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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Harriet Shaft (engine house) - Dolcoath
Dolcoathguy

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Joined: 21/05/2008
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Harriet Shaft (engine house) - Dolcoath
Posted: 07/09/2009 10:16:10
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Recently I posted a pic of the knocked down gate guarding a tunnel at the base of the engine house. (Check Dolcoath pics).
Someone (council?) has now boarded this up with plywood and boulders.
I assume it was a flue carrying smoke to the stack,but I don't really know for sure.
I have searched around trying to find the other end of this tunnel but suspect it has collapsed.
Anyone else had any luck finding the other entrance to this tunnel at this site?
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stuey

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Harriet Shaft (engine house) - Dolcoath
Posted: 07/09/2009 11:42:30
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If it is opposite the chimney, it's highly unlikely to be anything flue wise....I wonder if it was access for under the cylinder. I recall reading something about a horrible duty where someone would have to crawl in through a hole in the side of the engine house to perform some sort of maintenance task.

I was contemplating Dolcoath the other day and poking around looking for shafts. They are either obliterated or plugged. Dolcoath main lode would have always been interesting to have a look in. I read some literature from the 60's about some people who went up the adit in search of Dolcoath Main. The continuation of the deep adit into Dolcoath was not apparent. I gather that a lot of the pillars between shafts were ripped out prior to closure and I wonder if a lot of the shafts were choked/pinched shut.

I would have like to have known what the state of the holes were prior to the 90's capping frenzy.

(off to read Acton's account of it.....)
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Dolcoathguy

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Harriet Shaft (engine house) - Dolcoath
Posted: 07/09/2009 12:31:31
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Tunnel for discharging water pumped up by piston?
But I was thought this was normally done to the adit which would be further underground.
It is at the beam end of the engine house and not at the corner with stack.
Willl look up some more on Engine house design to see if I can find out more.
The tunnel when open was maybe 5ft to 6ft high and 4ft to 5ft wide at the exit and brick lined.
Caps - Probably cornish wall collared with an older cap pre 1990's? Which reminds me there is no obvious marked modern capped shaft near Harriot shaft engine house.It might be under all the gorse..time for another root around.


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carnkie

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Harriet Shaft (engine house) - Dolcoath
Posted: 07/09/2009 13:11:37
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Don't know if this is of any interest.[web link]

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Harriet Shaft (engine house) - Dolcoath
Posted: 07/09/2009 13:30:21
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you talking the west side of the engine house? if so it could be for the condenser the cooling pond was over that way somwhere

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derrickman

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Harriet Shaft (engine house) - Dolcoath
Posted: 07/09/2009 13:48:49
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when I was working for Foraky in the early 80s, there were still some men there who had worked in their Cornish works in the late 60s/early 70s.

Foraky did a deal of adit clearance work for South Crofty, I was told at the time that the routes into Dolcoath from adit were not evident.

I think if there was a route in it would have been known among CSM, considering some of the places we used to get into in the early to mid 70s
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Harriet Shaft (engine house) - Dolcoath
Posted: 07/09/2009 15:12:21
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Not sure if this should be posted elsewhere, but I had the pleasure of several trips up the Deep Adit in the late 70s. We cleared a fall at one point (on the right hand branch near a shaft) and dropped the water level sufficiently to allow some wading in chest deep water towards what we thought would be the Dolcoath workings. I remember that heading left at said junction took you into the Crofty workings, as we got to several places where there were pumps and cables presumably taking water to the mill. I imagine that was the bottom of the shaft with the srawny little headframe near the dip in the road at Tuckingmill. It is over 30 years ago so apologies if the memeories are hazy.The state of the adit after the fall was rather nasty, with a roof supported (in the loosest sense of the word) by 12" square timbers. The period of immersion had done little for their strength; we were able to push fingers into the timber, and decided that we'd taken enough risks. We went up about 100m and then found the air quality lacking, so called it a day. One of the pleasures of the Deep Adit was being able to float out on one's back. Removing the orange mud from the wetsuit was not so much fun. I'd love to see an accurate plan and would then be able to see if we were heading in the right direction. I can't remember if the shaft near the junction was the one with rickety ladders which came out near a rugby pitch (abseiled on another occasion) or not. Why didn't we take photographs then? The foolishness of youth. IP: 80.177.35.242
Dolcoathguy

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Harriet Shaft (engine house) - Dolcoath
Posted: 07/09/2009 22:50:34
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Carnkie,
Thanks for info., It seems that the tunnel has no apparent obvious function if it is related to the engine house.
Looking at old photos I am starting to wonder if it is a tunnel or actually part of the building that stood beside (west side) of the engine house and earth has been piled up against it.
However there is a definite brick arch.
It is heading toward stray park engine house, but I suspect it only goes 20ft or so. I would have thought the adit would lie east of the engine house running toward Tuckingmill valley.
But the stories of trips through Dolcoath adit are interesting, where does it drain out to now? Can it still be found? I assume it will be somewhere in the valley near South Croftys Decline entrance.

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Harriet Shaft (engine house) - Dolcoath
Posted: 07/09/2009 23:12:30
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I crawled through that tunnel a number of years ago, I have never been able to suss what it was for. One possible id did it carry the pipe to the dry, as the dry was heated by the condensed steam? Rather than dig a trench through the shaft spoil, did they dig the tunnel?

As for the discharge of the Dolcoath Adit, it is in the red river valley beside the old tin mill at Roscroggan. (Drillserve)

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Dolcoathguy

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Harriet Shaft (engine house) - Dolcoath
Posted: 08/09/2009 07:34:44
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Knocker
Did you find the end of the tunnel? And was it collapsed?

I guess that it is why it is called the deep adit as Roscroggan is about 1 mile away or more from the surface workings.
Pity it is not still explorable.

Will keep searching historical info and will post any findings.
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Harriet Shaft (engine house) - Dolcoath
Posted: 08/09/2009 07:41:04
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I wouldn't go near the deep adit, for 1 Crofty would go nuts and try to do you for it! more importantly the flow rate is lethal IP: 90.219.230.84
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Harriet Shaft (engine house) - Dolcoath
Posted: 08/09/2009 08:46:13
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this actually brings the whole discussion into an important legal area.

speaking ex cathedra from my belly button, but having considerable experience of the dubious legal status of these old workings, it's important to point out that under MASHAM Regs and previous M&Q legislation, any and all old mine workings have a legal owner, somewhere along the line.

Since Crofty bought the Dolcoath sett many years ago, that probably means that in the event of HMIM becoming involved in some way, WUM would be held to be the legal owners of DDA for purposes of safeguarding the access. Certainly that's the view I would take if I were part of the South Crofty management team.

This means in turn that in the event of a fatality or other legally notifiable incident in DDA, one or more of the WUM management team could find themselves in court, possibly facing a jail sentence, substantial fine or loss of livelihood.

an unofficial access would be entirely outwith their procedures ( I've been involved in the redevelopment and making safe of old workings and I know what is involved ) and they must, at the very least, be seen to be taking all feasible steps to prevent such.

the 'good old days' of the 1970s, when quite absurd risks wre taken with little regard, and the Courts were still happy to throw out cases of that nature on the grounds that the injured party or parties had no right to be there, are long gone.


What the position is at Mount Wellington and Wheal Jane, I have no idea.



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Dolcoathguy

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Harriet Shaft (engine house) - Dolcoath
Posted: 08/09/2009 10:23:02
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I'd expect WUM would just put a grate and padlock across it, if there is not already one.
But if people break their way past security measures is a company still liable? Hopefully not.
Someone busted the gate down protecting the tunnel by Harriet shaft. I did not enter as Hard hat was at home, but I guess many others did, so if it collapsed who is responsible?
Dolcoath Surface workings are not owned by WUM, so guess it is the Council?.
Re Deep Adit - If it collapsed I guess it may effect drainage to Crofty, so at some point a professional organisation might have to clear it again or just check it. Be good if they take their cameras at that time. Flow rates permitting!
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Harriet Shaft (engine house) - Dolcoath
Posted: 08/09/2009 10:52:58
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I wouldn't care to offer a legal opinion, but my feeling would be, that if;

(1) Dolcoath underground sett was originally bought by South Crofty

(2)WUM are the successor company to South Crofty ( which in a number of respects would seem to be their position )

(3) DDA forms part of an interconnected system taking some part of South Crofty's drainage, provides some historic part of South Crofty's water supply to the mill and is accessible from South Crofty's adit

(4) there is no other obvious candidate who might be regarded as the Owner, in a legal sense

then WUM would stand a good chance of being regarded as the legal Mine Owner in the event that an incident of some kind occured.

I'm afraid the days of 'volenti non fit injuri' are gone. We live in an age when burglars can sue you if they fall through your garage roof while attempting to force an entry.



Who owns Dolcoath surface workings isn't the issue. Bath and NE Somerset don't own the various freehold properties over the workings at Combe Down, but they are still the Mine Owner by default for the underground workings. If there is a railway tunnel, gas main or water main under your property, you don't own THAT; the relevant Utility or Company does.
IP: 149.254.56.17 Edited: 08/09/2009 10:55:19 by derrickman
stuey

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Harriet Shaft (engine house) - Dolcoath
Posted: 08/09/2009 11:16:03
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From a previous thread on Mine Explorer.

People poking around Crofty is exceedingly poor form and absolutely cannot happen due to the present "situation"

There is no way you can get up Dolcoath adit. It's a pipe with a torrent coming out of it. This has been altered since the original days of it's exploration....

All the shafts are very secure indeed. They are either within locked buildings or have the almightiest of huge grilles over them (Druid's Whim/Palmers) The access point discussed earlier is in a locked building in someone's secure yard. It used to be in a patch of wasteland.

IP: 87.112.30.243 Edited: 08/09/2009 11:21:54 by stuey
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Harriet Shaft (engine house) - Dolcoath
Posted: 08/09/2009 11:25:44
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well, quite so.

it's one thing to be poking around in a centuries-old working of no interest to anyone in a commercial sense.

it's a quite different matter to be trespassing in a working mine, and I would take the view that DDA would be deemed to be part of WUM for any legal purpose


plus, as has been pointed out, it's stupidly dangerous in any case. WUM wouldn't entertain anyone going in there, for good and sufficient reason.

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Harriet Shaft (engine house) - Dolcoath
Posted: 08/09/2009 12:28:48
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Just to make it clear to those who may not know the area.
There are two intertwined threads here. The small tunnel at harriet and the Dolcoath Deep adit.
The Dolcoath adit does not connect to the small Tunnel at Harriet shaft in any way.
The Small tunnel at Harriet does not connect to underground workings and is 1/3 mile from Crofty surface workings and nothing to do with WUM. It is in a restored mining area and therefore responsbility for surface features lies with the local council.



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Harriet Shaft (engine house) - Dolcoath
Posted: 08/09/2009 17:12:33
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Dolcoathgy, I would say you are completely correct on the ownsership, South Crofty sold the land and surface working to KDC for £1 some 20 years ago IP: 90.219.230.84
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Harriet Shaft (engine house) - Dolcoath
Posted: 14/09/2009 17:58:08
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In view of their responsibilities for safety it is extremely unlikely that the H&S/legal dept of S Crofty (and other mine and quarry companies generally) would not monitor forum debates of this website and other more fringe sites such as 28days to see what interested folks (and the nutter element) may be up to on (and under) their properties.
Access details and excursions into working mines generally may therefore be best reserved for PM conversations rather than public forum discussion maybe??


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Harriet Shaft (engine house) - Dolcoath
Posted: 15/09/2009 07:36:01
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The general point of this is to discourage people from trying to enter, there is no "safe" access into crofty, it would be illegal, it would upset the goodwill there is between many of us and the management.

If people are seriously interested, talk to them over there.
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