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Report (Permission Visit) - WIGPOOL-IRON STONE MINE 29th feb 2020 | Mines and Quarries | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report (Permission Visit) WIGPOOL-IRON STONE MINE 29th feb 2020


Down and beyond

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
The history Mitcheldean. Opened 1861? in its zenith day 200 men produced 4000 tons of ore annually. Closed 1918 see also Bailey Level qv. The main shaft was sunk to a depth of 528 feet when a strong feeder of water was encountered. Columbus Shaft, located 500 yards NNE was sunk prior to the Wigpool Shaft to a similar depth and two levels driven out at depths of 345 feet and 378 feet respectively. Both shaft have long been obliterated. Today the two main entrances are Sway Hole and Steam Hole and two minor entrances, Meeks Hole and Fox Hole. The last two are connect to the mine by small winding passages.

The explore / the task to try and accomplish on this visit
We went in through Sway trying to find the high level connection to the stream, this was our set task by jan. Sounded easy enough to me! I’ve done loads of iron mines. (never should of said that) only done iron mines in my area! God I payed the price for 95% of the trip. We showed up at the addit already I thought wow this looks different than what I am use to but absolutely loved the look of it. The 20-25ft drop into what I thought was the drive, at this point i was behind the safety barrier and once the ropes were set up for the safety line and the ladder connected, they said, “Who wants to go first?” I said, “me!” I jumped over, got hooked up by the caving crew and down I went into a world I was not so used to, a world of crawling threw tunnels, the diameter of a dustbin for hours on end threw soaking wet red clay type substance. The other issues on this trip is that you are crawling.... not on a constant level like my area (Huntingdonshire/Northamptonshire) being here the incline and the declines are constant, this tires you out constantly but still we all pressed on for 3 hours trying to find the higher connection. Some of the crawling you went down the tunnels for around 10 minutes to find a dead end without the space to turn around, so you all had to reverse out! Eventually we ended giving up and joining the middle passage, the crawl carried on to this sheer face of around 20ft drop. We had to safety line down this, especially me not a experienced climber at all! Their we was into the mine.... What an achievement, I felt it was truly amazing to link from a cave like type system into a real underground ironstone mine with tramways. We stayed on the top of level 1 for a while and arrived to this steep decline down, it was like nothing I have ever seen one of the most amazing experiences ever, so down we went but sadly it was heavily flooded after this it was time for the climb/crawl out, this was hard because all of us had ruined any grip and had made wet surface from on the way in so it was very slippery.
We entered a beautiful chamber with stalagmites some appeared like countless curtains also the ones under water, they was like circle balls it was truly beautiful, what a amazing trip!!
Thank you very much Alex/Jann for the guided tour and the opportunity to join you guys.
Thank you very much to the caving crew helping me with my useless climbing skills!
Here was my view of the trip
As always I would just like to state, if you are not experienced read the guides on here ,do not go down any mine without being took down by a experienced person !
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The ladder after entering
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The first veiw I had after turning around Alex I am not use to this lol !
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The start of the cave like system truly amazing experience
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The hold fire moment we are at a steep drop time to get ropes out for the newbies ie me Ross !
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A return look back up shows you how mad this place is looks a normal tunnel but really leads to the shaft !
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The tramway that leads into the real level 1 so amazing would imagine around 30% decline going down could be wrong
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Time to start the exit extremely steep though !
Rope time for me please lads !
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stalagmites
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Stalagmites
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Under water stalagmites photo took by Chloe
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Close up of the stalagmites
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The exit
Thank you for viewing and reading any mistakes please tell me , thanks so much everyone for this opportunity and joining me
 

Lord Oort

Fear is the little death
Regular User
Nice one dude, glad you got some decent shots! See why I said dont bother with your DSLR!

TBF we should of probably done a slightly easier trip, but you guys did great and we were well impessed with how you both coped.

So, SRT training next then...
 

Down and beyond

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Mate thanks for saying that means a lot ! I am
Glad you didn’t Take me on a easier one everyone needs their confidence nocking down in a good way to make you realise how dangerous it is as such , I thought I understood iron mines never seen anything like that so proves I am just starting my adventure!! I cannot wait !
 

Down and beyond

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I no tell me about it lol had to wipe all torches down wire brush the torches beat my bag against the wall and my wellies well I think they had half the mud from mine on them
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Down and beyond

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I shall be following your advice on that till I get spare cash for a suit ! Next thing for me them wellies if you can pm me a link as such mate
 

Lord Oort

Fear is the little death
Regular User
Dunlop Actifort Warwick Full Safety Wellies with antislip grip. with a gel insole added I can walk for miles and miles in these.

£15 delivered

 

Down and beyond

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Possibly a original photo of the ore extraction method it would need this to extract definitely because of the incline
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Down and beyond

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Well if you enjoy taking a relaxed time or constant walking small obstacles taking photos . This is not the place to go lol if you want hardcore absolutely maze like system with levels all over the place and love crawling discovering possible routes it is !
 

ikkdjct

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I am taking it slowly lol. Brown’s Folly was the first Mine I ever visited courtesy of @Oort. Will probably go and see Swan’s next week and then see how it goes. But I definitely would like to visit some more!!
 

Down and beyond

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Well oort is the man ,this one is very different I will say compared to browns I’ll leave it at that lol
 

ikkdjct

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I think I realised that lol. I will work my way up to it hopefully with a little bit of help. Glad you guys had a good time !!
 

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