Report - - Grove Rake Mine & a bit on Rookhope Chimney - 17/05/09 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Grove Rake Mine & a bit on Rookhope Chimney - 17/05/09


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I had intend to make some kind of photo record of this so that people can determine how much its deteriorating or not. But that would have taken too many images and I’m posting more than enough already.

By way of approach I went up ‘Rookhope Chimney’. I’ve seen these before but never come across one that was so long, and straight. These are shallow troughs or trenches that get roofed over with stones and the carry all the lead smelt fumes up the side of a hill to a vertical chimney on the top. An interesting little factette, that I discovered from a local information plaque, is that these things were not just easy to build, almost horizontal and extremely long chimney flues, but that they were also a means of filtering out the last of the lead from the smelt fumes. Small boys would be sent into the flue to scrape off the lead deposits from the inside of the chimney. It appears that lead allergies didn’t exist in the pre Dickens days as the Youth of England was a much tougher breed back then.

Here’s the chimney, obviously with the roof caved in. There’s nearly 2 and a half kilometers of this, dead straight as well. The ruin on the right might have been a ‘flue house’ where the boys went in to get busy with the scrapers.


On the east edge of the Grove Rake site there’s what might be an old bath house. That seat feature in the in the center certainly had the look of a medieval Thunder Closet about it. These could always be stables of course but the doors didn’t look big enough.


Ah, winding gear. There would have been a brake and a reverse switch as well but there’s beauty in the simplicity of just having the stop & the go button to make it all work.


And chevron gears, those things never look like they could possibly work, and they’re so dainty.


Drum brake and the little chain driven indicator gearbox. The whole thing has the look of giant clockwork about it.


I couldn’t leave out the spur gears. So functional and no nonsense compared to the sissy chevrons.


Now the only winding gear left is where there is no adjacent headstock. And this is what I think is left of the gear for the headstock that’s still there. A pity they scrapped it off like that.


First Aid Room. Funny little telescopic bed this, really narrow as well. Maybe they had more dwarfs and longfellows in the olden days.


And it must have been hell trying to keep domestic washing machines in order up there. I can’t quite figure out why one of these is put in backwards, though. It’ll have taken real effort to do that so there must be a reason.


And no draining board drawer is complete without it containing just the one Champion N9Y spark plug.


Lockers, seemingly dozens and dozens of them. There were also loads of individual steel soap dishes around. Maybe each miner had his own soap holder. Anything to help avoid dropping the stuff in the shower helps, I suppose.


The, err, lift thing.


I don’t like heights, which is a good thing. This was only half way up and I didn’t like it.


Rope anchor points. Some sort of unraveling of the rope end at then potting the strands in a cone shaped ceramic compound of some sort. All nicely trimmed off but I’d have liked to see a big granny knot hanging out the end as well, one can never have too much knot in your rope if you want it to stay where it is.


Some day, maybe many years away, this headstock is going to become unsafe and it will have to be cut down. I hope they keep the wheels somewhere.


They’re just so well made that it would be a shame to cut them up.


Like I say, I don’t like heights. And that staircase does stick out more than I realized until I was coming down it. You can’t avoid looking down unless you want to be a complete numpty and walk down it backwards. And I’m not quite that silly.


Cheers… LD.



28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Great photos there, I believe the building near the 2nd drift was offices, from when the mine was originally operating, you can tell that it has recently been modified because of the newer bricks.

Also, you might be interested, near Castleside in Consett there is some lead flue's going up into the hill that you can walk all the way up. I'm quite sure it's part of the 'Waskerly Walk' from the resevoir to Consett. Not very far away from Rookhope / Stanhope.


Regular User
''No Soap. No Toilet Rolls. No Nowt''

No Washing Machines:


I had intend to make some kind of photo record of this so that people can determine how much its deteriorating or not.
I think a photo record of the sites deterioration would require a visit every day. Plenty of damage and theft since I was last there in Jan (only returned to get up the headstock, as it was covered in ice last time)

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