Mine exploration, photographs and mining history for mine explorers, industrial archaeologists, researchers and historians Mine explorer and mining history videos on YouTube Connect with other mine explorers on Facebook
Tip: do not include 'mine' or 'quarry', search by name e.g. 'cwmorthin', use 'Sounds like search' if unsure of spelling

Advanced Search
'Sounds like search'
Quick a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
Tip: narrow down your search by typing more than one word and selecting 'Search for all words' or 'Exact search'

Search for any word
Search for all words
Exact search
Tip: narrow down your search by typing more than one word and selecting 'Search for all words' or 'Exact search'

Search for any word
Search for all words
Exact search

Mine Exploration Forum

Jump to page << < 1 2 3 4 5 > >>
Author Worsley Colliery & Navigable Levels - Duke of Bridgewater's Underground Canals
pierkisser

Avatar of pierkisser

Joined: 04/02/2014
Location: South West

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Worsley Colliery & Navigable Levels - Duke of Bridgewater's Underground Canals
Posted: 04/02/2014 14:47:58
Reply |  Quote
New to the site but finding it very informative! I wondered if anyone would know the details of a book about the Worsley mines and underground canals that had pictures from the NCB survey in the 60s included in it? I wrote an unpublished paper on it in the 90s and unfortunately don't have all the references (doh!) but would like to find a copy of the book. I've read the list of books posted earlier but not sure if it's one of them...*bit vague*. Hoping someone can help!! Big Grin IP: 2.29.82.29
Aditaddict

Joined: 27/08/2010

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Worsley Colliery & Navigable Levels - Duke of Bridgewater's Underground Canals
Posted: 04/02/2014 19:40:40
Reply |  Quote
Try this guy i think he also wrote a book on it and i'm pretty sure he was there last time the tunnels were inspected


d.lane@btinternet.com

let me know if you get a response

Andy
IP: 81.109.225.134
Tootles

Avatar of Tootles

Joined: 25/07/2010
Location: Lancashire

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Worsley Colliery & Navigable Levels - Duke of Bridgewater's Underground Canals
Posted: 04/02/2014 22:32:51
Reply |  Quote
I have an A4 size paper type book on the mines, not sure if that's the one you mean.........It was published in the eighties I think. IP: 2.26.141.95
pierkisser

Avatar of pierkisser

Joined: 04/02/2014
Location: South West

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Worsley Colliery & Navigable Levels - Duke of Bridgewater's Underground Canals
Posted: 05/02/2014 13:16:03
Reply |  Quote
Thank you, will give it a go! IP: 2.29.82.29
Plodder

Joined: 08/07/2018
Location: Farnworth

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Worsley Colliery & Navigable Levels - Duke of Bridgewater's Underground Canals
Posted: 16/12/2018 17:18:20
Reply |  Quote
As a new member of this community, I hope you don't mind me resurrecting this old thread after several years of it lying dormant. There are several questions and aspects of the Worsley Navigable Levels I would like to discuss, but in the first instance there is one thing that has been bothering me for quite some time that I would like to clarify if at all possible. Back in 2008, contributor AR said,

"A friend of mine went in fairly recently to do a condition check (officially) with some people from the Mines Rescue - they went as far as the foot of the incline, apparently the tunnels are still in OK condition overall. It does sound like there's a lot more exploration potential there if access could be arranged!"


When questioned by Vanoord whether this was in actual fact referring to the 1999 survey, AR again replied,

"It was last year, I believe [ie 2007] - they used canoes, and apparently one of the mines rescue lot stood up in his canoe with predictable results....."

My question is to AR, are you still in touch with this friend and can he or she provide any more corroborating details or even photographs of this expedition? I would love to be able to find out one way or another whether this actually took place or whether it is a case of memory playing tricks. I have recently spoken to someone who was on and intimately involved in organising the official Coal Authority sanctioned 1998 expedition and he thought that there had been a conflation of the putative 2007 expedition and the one that he was on. To support this position, Salford Council put out an information leaflet last year, "Bridgewater Canal: Worsley Delph Developing A Local Asset" (2017) in which it is stated that in connection with a risk assessment of both mine water breaches and mine gases, that although periodic monitoring of gases has taken place,

"Due to the extensive complex of mines at Worsley and the fact that no inspections of the mines have taken place in the last 20 years, the Coal Authority have not been able to satisfy the city council that this is a low enough risk to allow unsupervised access, in close proximity, at basin level."

I wonder whether AR or for that matter any other member could shed more light on this subject and clear up this confusion once and for all?

Many thanks. Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated!
IP: 146.199.83.197
AR

Avatar of AR

Joined: 07/11/2007
Location: Knot far from Knotlow in the middle of the Peak District

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Worsley Colliery & Navigable Levels - Duke of Bridgewater's Underground Canals
Posted: 16/12/2018 21:16:08
Reply |  Quote
I am still in contact with the friend in question, I'll try and remember to ask him when I next see him. I'm not aware of any photos having been taken when he was in, but of course any camera used in a place like that would either have to be ATEX certified or completely manual and lacking a flash. IP: 80.247.27.156
Pluto

Avatar of Pluto

Joined: 07/05/2009
Location: Barnoldswick

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Worsley Colliery & Navigable Levels - Duke of Bridgewater's Underground Canals
Posted: 17/12/2018 09:44:40
Reply |  Quote
I was told that the 2007 survey only went as far as the junction between the two entrance tunnels. Public access by boat was under consideration, and required a more detailed knowledge of the then current conditions. I was shown a video of the inspection, and it only went to the junction, though they may have gone further without recording. IP: 82.71.31.139
Plodder

Joined: 08/07/2018
Location: Farnworth

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Worsley Colliery & Navigable Levels - Duke of Bridgewater's Underground Canals
Posted: 17/12/2018 09:58:02
Reply |  Quote
Thank you, very much appreciated! With regard to recent photographs/film of the Levels, although I have not seen it myself, I understand from Alan Davies that colour video footage was taken during the 1998 expedition. I would love to be able to see that someday.

What I find really frustrating is that even though we know so much about the Levels, there are still infuriating pieces of missing information and gaps in our knowledge. For example, while I am quite sure that the Coal Authority has an extremely accurate modern digital plan of the system, nothing is available to the average amateur. The nearest I have found so far is this,

http://hidden-manchester.org.uk/

For those who don't know the area, if you scroll upwards and to the left out of Manchester, you eventually come to the Levels marked in grey. I have been in contact with the person who runs the website with regards to its accuracy and he informs me that he has compiled/transposed it from the three or four available sources (which have been posted earlier here on this thread). He says that he is obsessive about accuracy and normally guarantees precision down to under 25m, but in this case because of the age and vagueness of the original sources, he is erring on the safe side and claiming an accuracy to within 100m. I think he has done a great job and is probably being a little hard on himself. Would anyone with a detailed knowledge of the system like to comment on its accuracy or suggest any improvements or corrections?

Many thanks!
IP: 146.199.83.197
Plodder

Joined: 08/07/2018
Location: Farnworth

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Worsley Colliery & Navigable Levels - Duke of Bridgewater's Underground Canals
Posted: 17/12/2018 10:01:25
Reply |  Quote
Thanks for that, Pluto. That's really interesting. Are you still in touch with either the person who told you or the person who actually went on the 2007 expedition? IP: 146.199.83.197
Roger the Cat

Avatar of Roger the Cat

Joined: 12/11/2007
Location: Gloucestershire

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Worsley Colliery & Navigable Levels - Duke of Bridgewater's Underground Canals
Posted: 17/12/2018 13:28:37
Reply |  Quote
The impression I get is that the authorities want to strongly discourage any bids from even legitimate organisations to explore the workings (with H&S in mind, no doubt) and indeed any serious or learned discussion of the topic at all. To my mind, Worsley represents a very significant early industrial monument which ranks with the Bridgewater Canal itself or even Ironbridge. IP: 80.42.146.11
Coggy

Joined: 27/12/2008
Location: Birmingham

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Worsley Colliery & Navigable Levels - Duke of Bridgewater's Underground Canals
Posted: 18/12/2018 00:25:43
Reply |  Quote
When Manchester (Council) decided that the Lancashire Mining Museum was to be closed down I knew that our mining history meant nothing to our modern 'leaders'

--

I always wanted to be a Fish Packer
IP: 92.239.141.148
Plodder

Joined: 08/07/2018
Location: Farnworth

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Worsley Colliery & Navigable Levels - Duke of Bridgewater's Underground Canals
Posted: 18/12/2018 00:56:44
Reply |  Quote
I think you have hit the nail on the head; excessive concerns about health and safety have stifled if not altogether killed off any serious discussion about or research into the Levels. In the recent publication “Bridgewater 250: The Archaeology of the World’s First Industrial Canal” (Salford Applied Archaeology Series, Vol 1, 2012) it clearly states in regard to several aspects and facets of its history and use that,

“The fact that these areas still remain to be investigated shows the lack of serious research activity on the Bridgewater canal.” [Chapter 1, p15]

However, having said that, I think that certain dedicated, enthusiastic and passionate lay amateurs keep the flame burning. For example, I recently came across a very interesting article by Neil Morris about the Walkden Adit,

https://personalpages.manchester.ac.uk/staff/neil.morris/The-Walkden-Adit.html

He references this thread as his starting point and the description of the young boys thrilling journey on the Levels with an inspection crew in 1962 and demonstrates how he thinks he has located the position of the Day Eye in relation to the modern day topography. It makes for a fascinating read and we should be aiming to do more of this type of original research. Indeed, I became so absorbed by the subject that I contacted Neil and then made my own visit to the area. After a quick reccy, I noticed a couple of strategically positioned manholes in exactly the right position. Refurbishment work was being carried out on the nearby supermarket petrol station and one of these manholes happened to be opened so I sneaked a quick photo on my phone! During a discussion later, it was suggested that back in 1971 when the adit was sealed, backfilling and pressure grouting wasn’t an exact science and that maybe there was still a way down to the steps, maybe via a cross-link tunnel accessed by yet another manhole near the adjacent traffic island. However, considering the number of CCTV cameras peppering this site, I’m certainly not the man for the job!

IP: 146.199.83.197
Moorebooks

Avatar of Moorebooks

Joined: 28/11/2007
Location: Newport, Shropshire

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Worsley Colliery & Navigable Levels - Duke of Bridgewater's Underground Canals
Posted: 18/12/2018 11:38:58
Reply |  Quote
Plodder wrote:

Thank you, very much appreciated! With regard to recent photographs/film of the Levels, although I have not seen it myself, I understand from Alan Davies that colour video footage was taken during the 1998 expedition. I would love to be able to see that someday.

What I find really frustrating is that even though we know so much about the Levels, there are still infuriating pieces of missing information and gaps in our knowledge. For example, while I am quite sure that the Coal Authority has an extremely accurate modern digital plan of the system, nothing is available to the average amateur. The nearest I have found so far is this,

http://hidden-manchester.org.uk/

For those who don't know the area, if you scroll upwards and to the left out of Manchester, you eventually come to the Levels marked in grey. I have been in contact with the person who runs the website with regards to its accuracy and he informs me that he has compiled/transposed it from the three or four available sources (which have been posted earlier here on this thread). He says that he is obsessive about accuracy and normally guarantees precision down to under 25m, but in this case because of the age and vagueness of the original sources, he is erring on the safe side and claiming an accuracy to within 100m. I think he has done a great job and is probably being a little hard on himself. Would anyone with a detailed knowledge of the system like to comment on its accuracy or suggest any improvements or corrections?

Many thanks!


Have you tried the Coal Authority at Mansfield they have all abandonment plans for Coal there . I understand you have to book a slot to view plans and there is a fee £60 for half a day. Its not cheap to maintain an archive like that.

See https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/the-coal-authority/about-our-services#historic-mining-records-and-records-management

Mike

IP: 77.100.235.46
Moorebooks

Avatar of Moorebooks

Joined: 28/11/2007
Location: Newport, Shropshire

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Worsley Colliery & Navigable Levels - Duke of Bridgewater's Underground Canals
Posted: 18/12/2018 11:47:15
Reply |  Quote
pierkisser wrote:

New to the site but finding it very informative! I wondered if anyone would know the details of a book about the Worsley mines and underground canals that had pictures from the NCB survey in the 60s included in it? I wrote an unpublished paper on it in the 90s and unfortunately don't have all the references (doh!) but would like to find a copy of the book. I've read the list of books posted earlier but not sure if it's one of them...*bit vague*. Hoping someone can help!! Big Grin


There was a book The Canal Duke's Collieries Worsley 1760 - 1790 written by Glen Atkinson 32pp
"
There is also Brindley at Wet Earth Colliery: An Engineering Study" by Banks ands Scholfield that is quite comprehensive and I do have copies https://www.moorebooks.co.uk/-USED-Brindley-at-Wet-Earth-Colliery.html

Mike
IP: 77.100.235.46
Roger the Cat

Avatar of Roger the Cat

Joined: 12/11/2007
Location: Gloucestershire

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Worsley Colliery & Navigable Levels - Duke of Bridgewater's Underground Canals
Posted: 18/12/2018 13:40:52
Reply |  Quote
Actually Mike, it was a copy of "Brindley at Wet Earth Colliery" which I got from my local library c1970 which motivated me. Perhaps I should get one! IP: 80.42.149.36
Plodder

Joined: 08/07/2018
Location: Farnworth

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Worsley Colliery & Navigable Levels - Duke of Bridgewater's Underground Canals
Posted: 18/12/2018 20:35:44
Reply |  Quote
Thanks for the link, Mike, much appreciated. Blimey, those charges are steep! Having said that, this may be the only means of accessing the information I need and I think I might have to pay them a visit sooner or later. Just have to put in a bit of extra overtime!

With regard to abandonment plans, I've heard about them but never actually seen one yet. What kinds of information do they normally contain? Does it vary from colliery to colliery?
IP: 146.199.83.197
AR

Avatar of AR

Joined: 07/11/2007
Location: Knot far from Knotlow in the middle of the Peak District

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Worsley Colliery & Navigable Levels - Duke of Bridgewater's Underground Canals
Posted: 18/12/2018 20:50:05
Reply |  Quote
Sixty quid for a half day is indeed something to sound the Yorkshire warcry over - the Chatsworth House archives charge you £25 for a full day's study, plus the chance to see some of the backrooms of "the big house"!

Abandonment plans should show the full extent of a mine's working at closure, they have been a statutory requirement since the latter part of the 19th century. However, they don't always give full coverage of early workings if these were no longer accessible by the time of drawing up the plan, which may be the case with this area.

--

Oh God of Sarcasm, thanks for everything...
IP: 80.247.27.156
staffordshirechina

Avatar of staffordshirechina

Joined: 15/11/2009
Location: North Staffordshire

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Worsley Colliery & Navigable Levels - Duke of Bridgewater's Underground Canals
Posted: 19/12/2018 08:40:29
Reply |  Quote
AR wrote:


Abandonment plans should show the full extent of a mine's working at closure, they have been a statutory requirement since the latter part of the 19th century. However, they don't always give full coverage of early workings if these were no longer accessible by the time of drawing up the plan, which may be the case with this area.


For exploration purposes, abandonment plans are not the most useful, especially for stratified deposits. They are a specific plan for the purpose of showing extent worked so that the working mine next door doesn't get too close.
They show some main roadways but not all and block out the extracted area in pink colour wash. They will be signed by the surveyor who prepared them and are a legal record.
You can see the general idea in the extract below.



(click image to open full size image in new window)
IP: 92.14.150.106
Plodder

Joined: 08/07/2018
Location: Farnworth

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Worsley Colliery & Navigable Levels - Duke of Bridgewater's Underground Canals
Posted: 19/12/2018 09:53:21
Reply |  Quote
Thanks AR and staffordshirechina. I was wondering what the original purpose of abandonment plans was. I wasn't sure whether it had something to do with showing the "last state of play" just in case the mine ever re-opened for extraction, if there was major surface redevelopment of the land above or perhaps even for emergency purposes if there was ever a future accident. IP: 146.199.83.197
toadstone

Avatar of toadstone

Joined: 10/09/2007
Location: Father's Dwelling, Big Low

View Profile
View Posts
View Personal Album
View Personal Files
View all Photos
Send Private Message
Worsley Colliery & Navigable Levels - Duke of Bridgewater's Underground Canals
Posted: 03/03/2019 07:57:04
Reply |  Quote
While researching something else I came across this. Might be of interest to some but certainly worth recording in this thread.

https://archaeologyuos.wordpress.com/2018/08/30/worsley-delph-puzzles-new-insights-into-the-bridgewater-canal/

Good to see HLF being gained for such a project.

Peter.
IP: 86.156.84.122
Jump to page << < 1 2 3 4 5 > >>
Safety LED Miners Caplamps Moore Books: Specialist Books I.A. Recordings: Mining and Industrial History DVDs Starless River - Caving Store Explore a Disused Welsh Slate Mine
Disclaimer: Mine exploring can be quite dangerous, but then again it can be alright, it all depends on the weather. Please read the proper disclaimer.
© 2005 to 2015 AditNow.co.uk
Top of Page