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Mine Exploration Forum

Author Southern England Mines
John_Smith

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Joined: 09/07/2017
Location: North Wales

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Southern England Mines
Posted: 12/06/2019 21:44:46
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So I'm moving to around Southampton in a few months for a year.

Any good holes in the ground?

I have eyes on Mendip for the really sporty stuff but I was just thinking about any good mines that are worth a visit.

Cheers!
IP: 109.155.176.179
Dr J

Joined: 26/09/2006
Location: Weston-super-Mare

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Southern England Mines
Posted: 13/06/2019 09:33:28
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Sorry to be breaking it to you, but you're moving to one of the areas furthest from any significant mining, least of all stuff that you can actually get underground Crying

Nearest stuff will be the stone quarrs in Purbeck - Swanage and along the coast..never been myself, but seem interesting enough, though nothing particularly sizeable/extensive. Few very small stone workings around Tisbury/Fonthill, whilst the larger stuff at Chilmark is now off-limits, and the modern quarry there back working too.. Otherwise, you're looking at the Wilts freestone quarries - though these days, the bulk of these sites are inaccessible too Sad Or, going the other-way, the hearthstone/firestone workings around Godstone, Merstham, Surrey...

Nothing like the bonanza of underground you've been spoilt with over there in Wales! Lucky so-and-so! Tongue

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Over-ground, underground, wombling free...
IP: 85.115.52.201
sinker

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Joined: 13/12/2010
Location: North Wales.

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Southern England Mines
Posted: 13/06/2019 10:00:12
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Dr J wrote:



Sorry to be breaking it to you, but you're moving to one of the areas furthest from any significant mining....



You'll have to start your own. You've had plenty of digging practice over the last couple of years. Just start digging a hole and keep going.

Either that or take up scuba diving or sailing? Wink



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Yma O Hyd.... ta-ta ty hâ... IP: 88.97.24.95
John_Smith

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Southern England Mines
Posted: 13/06/2019 12:59:25
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Dr J wrote:

Nothing like the bonanza of underground you've been spoilt with over there in Wales! Lucky so-and-so! Tongue


You are very right! What a place to be Thumb Up
IP: 109.155.176.179
dtyson

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Joined: 17/11/2008
Location: wirral

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Southern England Mines
Posted: 13/06/2019 13:11:25
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sinker wrote:

Dr J wrote:



Sorry to be breaking it to you, but you're moving to one of the areas furthest from any significant mining....



You'll have to start your own. You've had plenty of digging practice over the last couple of years. Just start digging a hole and keep going.

Either that or take up scuba diving or sailing? Wink



If you are prepared to move to the 'dark side' then there is plenty of activity in portland Thumb Up

https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=23479.0

Dave
IP: 92.27.142.161
BertyBasset

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Joined: 13/12/2007
Location: Caernarfon, North Wales

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Southern England Mines
Posted: 14/06/2019 08:23:59
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Looks like the may be a 'collector's item' here.

http://www.southampton.ac.uk/~imw/Kimmeridge-Oil-Shale.htm
IP: 185.19.209.50
Ed W

Joined: 23/01/2017

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Southern England Mines
Posted: 14/06/2019 10:59:26
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John,

It may not be as bleak as some are making out. I live just south of Salisbury (about 25 mins north of Southampton) and manage to get underground fairly frequently.

I travel up to Mendip regularly being a member of the Mendip Caving Group, and we have an ongoing project exploring 18th Century lead mines on Sandford Hill - you would be more than welcome to join in (it takes me between 1 amd 1.5 hours to get to the MCG cottage depending on traffic).

On Purbeck there are some easily accessible coastal stone mines at places such as Seacombe and Winspit, which can be combined with superb walking and the excellent Square and Compass pub at Worth Matravers. There are inland Quarrs as well, I have not been in any but I understand some are quite extensive.

As for Portland the caves there are a bit of an acquired taste (I was brought up in Weymouth so know the area well), but there are other underground features including stone mines and military structures if that sort of thing floats your boat.


There are also a couple of Karst areas in the Sallisbury area (one in Limestone the other in Chalk). Though no significant cave is known there is the potential. There are also the stone mines around Chilmark that have been mentioned, underground access is not possible but might be worth a surface wander.

I did have an unsuccessful look for the Oil Shale adits at Kimeridge many years ago. The only one I could find comprised some railway lines protruding from the cliff about 30ft up - given that the cliff is clay there did not appear to be any way of getting up to it. Finally there were Ball Clay mines at Norden near Corfe Castle, and there is now a museum there. I have yet to visit but it is free.
IP: 86.174.32.144 Edited: 14/06/2019 11:03:17 by Ed W
BertyBasset

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Joined: 13/12/2007
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Southern England Mines
Posted: 14/06/2019 12:13:47
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Easton Down Flint Mines near Porton Down as well. According to Mendip Cave Registry:
Flint mine complex of over c200 shafts, excavated by J F S Stone in the 1930s. The shaft was 'bell-shaped' and antlers in the shaft produced a Carbon 14 date of c3300 BC indicating a Late Neolithic mining industry. Associated with Beaker settlement


Dean Hill Royal Naval Armaments Depot
Opened in 1941 for the storage, inspection and maintenance of naval armaments in a series of 24 underground magazines excavated in the chalk hillside.
although you might get your collar felt on that one.
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Ed W

Joined: 23/01/2017

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Southern England Mines
Posted: 14/06/2019 17:11:30
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Interesting stuff about the Easton Down chert mines, Porton lies just about within walking distance of home so I might go and take a look - as long as the wind is not blowing from the large military place nearby!

As for Dean Hill, that is even closer to home. MoD sold the site some years ago and the underground bunkers are now used for secure storage. There really is no chance of getting inside, though the owners do sometimes provide tours of the surface part of the site, they do not allow visits to the underground due to the secure nature of their business.
IP: 86.174.32.144
John_Smith

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Location: North Wales

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Southern England Mines
Posted: 14/06/2019 22:39:08
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Thanks all for the suggestions! I’ll certainly have a look!

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