Report - - Coniston Coppermines 17th Feb 2016 | Mines and Quarries | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Coniston Coppermines 17th Feb 2016


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
This is my first post, so hope I get this right. The following is a short report, with plenty of pictures, about exploring a locked level at Coniston Coppermines. Please note these environments are very dangerous and fragile. There are many obvious and hidden dangers that could injure or kill the unwary or even the fully prepared. If you are interested in visiting similar sites I recommend you join a club and find someone who already knows the area and the risks. Let me know if you want help with this. So on with the report ....

I have spent many days exploring the old copper mine workings and infrastructure above Coniston Village in Cumbria. The trip described here took place on 17 Feb 2016. The day started wet and windy but was forecast to improve. So we had a leisurely start with much coffee and chat about where we would focus our attention today. Decisions made, gear packed and car loaded up, off we went.

Arriving in Coppermines Valley we headed straight up to the working we were keen to explore. Our path follows the foundations of an old incline constructed by the miners to bring ore wagons down the steep slope to the Paddy End Mill. We passed beside the waterfalls and under the cliffs of Grey Crag before arriving at the entrance. We were just above the snow line here and wet snow, steep grassy slopes and wellies are a dangerous combination. So we rigged a rope and used our descenders to access the mine portal.


This is a securely locked level but (after much research and negotiation) I had obtained the key, allowing us access to explore this extraordinary old working.


Once inside the level we explored along, around and above the main level. I will let the photos speak for themselves.


CATMHS have been doing some work in here to secure the entrance and install drains to keep the water level inside down.


Quite extraordinary amount of post mining mineralisation and there clearly was a rich copper vein in this ground.


This mine held deep water for well over 100 years until it was effectively "rediscovered" by accident in the 1980's. Once the excess water was drained out it left this beautiful tide line caused by the copper sulphate rich water.


There are various stopes where the vein has been reached. This stope drops a considerable way beneath the main horizon. Many of the floors in here are false so great care needed.


A beautiful set of ladders (with "CMC" logo meaning Coniston Mining Company) is still in situ on the main vein.


The ladders are still very solid, which certainly cannot be said of the floor they stand on.


This black thread like material is a type of fungus.


These colours are exactly as the camera sees it, no post production editing at all.


Bit of a crawl through to the really colourful part of the working, beneath some slightly soggy and saggy roof timbers.


This is where it gets very colourful.....


Quite extraordinary .... The Blue Lagoon.


We climbed up in to one of the stopes.


Where the colours are equally bright, but tricky to capture as its quite tight and wet in here.


Returning from the stope.


Back at the car feeling well pleased with ourselves.


A fantastically colourful sunset over The Old Man to round off a fantastically colourful day.

The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Good effort persevering with the photo upload, it was worth the wait :thumb

I do like the Conistone Copper mines myself, and you have captured them well.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member

Wow!!!! Amazing colour and great photos mate but this one is the pick for me. Out standing little lake that one.

I have tons of this stuff so could post 100's of mine exploration reports. If you are interested to see some more pictures, my flickr stream is here :
And we hope to see more!


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
PHWOAR! That's properly nice is that. Would love to take a trip through the copper mines up there but would have to restrict myself to the ones where SRT isn't necessary. Great work on that report - I'm off to follow you on Flickr now ....


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Fabulous trip, did it last year, also in the snow some incredible views up there. I must go back with my camera sometime! :)


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Nice one smarticus, i did it last year as well and was totally blown away by the place.
infact we have been mooching about in that area recently, so much to see down there and also very very and i mean very fragile!!
I seem to feel safer in there than flemings level.

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