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Report - unknown Cornish mine exploration

Pasty

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
A report on an explore of some local mine workings.

I have known about these shafts for many years, last summer we had a little explore but nothing major, so last weekend with all its wind and rain myself and a few friends decided to re-visit with a few extra torches/rope and a basic digital camera.
Better say at this point that i dont know if the mine has a name, its basically in the middle of an old quarry working within a woods beside a very minor road.
Also, im definately no photographer- i only took a camera to help record what we saw really.
Day one was just a general look around, we werent too well prepared as we didnt know what we needed, the most important thing we had were several torches each, and i even carried extra batteries. Since our last visit last year extra barbed wire has been put up, i dont yet know who owns the site but by the look of things they didnt want people going in.
A few signs warn of the dangers within....
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The barbed wire was easy to crawl under, next we had to climb down through some old quarry workings...
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(I hid our faces just incase)
The sides were quite steep but no ropes were needed at this point, in the base of the quarry workings were the enterances of the tunnels which led into the cliff face
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We had a wander in, the tunnels started off quite large but got smaller and divided up
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Some went into dead ends or collapes, but a few went deeper.
One of the tunnels in particular went quite deep, we then reached an area where ropes were required, at the base of the drop was a pool of incredibaly clear water, we decided that that would be enough for today and retraced our steps back.
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deep pool of clear water at the bottam
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That night while talking with friends we decided that it could be interesting to see what was the other side of the water, had anyone ever ventured this far?? , being a regular scuba diver i had lots of spare kit kicking about, so we decided to return on day 2 equipt with drysuit, small air cylinder, mask and fins to further explore. For safety i had a 100m reel line with attached strobe and several underwater tourches to find my way back safely.

We turned up on the afternoon of day 2 for a big surprise! Police car parked in our usual spot on the minor road..! :mad: we slowly drove past to see a single policeman inspecting the barb wire enterance to the woods- a little to much of a co-incidence for my liking! obviously our daytime exploits the day before hadnt gone unnoticed by somebody. We waited down the road until he had gone, picked a different parking space and went for it- to much planning had gone into this to give up this far, we figured the worse that could happen is a major telling off when we return hours later.

Fully kitted up for the mission
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The journey to the shaft enterance and down the shaft was a lot harder than before, we had a big bag of rope, dive cylinder and a 10kg weightbelt to haul along! We got there in the end, took a breather and rigged up the kit.
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Camera and tourches in hand i slowly climbed down into the water :crazy
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The first thing i noticed was how incredibaly clear the water was, quite literally as far as the eye could see, the second thing which i very quickly noticed was the the water was bloomin freezing! glad i had my drysuit on!

This shot my friend took as i sank down in the shaft...
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Below me the shaft sank further than my torch would shine- which was a long way!
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Within the water i could make out the remains of wooden structures left by the miners.
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One of the tunnels had an air gap above it from the main hole so i thought it best to explore this one first, then we realised that someone had beaten us too it- and left a rope
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Remains of small railway track on the tunnel floor
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more track
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I took this because it looked so eerie... my touch is underwater, head and camera above water
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A split in the tunnel ahead
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One way lead to a very deep shaft, again my tourch would not show the bottom
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looking up to the celing to see it had been reinforced many years ago
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more track, this piece broke the surface of the water, interesting to see how it had corroded much more in the air
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I chickened out at this point and started to retrace my steps, i had been on my own in the water for about 15mins and thought the others might be worried.
Back throught to roped passage
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Had a final look at the support timbers which held the remains of the cart tracks, they still seemed pretty strong even after so long emerged in water
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Close up of the timer
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We Then climbed back out and retraced our steps to the road, exhausted but satisfied we had given it our best.
 

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