Report - Loop Wyke jet workings, May 2015

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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Apr 3, 2015
These workings lie between Kettleness and Sandsend on the North Yorkshire coast, one of many sets of jet workings resulting from the 'jet rush' in the 18th and 19th centuries on this part of the coastline. I'd tried to find these the week before, approaching through Kettleness Tunnel then down the cliff ropes at Seaveybog Hill followed by a long and annoying clamber over rocks on the foreshore before giving up, believing that the workings had been lost to coastal erosion.

Got home, had another look and a trawl and realised that I hadn't gone far enough along the shoreline and that, frustratingly, Loop Wyke workings aren't actually in Loop Wyke at all. Doh!

So, after the little one was tucked up in bed last night, I headed back off to take advantage of the low tide and sunset to find a way down from the Sandsend side that would be quicker and involve less clambering on rocks and less potential for a broken ankle ....


Who knows? There's almost nothing out there about Loop Wyke and it just appears to be one of those places that sprang up from nowhere during the high demand for Whitby jet as already mentioned. There are plenty more old workings in these cliffs (many of which you pass on the way from Sandsend and which have collapsed spectacularly) and there is a real air of mystery about them all. Sorry!

Some context

Loop Wyke consists of four adits into the cliff face, almost at shore level. Looking from the shore, you can see them on this shot here:


For simplicity's sake, I've called them 1, 2, 3 and 4 (left to right, or east-west if you prefer). All are connected via a passageway about eight-ten metres into the cliff, although a waterfall from the top of the cliff guards the entrance to 3 and the passageway between 3 and 4 is almost entirely blocked now by rockfall. You can also see how the entrance to 3 has suffered from rockfall over time.

A little warning from me

These cliffs are notoriously unstable and suffer from rockfall VERY regularly. Whilst I was there last night, there were a number of small rockfalls and some larger ones. Also, the roof inside is in a pretty poor state with some VERY fresh falls evident and lots of cracking and groaning going on - I've been in plenty of underground places before, but this one really did make me a bit twitchy. Not as much as Mulgrave Tunnel, but at least there I never felt like the roof was in imminent danger of collapse!

The photos

Once you've scrambled up the loose shale into Entrance 1, you're met with a canny little working that goes back maybe a further ten metres with a passageway off to both left and right. You also get a nice little shot looking back out to the shore:


The left hand working in here is blocked by rockfall about twenty metres in but this is looking back towards the entrance junction:


Ignoring the side passageways takes you to a dual face:


There's plenty of wash-in here, with all kinds of crap getting thrown in by the sea over time. The rockfall on the right here had a really peculiar smell to it, almost like woodsmoke - never experienced that before.

Scrambling through the passageway between 1 and 2 gives you a lovely shot back out to sea:


The rock here is VERY wet and incredibly slippery, evidenced by the fact that I went arse over tit on the foreground rocks and get my leg jammed in a gap between two sharp pieces of rock. Nice swelling this morning!

Looking in from the outside, you can see the working extending into the cliff (behind me on the shot above!):


The scramble through between 2 and 3 (where the waterfall is) gets you very wet and pissed off. DEspite my best efforts, I only managed a single shot looking out through the entrance to 3 and it's a pretty poor one.


Back on the outside, here's a look at the entrances to 1, 2 and 3 (mainly):


4 is possibly the most interesting area to explore as there are two reasonably large chambers after the initial twenty metres of entrance tunnel:


There has been some VERY recent slabdrop from the roof in the left-hand chamber, as you can see here - wouldn't have liked been under THAT. This is also the room where you could hear the most creaking, groaning and general nastiness. Didn't stay long!


Shot back out the entrance (didn't take bracketed exposures on this one so hugely overexposed the sea/sky ... bollox.


For completeness, I headed back into 2 and got a shot from underneath the waterfall looking back at the entrances to 2 and 1 (on the left as you look at the photo) and their associated working tunnels (on the right):


And that was me done - although the route back up the cliff at Deepgrove is fairly easy, the tide comes in quickly and I didn't fancy having to swim it, especially as I wasn't wearing waders or waterproofs. Saw some nice bits of shipwreck on the way back to the cliff ladder though:


There's also a pair of what looks like ship's boilers just offshore so I'll have a poke about there later on when I can catch the lowest tides.

Thanks for reading!



28DL Regular User
Regular User
Apr 7, 2007
Nice work had a wander around here myself many years ago but had to abort due to the tide, very foolish of me should have checked the tide times before hand.


28DL Member
28DL Member
Apr 10, 2015
Great images, the woodsmoke smell is intriging.................don't think my bottle extends to creaking chambers!


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Oct 19, 2013
Wakefield, West Yorkshire
:thumb Nicely Bracketed mate ;)

So you didn't get me any Jet then mate ?

At least you didn't need your O2 meter on this trip .

I was surprised how many parts of Wrecks are scattered about the Whitby area especially walking along from Black Nab area .


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Apr 3, 2015
:thumb Nicely Bracketed mate ;)

So you didn't get me any Jet then mate ?

At least you didn't need your O2 meter on this trip .

I was surprised how many parts of Wrecks are scattered about the Whitby area especially walking along from Black Nab area .
There's sod all jet left in there mate: the only place round here that I've seen jet left in-situ is in the Kettleness Tunnel adit.