Sunday, 31 August 2014

Kelly Mine open day 31/08/2014

A great morning out, the only mine in Devon with all of the machinery operational once every two years. Although underground access is not possible on the open day, it is an amazing sight to see the stamps and headgear operational.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Boringdon Consols 30/08/2014

Well... today has been relatively quiet, have done a little research and had a play with some maps, however i did pop out to Boringdon Consols in the afternoon to have a search for the adit. Still no luck though however i am convinced it is still there somewhere as the stream nearby is heavily ochreous which i am sure is run off from the adit.

Here is a little overlay of duchy i did earlier:

Friday, 29 August 2014

Morwellham to Gunnislake 29/08/2014

Today started with a nice walk along the valley bottom between Morwellham Quay and Gunnislake.
We chose this route as on one of my maps the area was marked to contain many shafts and mines, along the valley on the eastern side (Devon side).

On our walk we found three adits, two small adits partially filled and one large and dry-ish one.

the first we came to was quite easy to access and was essentially a walk in, although not a large mine it had two levels, the higher level only accessible by climbing the winze.
Once past the entrance it was relativity dry with the water only just coming over the wellies.

The second adit was extremely wet, and appeared to have a dive line entering it so we decided to go no further today as we would still have a mile or two walk back to the car from there.

The third and final adit we found was partially filled due to the new track being laid right in-front of it, this appeared to go however I did not enter as it was pretty wet and i had no spare clothes with me...
After a successful day of finding some new places to explore in the future we decided to pop to the pub and have some lunch before calling it a day...

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Redmoor Mine and Duchy 25/08/2014

First was a re-visit from the day before to venture further into Redmoor mine, passing the collapse that i met the day before led to a large stope, however it appeared to be quite unstable.

After this we re-visited Duchy to descend the dry winze that had been met before hand, which turned out that it led to two passages, one long adit leading to a dead and another leading to a collapse. 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Redmoor Mine 24/08/2014

well... today i just thought i would have a look around a few sites, starting at Gunnislake then on to Kit Hill with no success and finally on to Kelly Bray where i found a slope shaft leading to Redmoor Mine.
The slope shaft led down at about a 40 degree angle so i set a rope up from the top just as a little bit of assistance on the return from the bottom as the ground was quite slippery and made from loose rock.

i descended about 35 meters or so until i came to a choke, this appears to be passable however i have left it for another day when im not alone.
Sorry the pics are not great, had a little bit of a focusing...

Friday, 22 August 2014

Bickleigh Vale Phoenix Mine 22/08/2014

This was just a quick solo i did whilst i was in the area. The adit is inside the Leighbeer tunnel inside one of the refuge arches. Strangely it appears to be the only refuge arch that is not gated all the way to the top, so easily accessible.
 The first 15-20 meters in the adit are pretty damn wet really, the water was just below the top of my wellies and i had to move very slowly to avoid causing a wake behind as a slight rise of the water would have filled my boots...
Oh... and on another note, i've moved the release date of "Exploring the Mines of Plympton" forward to the 26th... Enjoy :)

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Exploring the Mines of Plympton

Over the last few months I have been working on this book, and now it is nearly finished. Due to be released on amazon at the end of the month, downloadable for the kindle, ipad and iphone. The book will contain information on all ten mines on the outskirts of Plympton, with images of the remains both above and below ground.

Available on amazon for the kindle to pre-order now for £3.09

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Loughtor Quarry 20/08/2014

Just outside of Plympton, less than a mile from my house there is a small adit that up until now i have never found of any records of. According to the book "The METALLIFEROUS MINING REGION OF SOUTH-WEST ENGLAND Volume II" a 2ft wide lode was discovered whilst quarrying, and the lode was driven for between 15-20 fms. or approximately 30-40m where only 17lb's of black tin was found per ton so the lode was not driven any further.
Just another one to get a few pics of and as there is no record of this adit online, its good to contribute a little to the historical archives...

Omni v4 Petzl Duo upgrade

Today my upgrade has arrived for my Petzl Duo, the omni v4 from custom duo is an amazing upgrade to the light, the output is amazing and worth every penny. As well as being god knows how much brighter it also extends the battery life as it replaces the halogen bulb with led's.
Another great feature is that you can order it with "warm glow led's" rather than the standard white ones, which enables a nice incandescent light which I prefer in my photographs. 10/10 for this upgrade...

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Great Rock Mine 19/08/2014

A great night out with the caving group tonight at the great rock mine. Access was through a gated adit at river level, which the group holds the keys for. This is by far the most modern mine i have explored yet as it was last operational in the 1960's, the main adit is much wider inside than most, around about the same width as excelsior tunnel. To the left there are several offshoots only leading around 20-30m in. to the right there ar many other workings with with high stopes and ore chutes.

the first offshoot to the right leads to several areas of false floors and at the far end there is a nice stalactite formations where most extend a meter or so and one meets with a stalacmite forming a column. 
And after a nice evening underground what better to do than head down to the local pub for a drink with the guys and discuss our next adventure...

Sunday, 17 August 2014

kit hill 17/08/2014

Today's trip started at the top of kit hill, the main objective was to explore past the collapse in the eastern mine. Following the path of the shallow adit above ground we came to a collapse, accessible by SRT (single rope technique) this appeared to be an open stope that had partially caved in and a loose soil and rubble mixed with a steep slope made ropes essential to access the mine safely. At the bottom of the stope on the right hand side a small hole large enough to crawl through gave us access to the mine. From here we headed deeper into the mine until we reached a collapse. On the way there was a raise leading to what is most likely another level.
Going back past the entrance we climbed over a large collapse to find a winze approximately five meters deep. This we have left for a later date to explore as we only took one rope (the one we used for the entrance).
This map shows the mine we were in, the green areas are our points of access, red is collapses that cannot be passed and blue is deep water.
(map is from the book "the archaeology of kit hill")

After we had finished in the east mine for the day we decided to check out an adit i had been told about the previous night. On the west side of the hill near the bottom is a patch of brambles and trees, follow the trees down the footpath until blue hose pipes are visible and follow them to the adit. This is the deep adit for kit hill consols and now serves as an underground reservoir supplying water to the farmers troughs. Although this was gated and dammed it is worth seeing as the woodwork although not original is very nice.

Finally after walking all the way back up the hill we decided to grab a drink from the cafe at the bottom and head to our final location for the day. Finding this location was problematic, however on one of my maps a slope shaft was marked south east of kelly bray. we walked from the car approximate 0.75km downhill to the valley bottom, crossed a small stream to find several mine buildings, what appeared too be a flooded shaft and a shaft that the locals had used to dump tyres and electrical goods in. The shaft full of rubbish is going to be one we will revisit as we could just see the top of the adit under the rubbish, and with a small amount of excavation it is likely to be an access point.
(me above the filled shaft)

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Wheal Sidney 16/08/2014

After finding very little information on this mine on the internet, I decided to have a look around the area as it is very local. Upon arrival i walked through the woods past many of the open cast workings and the north engine shaft (now filled in) to the chimney stack in the woods.
 Approximately 50m east of the chimney is a collapse that looked promising, after about a two meter decent into the collapse a passage to the left (west) is revealed sloping downwards into the hill. As i was on my own i did not go any further than i could see the entrance, the ground looks very unstable and is a mix of mud and shale. Further exploration is possible however how much farther the adit goes is unknown...