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Home > Mines, Quarries & Sites > Huglith Baryte Mine

Huglith (Hugleth) Baryte Mine (United Kingdom)

All of the mine area has now been planted with trees which makes location difficult. Most of the mine was worked on three distinct veins, Main Vein, Riddleswood Vein and the Mud Vein. but there are also some trial adits in other parts of the site. Most of the currently accessible workings are on the Main Vein but there is a reasonable amount of accessible workings on the Riddleswood Vein. There are not believed to be any accessible workings on the Mud Vein.

A Forestry Commission track from the road leads to the remains of numerous buildings around Main Shaft. These include the foundations of the winding engine, compressor and boiler, brick transformer house, smithy, metal chimney (now on the ground) and a set of concrete pillars which were the terminal of the aerial ropeway that connected the mine to the mill at Minsterley. Further concrete pier bases for this can be seen at places along the route. There is an open flooded shaft to the south-west of the buildings with an open adit into it.

Main Shaft descends for a distance in an open stope to the north of the buildings but there was a girder headgear across this for winding. It is now blocked 80ft down by a mass of slipped concrete and this, plus overhanging debris, makes the area very dangerous. It was originally 250ft deep, inclined on the vein and wide enough for two cages.

The Main Vein Adit Level was located just to the west of this but it has now collapsed. The line of the vein can be easily followed up the hill and there are many points where the vein has been worked to surface. Approximately two-thirds of the way up the hill, there is a large cutting in which there is the top of a worked stope that can be descended 140ft to the main tramming level. Immediately adjacent to the top of the stope there is a short adit leading to a shaft to surface. Further up the hill, some shallow surface workings can be walked into with no apparent connection to the lower workings. However, at the top of the hill, the open vein can be descended via a number of routes to the upper levels of the underground workings.

The Main Vein workings can also be accessed from the side of the hill via Badger Level. At the vein, the level divides left and right. To the right, a 20ft drop leads to an extensive stope running for a distance of 50 yards. In places, this stope breaks out to surface, connecting to above. In the stope there are the remains of various intermediate levels suspended on stemples and a spectacular string of azurite running down the wall from Badger Level.

Heading to the left at the junction on Badger Level, the passage leads to a winze after 10ft and then continues through a couple of constrictions for 250ft, where a collapse prevents further progress. Beyond the first constriction, there is a ramp up into the upper workings where there are routes to surface and back down to above the initial junction in Badger Level. The winze is 110ft deep to the main tramming level and still contains the compressor pipe.

As noted above, Adit Level can be reached via the 140ft stope part way up the hill or by descending the 110ft winze from Badger Level. At the bottom of this winze, Adit Level is blocked in the 'in-by' direction by an extensive collapse. In the opposite direction (towards the level entrance), it leads past a pool of azurite mine pearls to an area of loose ground underneath a stope. Several felt hats and the base of a carbide lamp made by Messrs P & H Ltd of Birmingham have been found in this level. A trial cross-cut to the north leads to a blind heading containing some lengths of slow fuse. Two winzes lead down from Adit Level, the second of which has been descended 103ft to water, traces of the 75ft Level being noticed on the way down. Before Main Shaft is reached, an unstable floor has to be negotiated but the level ends in a blockage of large rocks through which a strong draught disappears. The remains of a side tipping truck is present.

Above the area of unstable floor is the 140ft stope to surface. Below this point, the vast stope below the Adit Level can be accessed and descent to the water level allows inspection of intermediate workings. There is an open connection to the area below the two winzes but the open void and water prevent significant progress further in. A rubble slope, just beyond the unstable floor, leads down to the 75ft Level from which it is possible to descend into the water. The flooded chamber here may be on the line of Main Shaft.

Plans are available that show that the Main Vein originally continued significantly further into the hill. Where Adit Level is blocked, there was a significant deviation from the worked line which is presumed to have been an unstable area. At surface there are various large depressions, mainly difficult to access due to excessive vegetation. The limit of the workings on Main Vein probably correspond to a 60ft deep shaft at the eastern edge of the forestry. Early investigations by the club report that the shaft was blocked with herbicide tins and might be deeper. Some stoping has been carried out at the shaft bottom and short levels containing rails go both ways at the bottom but both end at blind headings after a short distance. A 15ft winze leads to a lower level, heading back towards the shaft where it is blocked. These workings are rather puzzling and appear to have been constructed from below.

By following the tramway north from the entrance of Badger Level, another adit is reached. This adit, which contains waist deep water, is blind but it is believed that it was originally intended to go through the hill to link Badger Level and Mud Vein workings. The ridge of this hill is effectively the line of the Riddleswood workings.

In a similar manner to the Main Vein workings, the line of the Riddleswood Vein can be clearly followed on the surface but the undergrowth is generally thicker and the lower end of the workings are virtually impossible to reach.

Near the road is a flooded shaft with the top of a compressor pipe showing. This was a trial sunk in the 1940s. Near the main Forestry Commission track, there is a cutting with flooded adits at each end. Progressing up the hill, a stope head below a spoil tip can be descended 80ft into complex workings, some of which might be on the Lower Riddleswood Day Level, the entrance of which is collapsed. Further up the hill is a collapsed adit which connected with an inclined shaft. Part of this adit has been driven through the brow of the hill on a thin vein. The shaft has been descended 110ft to the Upper Day Level. Into the hill, it ends after a short distance at a blind heading, with a side passage to the left following the cauter vein seen on the hill top. In the other direction, it leads to a collapse near surface, with some small stopes.

The Mud Vein workings have not been investigated but are expected to be under water. Some opencasting has been done on this vein and at least two shafts have been filled by the farmer over the years.

Photos of Huglith Baryte Mine

Huglith Barytes Mine Surface Trip - Namho 2011
Huglith Barytes Mine Surface Trip - Namho 2011 (29 photos)
Last updated August 4th 2011 by ICLOK
Photographs Of Huglith
Photographs Of Huglith (9 photos)
Last updated August 2nd 2011 by royfellows
Historic Photographs Of Huglith
Historic Photographs Of Huglith (0 photos)
Last updated October 4th 2007 by Barney

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Major Mining Region

Huglith Baryte Mine belongs to the Shropshire region.

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