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Report - - Crank Caverns - Crank - November 2017 | Mines and Quarries | 28DaysLater.co.uk
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Report - Crank Caverns - Crank - November 2017

Paradox

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#1
Visited with @Bigjobs, @EOA and @AndyJUK

You've all probably seen EOAs rather lovely photographs from here (if you haven't go take a look they are proper nice and the write up is really good too!) so I thought I would share mine also.

Crank Caverns have been on my radar for a while, with its mythical history of child eating dwarves, oddly shaped body bags, cannibalism and a hidden chapel who wouldn't want to go and take a look?

With a history like that, we decided to brave the night and risk life and limb to go in search of the evil creatures of the caverns. Meeting up with @EOA and @AndyJUK we scurried through the dark to the edge of the woods. Wondering what awaited us we made our way through the trees to the cavern entrance, listening out for the scurry of tiny angry dwarf feet! Much to our disappointment, we heard no such thing so made our way in!

It was a little damp and muddy in places but We explored every nook and cranny possible, with AndyJUK crawling through some that weren't even possible! He is like a crawly ninja of small holes and gaps that do not exist! Despite our extensive searching we didn't come across any dwarves or a single human bone and with no evidence of a secret church we called it a night and went our separate ways. Was a fun night out with a cracking bunch of people :)

History

Sandstone quarrying began here as early as 1730. As the quarry expanded, the cost of purchasing land to open cast mine it increased, so it was decided to opt for a different method. Instead of quarrying out the stone, they would mine it out, following a seam of stone until it ran out. This resulted in the network of caves,
tunnels and shafts we see today. Rainford Delph is listed as a Colliery by 1854, under the ownership of Charles Howarth or Yorkshire Charlie as he was known locally by 1880. Mining finally ceased and the woods and caverns were used as a game reserve by the Earl of Derby until 1939 when they became a storage facility for ammunition for the anti-aircraft position at Crank. After the war, the caverns ceased use as a game reserve.

Myths and Legends (EOA has already mentioned some of these but I've added them here too).

Child Eating Dwarves

"Vicious dwarves" were once rumoured to inhabit the labyrinth of caverns in Crank. In the late 18th century four children decided to explore the sandstone caverns and vanished. One child survived and told a terrifying tale about small old men with beards, who talked in an unknown language, they killed his three friends and chased him. The petrified child stumbled over human bones in the caves and finally managed to scramble through an opening to the surface as a hand was grabbing at his ankle. The authorities became concerned because a number of people had gone missing in the area near the cave entrances and apparently they sent in the army to install gates and bars. It is apparently undecided if this was to keep people out or keep something in.

Oddly shaped body bags

Apparently about 17 or 18 years ago two young lads entered the caverns and got lost, they had told their parents where they were going and when they didn’t arrive home their parents informed the police. After a couple of days searching the police sealed off the area and removed to body bags from the caverns. They were also reported to have removed 7 more body bags from the caverns, one of the bags was said to have not been in a body shape but was square.

Cannibalism

There is a story about some scouts who went down the caverns for a look around and at the end of the day one of the scouts had not come back out. Eventually, they called out Cave Rescue to try and find the boy. After a long search they found him or what was left of him, allegedly the boy was partly eaten. The parents of the child wanted it all kept secret so the press didn't get hold of the story and they could give their son a peaceful send-off.

Another story tells of a child's head found in a cave, along with evidence of cannibalism. After a second investigation, the caves either collapsed or gunpowder was used to seal them.

Church Cavern

Two heavily armed soldiers descended into the caverns with torches and claimed that they not only found a heap of human bones, they also found the ruins of an ancient church of some unknown denomination. The interior of the church was lit by three large candles and grotesque gargoyles formed part of an altar. Throughout the

exploration of the underground, the soldiers said they felt as if they were being watched, and also heard voices speaking in an unknown language.

Anyway, enough of this rubbish here's a few pics to look at instead......

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EOA

Exploring with Bob
Regular User
#2
An excellent report of a brilliant evening exploring :thumb

Your images really are spot on. You've definitely done the catacombs of St Helen's justice!
 

Paradox

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#3
thanks, I really enjoyed it and it was good to meet you too :)
 

The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Moderator
#4
Reports and pics are spot on :thumb

Can even see the ghosts and gnome in them, who needs Photoshop :D
 

DaveFM

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#7
This mine looks very similar to Cults mine in Fife, though more graffiti in this one. This is a plan of Cults, would you say this mine is of a similar size?
Cults small file.jpg
 

Paradox

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#8
This mine looks very similar to Cults mine in Fife, though more graffiti in this one. This is a plan of Cults, would you say this mine is of a similar size? View attachment 744679
I cant find any maps of Crank, what is accessible now is tiny but there are rumours of it spreading for quite a few miles under Rainford/St Helens/Billinge areas
 

DaveFM

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#9
I cant find any maps of Crank, what is accessible now is tiny but there are rumours of it spreading for quite a few miles under Rainford/St Helens/Billinge areas
sounds pretty big, Cults is about a mile by half a mile in area, these stone mines seem very prone to falling in, a great many of the Cults passages are blocked by roof falls.
 

Paradox

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#10
sounds pretty big, Cults is about a mile by half a mile in area, these stone mines seem very prone to falling in, a great many of the Cults passages are blocked by roof falls.
yeah but rumour and truth are two separate things lol - it could be really small with just a few spurs that are no longer accessible too!
 

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