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Report - - mines of the upper don valley August '19 | Mines and Quarries | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - mines of the upper don valley August '19


Dirge the sergal

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
this is my first report so sorry if i mess it up

(some of the history is copied some is what I've tried to work out)

Ganister is a type of sandstone that was once heavily used in the production of refectories and furnace linings. the industrial revolution and Sheffield's affinity for all things steel led to a high demand for this mineral. Around the upper don valley and Loxley the valleys often cut deep enough to expose Ganister at the surface, naturally this was quarried and mined quite extensively. in some areas such as the mines in this report the ganister was topped with a thin seam of poor quality but usable coal. This meant the mines where often classed as "mixed" mines or even coal mines even though their main output was ganister. (leading to much confusion when looking through old maps)

Most of the mines seem to have been worked pre WW2 with some being marked as disused or "old" even on 1905 edition maps. these maps of the workings are dated 1924
map 1.png
lowwod1.jpg

In this set of workings there are 3 separate adits, though i have only found 2 on the surface so far, the growth of bracken is making finding the lower one hard this time of year. they appear to have belonged to either the "Silica fire brick company" or Lowoods refectories. though the silica brick company is closer a brick i found on site is marked "lowood" which muddies the issue. lowood also had thier own mine on the site of their brickworks but I'll post the pics of that at the end


map 1.png


adit 2 appears to have been the larger working but it is sadly blocked with backfill. It has what i believe is a pump shaft associated with it but sadly that is backfilled too.

photo_2019-08-17_13-48-28.jpg
pump shaft.jpg


Adit 1 is the interesting one, nest to a semi-picturesque stream is a small brick lined opening next to a camp fire that seems to be used by the mountain bikers that frequent the woods. a backfill has been attempted but the rain and actions of the stream have reopened it.
entrance.jpg


a small section of tramway track outside entrance.
photo_2019-08-17_13-48-21.jpg



at first it doesnt look to go far before it is blocked but once inside you are able to look down a side passage. unfortunately the place is pretty well flooded when i went down.
flooded.jpg


the above picture shows quite clearly the thin seam of coal topping the ganister layer (the black line on the right wall).

there are more workings in the in the woods further to the north which i plan to visit properly but are currently much better covered by the user tarkovsky but i'll drop one pic here

photo_2019-07-20_12-38-48.jpg


across the don is the remains of the now demolished and soon to be built upon lowoods factory. a walking around the site you cant help but notice the orange water. following that to the cliff face leads you to another blocked mine.
orange.jpg





lowood mine.jpg



an interesting cross section of an old airshaft including some back fill sits just outside
air shaft.jpg


the fact this place is going to be lost for ever so soon is making me want to return with a sledge hammer to see what's behind that walled up drift before it's swallowed up by more commuter housing.


if you made it this far many thanks and sorry if ive totally messed this up
 
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Dirge the sergal

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
It was a bit drier back then I see!

The lowood mine is nagging on my mind. The developers have already installed a new bridge over the don for the housing estate so what ever is there is not long for this world.

Correct me if I'm wrong but there seems to be no preserved history for gannister mining. The last preserved headgear having been demolished just this year to clear space for horse grazing and stables
 

Esoteric Eric

28DL Regular User
Regular User
It was a bit drier back then I see!

The lowood mine is nagging on my mind. The developers have already installed a new bridge over the don for the housing estate so what ever is there is not long for this world.

Correct me if I'm wrong but there seems to be no preserved history for gannister mining. The last preserved headgear having been demolished just this year to clear space for horse grazing and stables
We still needed waders to get to the back, although my pics make it look as though it goes further than it actually does. I'm interested in taking a look at the other part.

@tarkovsky may be your man for history.
 

tigger

mog
Regular User
There are a few books on the history of them. At least one of those is available online as a pdf.

...preservation is for fruit not mines ;-)
 

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