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Report - - Hodge close slate quarry, Coniston, May '11 | Mines and Quarries | 28DaysLater.co.uk
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Report - Hodge close slate quarry, Coniston, May '11

drhowser

Bespectacled & irrelevant
Regular User
#1
Visited solo

Hodge Close is one of many slate workings in the Tilberthwaite Valley, near Langdale. This was worked on a large scale from the 19th century to the early 60s (small scale). The slate was moved through the site by means of overhead cables, but there is no sign of either the cables or their mechanisms remaining.
The quarry was worked as a open pit (now flooded by 150ft) with levels and chamber coning off the bottom, access levels and above the pit.
Most of these levels have now been obliterated by more modern operations, and those left can only be accessed by diving.

Today Hodge Close is best known for cave diving, UKDivers.net has this to say-

I get the feeling that this is one of the old favourite dive sites which is not used much these days. It lies in the southern part of the Lake District about 2 miles from Coniston.

There are two parts to this quarry, the main part is an old green slate quarry which has a maximum depth of about 32m with visibility up to about 10m. there is a tunnel entrance at about 24m which leads to three chambers and 2 interconnecting tunnels, to enter these is serious cave diving and you need to well equipped and trained. There have been a number of fatalities here over the years.

The second part is a small cavern, about 7m deep with a few meters of air space above the water. I love this area as you get a real feel of cave diving without the danger.

Access to this is either via a land tunnel or by the "metal jetty". This is quite safe and although the access looks a little scary and there is no natural light it was very enjoyable. It would only take about 5 minutes to explore the whole cavern.
My interest in the site is a little dryer though, to the other side of the flooded main works are Klondyke works, a smaller system sunk into it's own pit.
A good few years ago now it was the venue for a fairly (un)memorable free party organised by a group of friends of mine, Being as I was in the area I though it might be nice to take a look at it in daylight.

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The old entrance to the works is blocked off. There's now a little bit of climbing involved

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This is a shaft which has been filled with slate slurry and capped off with concrete

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Cheers :thumb
 

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