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Report - Cults limestone mine.

DaveFM

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
Went back for a longer look at this treacherous labrynth of quarry tunnels which was dug mostly to provide agricultural lime (a lot of acidic soils in Scotland). There were once many entrances to these workings but now only two are known to have survived, bizarrely some were blocked up very close to the easterly entrance and its not clear why that wasn't sealed as well. I looked at the eastern entrance first but didn't like the look of it, some large cracks visible in the rock.
Entering from the western entrance I kept at first to a route marked with blue string, the string was reassuring at first as it seems to offer an easy way back out, but I eventually moved away from it to see other sections, thinking that it couldn't be that hard to find the blue string again. After I'd been in about 3 hours i decided to start moving back to the exit, only to find that it was quite impossible to locate the blue string again, though I came across other coloured strings. Forced to admit that I was lost I decided to track north and east by way of a compass I'd been wise to bring, hoping to strike the other entrance. A problem with Cults now is that there are quite a few signs to 'exits' that are now blocked up, I did actually come to a blocked entrance, which was full of soil pushed in by an excavator (I think this must have been the one next to the 'dangerous mines' entrance), at another point daylight could be seen but it was an entrance I'd seen earlier which was blocked by having several large boulders dumped in it. Moving on, I came at last to the surviving eastern entrance which I'd looked at earlier. I had no idea at the time that I'd be leaving by that entrance, the plan was to leave the way I went in, from the west. Fortunately Cults is on elongated east/west layout with all the entrances now on the north side, but without the compass I could have stayed lost for a long time, you have absolutely no sense of direction in a place like that and a compass can be a real game changer if you get lost, provided you know roughly the relative locations of the exits. Cults has had rescue call outs before for ill prepared explorers, including once three teenagers who went in with one torch between them which broke when one fell over, they were stuck in darkness for about seventeen hours before being found.
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DaveFM

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#3
Well done! Glad you made it back alive and very impressive that you made it to the other side.
Thanks, I think like I said its a different game if you have a compass, the compass had me going in directions I wouldn't have thought looked promising at all. Yet I got the impression that I was likely in only about a quarter or less of the whole mine, must be huge sections to the east I haven't seen.
 

The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Moderator
#4
Good to see, cheers for the report. I expect the getting lost added to the adventure once you got out :thumb

It's a mine I keep on meaning to make the effort and have a look, reminds me a lot of Facit Mine in Lancashire.
 

DaveFM

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#5
Good to see, cheers for the report. I expect the getting lost added to the adventure once you got out :thumb

It's a mine I keep on meaning to make the effort and have a look, reminds me a lot of Facit Mine in Lancashire.

Thanks, I've seen a report on Facit mine which seems to resemble Cults quite a bit, a lot of boulders and deads all over the place and very ragged passageways mostly. Theres quite a variety of passage heights and widths in Cults, most about 6-7 ft high but narrower sections and some larger caverns, one looked about fifteen by thirty feet with a roof about 10-12 ft high. it has a quite chaotic, random look to it in most places.
 

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DaveFM

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#9
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few more pictures from a more recent visit, these were in the eastern section - somewhere, there are complications to using the map of Cults as large areas before the mapped areas are simply shaded in as 'old waste' and have no passage detail, meaning its very difficult to know exactly where you are.
 

DaveFM

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#10
these are of flowstone, numerous sections of a main haulage route, shot of a blasting hole drilled into the rock and a section with steel roof supports, these are quite rare in Cults, most supports just seem to be tree trunks cut from local woods!
 

DaveFM

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#13
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Deep cracks in floor mud, seems like its drier than it has been in the past. There was also solid mud with deep footprints in it. The mud next to the flooded area was horrendous, very sticky and deep - you could get stuck in it if not careful.
 

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