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Mine Exploration Forum

Author Beldy Level Garrigill
Jim MacPherson

Joined: 02/09/2015

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Beldy Level Garrigill
Posted: 06/03/2019 14:18:22
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Dad took a few photos of a number of adits along Garrigill Burn on the lower part near Low Houses Bridge. As far as I can find out the nearest named mine appears to be Beldy Level and the only references I've come across are in Ray Fairbairn's BM 47 p.119 giving a GR of NY 74314205 (which is about where I think it should be) and a more vague reference on Wallace's 1861 map key

Can anybody confirm whether that is the correct name, the area seems to be called Thortergill and I think PDHMS got involved when the Johnston's were renovating and landscaping the property and grounds in the late 1980's. Harry Parker also took several photos at the time (in PDHMS collection I think). As ever JFM and HMP were economical with their annotations.

I'll add the mine to the data base in due course but it would be good to have additional supporting evidence, there is also a rather surreal view down the netty to the stream below which I will add in part because it took me ages to fathom what it was ofShocked .

Jim
IP: 109.152.180.106
legendrider

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Joined: 13/07/2014
Location: Darlington

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Beldy Level Garrigill
Posted: 06/03/2019 14:59:55
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Tangentially, I recall a national newspaper article (probably amongst the slew of aspirational coffee-table/lifestyle crap so beloved of a suburban Sunday) detailing the work done by the owner of Thortergill to completely eradicate any trace of the mines there.

One could argue that large areas of denuded and toxic tailings or twisted skeletal concrete and steelwork don't beautify a locality, but I think it was more a case of barring-down a few mossy, crumbling stone walls which had long-since blended into the landscape.

Judging by the brown touristy signs around Nent, Thortergill is a nice place to visit, I really must go one day.

MARK

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festina lente IP: 82.25.240.225 Edited: 06/03/2019 17:59:27 by legendrider
Jim MacPherson

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Beldy Level Garrigill
Posted: 06/03/2019 15:15:00
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Hi Mark,

From Harry's photos I think Ian Johnston's hand may have been forced by some damaging flooding which stripped some/all the dressing floor remains away, not certain on that though. I may put a couple up and hope PDMHS won't mind too much.

Apparently the blacksmithy and cafe, run by his sons I think, is quite interesting, they may have rather restricted public access along the burn so I don't know what remains of the adits, good excuse to get your bike out for a run?

Jim
IP: 109.152.180.106
legendrider

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Beldy Level Garrigill
Posted: 06/03/2019 17:58:29
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Nah, I'll just overfly it in the Warrior! (see my Boulby pics)

best... MARK

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festina lente IP: 82.25.240.225
John Lawson

Joined: 09/12/2010
Location: Castle Douglas Dumfries & Galloway

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Beldy Level Garrigill
Posted: 06/03/2019 22:00:36
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Hi Jim,
We carried out a lot of work in this low level! At the time the Johnstone’s were going to open a cafe and use the mine as a visitor attraction.
I think I have a plan of the mine, drawn by the late John McNeil and I would assume that your dad would have been given a copy?
Willlook through my plans to see what I can find?
Noted that KCD states that this low level was not a success, we went about a half a mile through very wet conditions only to end in a flat out crawl.
A rise was met with and some guys tried to climb it unsuccessfully.

IP: 86.177.31.123
Jim MacPherson

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Beldy Level Garrigill
Posted: 07/03/2019 07:24:42
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Thanks John,

That's excellent stuff, we didn't come across any plans for the Beldy area while house clearing so if you happen to have a copy going that would be very good.

There are a couple of photos that Harry and John took of John McNeil posing in surveyor mode striding over a water feature. The various photos seem to suggest at least two or three adits on the site, does that match with your memory? If it was so limited in scope as a mine where did all the tipped waste come given Ian Johnson, in the Independent article, and Harry's photos show the ravine from the house to the chapel (perhaps a 150 yards?) filled to a depth of some 15 - 20 feet, that's getting on for 4/5000 tons of material

The 1859 OS map also suggests a tram way and tunnel leading to a largish tip below the road near Low Houses (now tree-covered but with the same footprint on the aerial view) and a (un-named) lead mine at roughly RF's grid ref.


Jim



IP: 109.152.180.106 Edited: 07/03/2019 08:26:03 by Jim MacPherson
John Lawson

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Beldy Level Garrigill
Posted: 07/03/2019 19:08:07
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Hi Jim, sorry not had time yet to look for the McNeil plan,
I only went into the bottom adit, on two separate occasions.
As a result of the work we did in there it was decided to dig out Whitesyke level, and after a few hours digging, my son Robert was the first person to enter the re-opened mine.
IP: 86.177.31.123
John Lawson

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Location: Castle Douglas Dumfries & Galloway

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Beldy Level Garrigill
Posted: 07/03/2019 19:08:10
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Hi Jim, sorry not had time yet to look for the McNeil plan,
I only went into the bottom adit, on two separate occasions.
As a result of the work we did in there it was decided to dig out Whitesyke level, and after a few hours digging, my son Robert was the first person to enter the re-opened mine.
IP: 86.177.31.123
John Lawson

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Location: Castle Douglas Dumfries & Galloway

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Beldy Level Garrigill
Posted: 08/03/2019 16:34:43
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Hi Jim,
A little it more information on the level at Garrigill.
According to the large Greenwich Hospital estate, plan, part of which I have a copy of, my plan, 52c, the level is described as a New Level, and presumably driven on Thorter Gyll Syke Cross Vein. This vein is shown running along that burn.
Unfortunately the map has no date on it!
I have also checked my plan 154, which is acopy of KCD ‘s wartime mapping on the area Garrigill-Nenthead, it just shows a cross cut, not unfortunately named.
IP: 86.177.31.123
PeteJ

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Beldy Level Garrigill
Posted: 08/03/2019 17:28:18
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There is a plan in the CATMHS collection which shows all the levels in this area. There is also a modern survey of Thortergill Low Level in the same collection.

The washing floors, culvert and some downstream bridges were severely damaged by a flash flood sometime in the 1980s. Large scale repair works done to rebuild the stream banks.

There is nice old photo which shows the railway from the valley running behind Beldy Chapel, in a short tunnel and then across the public road to the tree covered dump.
IP: 81.187.68.148
John Lawson

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Beldy Level Garrigill
Posted: 08/03/2019 17:35:59
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Hi Peter,
I wondered what information you had in your Nenthead archive?
Thanks for posting it up, it would be nice if you are in a position to post up this picture?
IP: 86.177.31.123
PeteJ

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Beldy Level Garrigill
Posted: 08/03/2019 17:38:36
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John - we have copies of the CATMHS plans at Nenthead in the NMCS archive. We do not have a copy of the pic - I believe that there may be a copy in the Beamish archive, I guess an Arthur Roberts collect? IP: 81.187.68.148
Jim MacPherson

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Beldy Level Garrigill
Posted: 08/03/2019 19:00:26
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PeteJ wrote:

......
The washing floors, culvert and some downstream bridges were severely damaged by a flash flood sometime in the 1980s. Large scale repair works done to rebuild the stream banks.

There is nice old photo which shows the railway from the valley running behind Beldy Chapel, in a short tunnel and then across the public road to the tree covered dump.


Hi Pete,

A couple of Harry's photos and perhaps a couple of Dad's showing the extent of the damage prior to the Johnson's landscaping, I'll add them presently.



Jim

IP: 109.152.180.106 Edited: 08/03/2019 19:59:47 by Jim MacPherson
Jim MacPherson

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Beldy Level Garrigill
Posted: 09/03/2019 11:23:55
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John Lawson wrote:

Hi Jim,
A little it more information on the level at Garrigill.
According to the large Greenwich Hospital estate, plan, part of which I have a copy of, my plan, 52c, the level is described as a New Level, and presumably driven on Thorter Gyll Syke Cross Vein. This vein is shown running along that burn.
Unfortunately the map has no date on it!
I have also checked my plan 154, which is acopy of KCD ‘s wartime mapping on the area Garrigill-Nenthead, it just shows a cross cut, not unfortunately named.


Hi John,

Thanks for that.

Ray Fairbairn BM 47 p.125 suggested 3 names for the level(s), Beldy, Low Houses and Lady's Walk and describes a major level behind Beldy Chapel eventually reaching Browngill Vein but was unproductive, I think he's quoting information from Dunham, I can't check that as I gave Dad's copy to Killhope. Just to confuse matters a bit RF also links Beldy Level to Garrigill Old Groves Cross Vein (p.119). I had a very brief and cursory look at some of the 1850's/60's Mineral stats but couldn't find any mention of Beldy or New Level, I'll look again with these other names.

Jim
IP: 109.150.47.183
John Lawson

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Beldy Level Garrigill
Posted: 09/03/2019 21:07:19
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Hi Jim, I am surprised that you gave away your copy of KCD. If you look at Moore’s Books I think you might be able to obtain another at a Modest cost? IP: 86.177.31.123
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