Report - - Ganister Mine Drainage / Culvert, Sheffield, April 2019 | UK Draining Forum | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Ganister Mine Drainage / Culvert, Sheffield, April 2019


'Exploring with Sciatica'
Regular User

I was actually going to put this in 'Mining' but as it's pretty much a culvert it probably belongs here really, and it's strucutrally similar to some of the other more minor Sheffield bits that I've put in this section anyway (this for instance: https://www.28dayslater.co.uk/threads/black-brook-culvert-and-spooners-tunnel-sheffield-march-2018-may-2014.113543/ ).

Anyway, during Later 1800s / Early 1900s Sheffield was the site of many small mines, often located in hilly woodland across the city. Much of the mining was for ganister - ganister's properties meant that it could withstand significant heat, making ganister brick perfect for the use in the production of steel, forming part of the kilns / furnaces. As the related industries declined, so did the need for ganister and the mines across the city also closed down. Rather than being entirely filled, entrances were bricked up and forgotten. However, as land slips over time, these things tend to become visible in places.

Finding little things like this relies on lots of staring at old maps, and plenty of time dragging yourself around in overgrown patches of woodland - two things that I seem to spend an unhealthy amount of time doing. So it's satifying when you do manage to find something accessible, even if it's only small. The tunnel pictured here is most likely to have been constructed as drainage for mine workings that were located in this section of the wood. This map dating from 1929 shows a Gannster Mine (it seems you can spell it with one or two 'n's) and associated workings (including an Engine House and Tramway) in this location. An earlier map from 1891 does not show the workings, so we have an approximate date. The red circle shows where I think this tunnel features, which would make it a culverted section of an unnamed (and now largely dried up) stream, co-opted as drainage for the nearby workings (as indicated by the diverted side pipe).

Mine Map.jpg

The tunnel has suffered a collapse at the mid section, and has also either collapsed or been filled further on inside, making it impassable beyond the mid point- the stream seems to have naturally compensated for this and now runs a slightly different course down the hillside to rejoin the culvert by running through the collapsed section. It was pretty dry when I visited, but there's standing water at various points of the tunnel suggesting it does still carry water. There's some signs of the engine houses and larger shafts in the area, but these don't tend to show up very well in photos as they're so overgrown... This bit looked promising, until you go round the other side and find it's just collapsed...



So, here's the tunnel. Looking in the well-hidden outfall...


And back out...


Progress is slow along the short run of the tunnel as it's not very big - is there a word for the thing that happens between a st00p and a crawl? If so, that.



To the left of the next pic you can see a side pipe. Peering inside shows a channel carved into the rock. You could (if you were inclined - I wasn't) just about squeeze yourself along it)...


This is up the side channel....


Nearly at the end now, coming up to the collapse...



And that's it...


There's another few sections with collapsed tunnels, but this seems to be the only bit you can get in without shifting boulders!

And, just because I dropped by on my run back from here (hoping, to no avail, to find my lens cap that I lost on a previous visit), here's another couple of pics I took from another mine located elsewhere in the same woodland. This was much more flooded on this occasion than it had previously been.



Needs better drainage, obviously...
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'Exploring with Sciatica'
Regular User
That flooded section looks nice.
Very nice bit of tunneledge.
Good image of the flooded part of the gannister workings...more water helps!
Ah! The eternally lost lens cap. Know it well. Great find and great pix @tarkovsky The stonework in that tunnel is lovely.
nice pics
Thanks for the comments - it's not a big thing, but its always nice to see old stonework.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Been meaning to head up here and have a dig around, there is another thread showing another mine in the woodland, comes to a very unstable section that the thread op wasn't prepared to risk going under, I said I would give it a go but never made it, maybe a weekend job, whats the spider situation like haha???


Flaxenation of the G!!!
Regular User
tasty stuff dude :thumb impressive stonework for sure. It definitely has a charm to it.

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