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Mine Exploration Forum

Author CHALK PITS
NICKNACK

Joined: 05/02/2009

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CHALK PITS
Posted: 05/02/2009 13:47:59
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I Have lived in the Farnboroughkent are all my life and know large areas of the countryside all my life. I have always been fasinated by the large pits ussually with trees now growing in them. There are numerous examples. One at the bottom of Farnborough Hill next to the Petrol Station, one at the Farnborough End of Tubbenden Lane, the area is known as brick fields and tile farm and I beleive such things were manufactured where this very deep hole exists. maybe this is a clue. There is also one strangly in the middle of a field not far from St Giles Church and Shire Lane, seemingly some distance from the village or any roads. What are these. IP: 87.85.76.90
NICKNACK

Joined: 05/02/2009

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CHALK PITS
Posted: 05/02/2009 13:58:15
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the one near shire lane can be seen on google earth 51 21' 20.50' N 0 03'48.69' IP: 87.85.76.90
viewer

Joined: 04/09/2007
Location: New rules mean it's a secret

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CHALK PITS
Posted: 05/02/2009 14:15:45
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Pete Burgess is probably your man

he'll no doubt be along at some point

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IP: 213.146.148.199
Wormster

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

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CHALK PITS
Posted: 05/02/2009 14:29:20
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Hey NIKNAK, welcome fiend.

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Better to regret something you have done - than to regret something you have not done.
IP: 86.134.29.118
Peter Burgess

Joined: 01/07/2008
Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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CHALK PITS
Posted: 05/02/2009 14:48:32
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I'm no expert on chalk pits, but chalk has a variety of uses, the main ones being spreading on fields, burning to lime, and as a raw ingredient additive to clay for making some kinds of brick. More recently, chalk pits were dug (and are still worked) for making cement. These latter tend to be huge affairs.

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Hey, who turned out the lights!
IP: 81.144.191.248
NICKNACK

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CHALK PITS
Posted: 05/02/2009 15:11:26
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Thanks, that would explain the one in Tubbenden lane, it was definatly marked on 17th century maps as the Brick Fields, you should have a look at it some time - as holes go its pretty impressive. Its fenced off now and there is some sort of metal ladder and gangway in it. Its fenced off with a very sturdy metal fence and i have never seen in to it. I doubt there is much to see but all the same id like to. Iam always fascinated by the features in the landscape in my area. Some i have learnt about such as the trenches in the woods dug by canadian soilders in wwii and the bomb craters near biggin hill. I live in Well Hill now and i note there is a chalk mine marked on your web site but this must be long filled in as i have never seen any trace. IP: 87.85.76.90
Peter Burgess

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CHALK PITS
Posted: 05/02/2009 15:26:56
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I expect there are a few bomb craters around Biggin Hill! However, it is also a classic area for chalk wells / deneholes which are single shaft chalk mines, and the evidence for them is usually a crater some 5 or so metres across, but sometimes more, and up to 3 metres deep. So some of the craters you find MIGHT not be bomb craters at all.

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IP: 81.144.191.248
NICKNACK

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CHALK PITS
Posted: 05/02/2009 15:41:59
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Interesting - however they do have a distinctive pattern, bomb craters are ussually found in sets running in lines roughly following the orientation of the runway. All of the ones that exist are in woodland. Those in fields were usually quickly filled, they can still be seen however as large chalk stains on the soil in some cases. They are hard to find as they are fairly wide and shallow and usssually filled with all the debri of a woodland. I assume these bombs were designed specifiacally to reneder the runway unusable hense the wide but shallow nature of the crater. IP: 87.85.76.90
Peter Burgess

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CHALK PITS
Posted: 05/02/2009 15:51:42
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Most denehole craters are found in woodland! Wink

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IP: 81.144.191.248
Peter Burgess

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CHALK PITS
Posted: 05/02/2009 15:57:29
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I really am not doubting your interpretation, as these features are near one of Britain's most heavily bombed airfields. But I was brought up close to some woodland where we used to go to play in the old "bomb craters". These turned out to be places where the underlying fullers earth mines had collapsed! So I try to keep an open mind. The proximity of your features to the airfield is highly relevant, I suspect.

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Cave man pete

Joined: 28/11/2008
Location: South east England

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CHALK PITS
Posted: 05/03/2009 03:07:55
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Chalk mining declined with the invention of the steam shovell.
This huge Dinosaur like contraption on caterpiller tracks enabled mining concerns to reach the Chalk layers from above by removing the overburden of Thanet sand and top soil exposing the chalk from above. So Open cast mining was invented

Huge amounts of Chalk could then be removed with little effort and a minimal amount of Human Labour. Hence chalk mines could not compete and subsquently closed given time.Chislehurst Chalkmine and Camden and Plumsted and Dartford and Crayford to name but a few all met with the same fate.
Chalk lies in two layers you nhave dry Chalk nearer to the surface and wet chalk is the underlaying Layer.

When the Steam shovell reached the underlaying wet Chalk the area was flatened and thats where you get these huge chalk pits found all over the South east these days. Wet Chalk has no mining interest so the site would be abandoned and another site would have been started generally close by. Having worked down Chislehurst Caves has a tour Guide for over 20 odd years I researched Chalk mining from the early Danehole right through the mining years to the days of the Chalk pits which quite rightly some are still being worked today.
Kind regards Caveman Pete
IP: 194.80.194.130
Cave man pete

Joined: 28/11/2008
Location: South east England

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CHALK PITS
Posted: 05/03/2009 03:18:41
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PLEASE NOTE.
The reason these chalk pits are never developed for building or housing concerns is that wet chalk will not support housing or building the building would simply sink into it after time causing house subsidence.

Worse stil in a a hell of a lot of areas Old chalk mine workingTunnels can be found just meteres under the ground on some sites where the steam shovell removed the dry chalk from above the already excisting tunnels underneath. leaving just 30ft of dry Chalk between tunnel below and surface.

A classic example of this is in Dartford.And Crayford and Plumstead where road subsidences are still to this day quite common. And a very good example is the Blackheath Chalk mine under Blackheath Hill which for the second time in two years has callapsed causing traffic choas from the A2 to London via Blackheath Hill.

Im a mine of information aint I Big Grin Laugh Regards Pete
IP: 194.80.194.130 Edited: 05/03/2009 03:25:36 by Cave man pete
Cave man pete

Joined: 28/11/2008
Location: South east England

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CHALK PITS
Posted: 05/03/2009 04:00:39
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I have sent a photograph of a Steam shovell to
info@aditnow.co.uk has Iam unaware how to do it.

I tried to cut and paste but to no avail.

Hopefully they will put it on this page for all to see.

They might be mad with me for doing it through there problem site Cursing but It was a problem I couldnt do it this end?
IP: 194.80.194.130 Edited: 05/03/2009 04:03:40 by Cave man pete
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