road widening.

The Hampton Down Quarries were worked for a short time in 1810 by the Kennet and Avon Canal Company for constructing docks etc, but it was found all the best stone had been exhausted, only the inferior kind being left. The stone was soon worked out from here and the mine roofs became very dangerous. In fact the quarry and railroad were disused by 1847 if not earlier. In 1962, the Territorial Army sealed off all the old mine entrances by blasting them. Today gruffy ground remains.

A few mines remain today on Hampton Down. Singleway Mine is fairly straightforward, 1300’ long. There are signs of old cart/rail tracks and crane holes in the roof. Collapse Mine is very short and is probably part of the now closed Seven Sisters Mine. Devils Cave is about 1000’ long and more complex than Singleway. The passages are generally bigger with some pillars left. Part of it may have been a separate mine as there is a second entrance, now choked.

There are various old quarry sites remaining, as it seems that most of the area has been worked.

REPORT

1. Devil’s Cave

About 1000ft long and actually quite complex with crawling on deads required to reach all parts. Due to the prevalence of modern graffiti and litter it has obviously been visited by lots of students from the university.

An old historical photo c.1920. It doesn’t look like this anymore as the place is thick forest these days.
25%20-%20Historical%20Photo_zpsuu7jn2pw.jpg


The entrance tunnel involves about 40m of stooping
26%20-%20Devils%20Cave_zpsmtu8aipa.jpg


28%20-%20Devils%20Cave_zpshtcvkqmr.jpg


But then it opens out
30%20-%20Devils%20Cave_zps8rgkvs4r.jpg


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Lots of old archaeologically important petroglyphs in here, possibly dating from Neolithic times. It is impossible for an amateur like me to work out what the Ancients are trying to tell us here so I have sent this photo to the experts at English Heritage. But they haven’t replied back yet.
41%20-%20Devils%20Cave_zpspzzpywoj.jpg


An ancient artefact assumed to be a chariot dating from Roman times, possibly 1st century A.D. The colours suggest that it is dedicated to Sainsburatus, the Roman God of Shopping. I have reported my archaeological findings to the experts at the British Museum. But they too haven’t replied back yet.
38%20-%20Devils%20Cave_zpsgq0lxmyx.jpg


2. Collapse Mine

Very short and located near to the missing Seven Sisters Mine (the one whose entrance was blown up in the 1960s). It could actually be part of Seven Sisters. Totally uninteresting to be honest

02%20-%20Collapse%20Mine_zpswltblfyy.jpg


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3. Singleway

Located in the middle of the golf course and for that reason, stealth is needed to access the mine. It took me two attempts to get here. Its entrance was once blocked due to a natural rock fall, but was reopened in 2009 by members of a caving website. Today it is rarely visited and there is debate on caving forums as to if it is still open. Well yes it is!

Looking back to the entrance. A huge rockfall once blocked the entrance. A small crawl to the right of this photo, opened in 2009, is now the way in.
02_zpsc33f4us8.jpg


The roof is unstable and progress involves climbing over lots of falls.
03_zpskkudoue6.jpg


Get deeper into the mine, and the pathway becomes clear, with trams marks and crane holes in the ceilings.
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Note the haulage marks on the left of this photo
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Collected artifacts
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Graffiti walls at the furthest points in
22_zpsrufo0vnc.jpg


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Finally I’m trying to recreate the selfie pose that is done well by others in this forum. With me it doesn’t work and I’m not sure why.
16_zpsjq8igelv.jpg


4. The Tramway

Running steeply up through the forest from the Kennet and Avon Canal are remains of the c.1810 tramway. Today it is part of the National Trust’s Bath Skyline circular walk.
18%20-%20Inclined%20Tramway_zpsdwisldis.jpg


20%20-%20Inclined%20Tramway_zpstuj78iwe.jpg



Thanks for reading
 

Thumper

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#5
Another very witty yet informative report and I do like a good mine report, I'd never have the balls to confront my claustraphobia and go in one so seeing reports with great photo's makes up for it!

The pose is perfect, very 28 Days Later meets Resident Evil. Try a wedding gown next time, they seem really popular for urbex photoshoots.
 

Bertie Bollockbrains

The Spice Must Stop
Regular User
#7
A bit redundant since Photobucket has decided to attempt to extort $399 off me, but gave Devil's Cave a revisit today and found a very little crawl. It opened out into loads of huge chambers and is not too trashed without all the modern graffiti and litter.

The mine is at least double the size I thought when I wrote this report.

@Lenston it's that little hole I showed you to the left after the initial stoop/crawl in. It's marked by obvious white graffiti reading C26 and an arrow.
 

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