Report - - Common Wood quarries, Duddon valley, August 2016 | Mines and Quarries | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Common Wood quarries, Duddon valley, August 2016


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
This is a group of quarries north of Ulpha. They may have been worked from the 17th century until about 1925. David Glover lists several mineral owners, lastly the Gunson family who leased the quarries to the Ulpha Slate Company.
The road up to the quarries is built of slabs of slate on edge set into clay. On my last visit there was a stream running down it.

On the other road there are the remains of the last quarry lorry.

The manager's house where William Casson moved in after his marriage in 1896. It may have been an early barn conversion. William Casson managed the quarries for the Ulpha Slate Company and the Ulpha Green Slate Company and finally on his own behalf as a slate dealer after the quarries were worked out.

There are spoilheaps built on spoilheaps. Not the same scale as Coniston and nothing like Blainau but still a great deal of rock.

Some of the remains of riving sheds:


I don't know why this bar is set in stone.

Common Wood Open Quarry: A very deep hole with no access from underground, the walls are either vertical or shattered rock and this is about as close as I want to get.

Thomas's level: The drips visible in the photo did for my camera on the first visit. It dried out 3 days later. The dig at the back of the photo was made about 1980 using untreated timber found on site. A quick look had me wading back to day in a hurry.

Common Wood Level? Said to be 400 Ft long, this level is flooded deeper than welly depth and leads to a dig as scary as Thomas's Level. I think this is the level where a man from Barrow tried to set up his own fallout shelter - on a leaky hillside that caught both the Windscale fire and the effects of Chernobyl.

Leonard Haw: The highest quarry in the group, it was last leased to John Poole for £30pa in 1901. Access involves either a vegetable slurry deeper than welly depth or walking through head high bracken towards vertical drop into deep water. If you get near it the buzzard will fly out just above your head.


The right branch is a broad tunnel about waist deep in water.

The left branch is a chamber with very deep water.


The way out:

Some of the slate was used on site:

There is also Chaddock's level, a trial with two blind branches. It is dry.


The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Some fantastic mines and quarries in the Duddon, they may be small but always interesting :thumb

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