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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Coniston
Alderley Cowboy

Joined: 02/10/2020
Location: Stockport

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Coniston
Posted: 03/10/2020 09:15:19
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Hi. I'm new on here but I have visited the site often. I have been caving for over 50 years (!) and am on UKCaving.
My reason for joining is to get some info on the Coniston, Cumbria area. My wife and I are having a short holiday there. I was originally intending to do some climbing but the weather is not looking good so I though how about some slate mine exploration. I have found stuff on Moss Head but are there any other easily accessed mines around there and if so what are the grid refs.
Thanks in anticipation.
C.
IP: 86.10.188.214
Wormster

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Joined: 15/08/2006
Location: Top of the Mendip Hills

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Coniston
Posted: 03/10/2020 11:26:23
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Leathers water area Hospital, Taylor's and Flemming's levels are all walk ins as I recall...

Plus the slate quarries

I think there's a book....

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royfellows

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Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

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Coniston
Posted: 03/10/2020 12:21:23
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Just a heads up. All parking up at Copper Mines valley is closed off as is the track bar residents and deliveries.


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alex17595

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Coniston
Posted: 03/10/2020 13:28:59
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There's also Hodge close and assorted quarries nearby if the weather is really bad, it's mostly open pits apart from a few large chambers.

The advantage being that you can park right next to it if it's raining.
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royfellows

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Coniston
Posted: 03/10/2020 14:28:50
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Tilberthwaite Deep level is accessible if you can park up the gill, spaces fill very quickly. I usually park on the little hump near the salt bin opposite the track up to the mine. For some reason most give this spot a miss.

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Paul Marvin

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Joined: 29/10/2012
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Coniston
Posted: 03/10/2020 15:19:20
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alex17595 wrote:

There's also Hodge close and assorted quarries nearby if the weather is really bad, it's mostly open pits apart from a few large chambers.

The advantage being that you can park right next to it if it's raining.


I have friends up there and they say that locals are still scratching cars at hodge even though there is no lockdown there at the moment, so be careful

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Paul Marvin

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Coniston
Posted: 03/10/2020 15:22:04
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royfellows wrote:

Tilberthwaite Deep level is accessible if you can park up the gill, spaces fill very quickly. I usually park on the little hump near the salt bin opposite the track up to the mine. For some reason most give this spot a miss.


As Roy says this is a must to see how the guys dug it out a few years ago, and the parking is alway free where he suggests as you go up the final slope BEFORE all the other parking there is a little spot just right for two vehicles .

Watch this video of ours to see what the place is like buddy

https://youtu.be/sxFjVu6O13c

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"I Dont Know Where I am Going, But When I Get There I will Know Where I am"
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Alderley Cowboy

Joined: 02/10/2020
Location: Stockport

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Coniston
Posted: 03/10/2020 16:07:38
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Thanks for the replies so far.
Nice video. That is a truly awesome dig!
Bit worrying about the car scratching. We booked a cottage for a week some time ago and don't want to cancel as we won't get our money back. We don't see it as a problem. We have been isolating for months as we are technically in a vulnerable group and will not be mixing with anyone.
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royfellows

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Coniston
Posted: 03/10/2020 16:16:15
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While we are on, has anyone done the Tilberthwaite through trip?
I am not particularly excited by through trips, but wonder what there is to see on the way down. Any significant stopes etc?

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Hattlebags

Joined: 19/01/2014
Location: The Lake District

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Coniston
Posted: 03/10/2020 23:20:22
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The Tilberthwaite through trip has never been done because as Horse Crag Level was being cleared, Waterfall Level became blocked. IP: 109.147.22.248
Hattlebags

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Coniston
Posted: 03/10/2020 23:24:09
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There aren’t many “locals” at Hodge Close. The half dozen houses in the vicinity are mainly holiday homes. The area does attract a lot of visitors, many of whom wild camp. They can be quite a “boisterous” crowd too so a scratch on your car might be regarded as getting off lightly. IP: 109.147.22.248
Monty Stubble

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Joined: 03/04/2008
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Coniston
Posted: 04/10/2020 22:55:11
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royfellows wrote:

While we are on, has anyone done the Tilberthwaite through trip?
I am not particularly excited by through trips, but wonder what there is to see on the way down. Any significant stopes etc?


Speaking as someone who has been down from the top before the bottom was opened in the 1980's, it was one of the most unpleasant places I've been in. Been down a few times since.
Can't say I'm saddened it's not a through trip ... way too deadly to be a tourist route.

--

The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time. Henry David Thoreau
IP: 212.140.121.223 Edited: 04/10/2020 22:58:15 by Monty Stubble
Pete Monkhouse

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Joined: 04/11/2008
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Coniston
Posted: 05/10/2020 21:32:07
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Is it possible to climb the shaft / ladders at the end of Tilberthwaite level? How high is it and what's up there? IP: 84.69.87.141
Monty Stubble

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Coniston
Posted: 06/10/2020 10:55:22
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Pete Monkhouse wrote:

Is it possible to climb the shaft / ladders at the end of Tilberthwaite level? How high is it and what's up there?


Absolutely not, they are in a very perilous state.

It is a more or less continual shaft to the top which is below the 'Waterfall level' but at the end of the stope. One wall is solid rock but the other is a succession of very rotten wood making up an ore chute and ladderway, with some attendant rock piles held up with heaven knows what!

It really is only possible to descend it, and even that would be perilous and of course now made impossible by collapses in the waterfall level.

I haven't been in the waterfall level for a few years but the way was impassable then after some deep water. This is at the intersection with a stope and shaft (now blocked) from surface. The level passed below some dodgy supports under the stope and I suspect it is here the collapse has occurred.

Just before this is a small internal shaft which I climbed many years ago which does give you access to the stope above and it may be possible to dig down to the Waterfall level ... but I think it's unlikely given the amount of material on the floor of the stope, and in any case, given the state of the rest of the level and the subsequent shaft down to the deep level, why bother?

If you want a through trip there are much more interesting ones nearby.


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The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time. Henry David Thoreau
IP: 212.140.121.223
royfellows

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Coniston
Posted: 06/10/2020 11:10:48
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Thanks for this info.
So in other words, the deep adit is just a means of reaching an ore pass directly from the high stope hundreds of feet above. They probably expected to cut some new lodes with it, the only ones cut were poor as can be seen. In other words, and immense loss maker.
Probably looked good on paper.

Exploring it to the end, as is now possible, left me with questions.

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Monty Stubble

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Coniston
Posted: 06/10/2020 11:53:24
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royfellows wrote:

Thanks for this info.
So in other words, the deep adit is just a means of reaching an ore pass directly from the high stope hundreds of feet above. They probably expected to cut some new lodes with it, the only ones cut were poor as can be seen. In other words, and immense loss maker.
Probably looked good on paper.

Exploring it to the end, as is now possible, left me with questions.



Yes, although to be fair, the ore pass is part of a stope and widens from the bottom (although not to a large extent) so obviously had some worthwhile ore in it.

Remember too that just above the waterfall level, on the surface, are the upper dressing floors. There was a shaft down to the waterfall level from there. I've always assumed most of the ore went up, not down and that the shaft down was something of a forlorn hope.

In fact while in the corner of the collapsed stope in the waterfall level some years ago we dug at some loose material that kept running. Got bored and gave up.

Later in the day, on the surface we noticed that there was a definite shift in the surface where the shaft was.

For safety's sake we didn't dig at it anymore. It's a well visited tourist site so would only be filled in again, probably with something more permanent.

Fascinating area.

--

The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time. Henry David Thoreau
IP: 212.140.121.223
Monty Stubble

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Coniston
Posted: 06/10/2020 12:19:08
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Just checking, I don't think the surface shaft would have been much more that 15m deep.

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The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time. Henry David Thoreau
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Hattlebags

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Coniston
Posted: 06/10/2020 22:08:19
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The Horse Crag level was dug 1,000 yards in the mid 1800’s to come in underneath the Tilberthwaite Mine. It acted as a drain and horse level to a newly constructed mill. The whole thing was a bit of a financial disaster as it cost £10,000 to dig the level through some poor ground, but very little ore was left by the time the connection was finally made. But it was all funded by John Barratt who at that time was making lots of money from the main Coniston Coppermines and even more from the Hodbarrow Iron Mines. So he certainly could afford to make some expensive mistakes. IP: 109.147.22.248
Alderley Cowboy

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Coniston
Posted: 12/10/2020 10:01:30
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Thanks again for all the info. We had a pleasant week in the Coniston area sticking our heads into Moss Head, Cathedral and Rydal Cave. I had a look for Tilberthwaite but only found a short extremely (!) dangerous level at the top of the quarry. When I saw the collapsing beams at the end I beat a hasty retreat. IP: 86.10.188.214
Hattlebags

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Coniston
Posted: 12/10/2020 10:44:06
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You did right not venturing in to that slate level. It is a death trap. The 1,000 yard level is just over the ridge to the SE from there. And some other sound levels in the Gill itself. IP: 109.147.22.248
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