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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Underground Waterwheels
ICLOK

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Joined: 19/02/2008
Location: Ripley, Derbyshire up North.

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Underground Waterwheels
Posted: 01/01/2009 15:48:04
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For you underground guys... Just how many of these still exist in the UK and how many of them can be viewed still?
Big Grin

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davel

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Underground Waterwheels
Posted: 01/01/2009 16:13:47
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Well, one obvious candidate is the wheel in Ystrad Einion.



(click image to open full size image in new window)

Dave
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royfellows

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Underground Waterwheels
Posted: 01/01/2009 16:17:29
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I get about and am only aware of Ystrad Einion, Nent Force Level, and another reputed to be somewhere in Weardale. This makes 3 only.
The Welsh one is of course the easiest of access, 50 metres into a dry level.

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scooptram

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Underground Waterwheels
Posted: 02/01/2009 10:28:30
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theres one at morwelham and also one at crofty but you cant get to that one

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ICLOK

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Underground Waterwheels
Posted: 02/01/2009 12:39:03
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Underground wheel at Morwelham... wow not heard of that one... tell me more... Smile

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scooptram

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Underground Waterwheels
Posted: 02/01/2009 12:53:40
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you got to go on the underground trip to see it (its a nice little railway ride!)


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mind that rock OUCH
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carnkie

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Underground Waterwheels
Posted: 02/01/2009 13:13:50
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ICLOK wrote:

Underground wheel at Morwelham... wow not heard of that one... tell me more... Smile


This from worldheritagecornwall. can't vouch for it but appears reliable and supports what scooptram said and the DB entry.

There was also a copper mine at the Quay, the George and Charlotte Mine, which operated from the mid eighteenth century until it closed in 1869. When the copper deposits ran out, arsenic was mined instead. Today the George and Charlotte Mine is open to visitors on an electrically driven tram train ride deep into its interior. Inside the mine visitors are able to see visible copper ore seams and a fully working water wheel used to pump water from the lower levels.

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Manxman

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Underground Waterwheels
Posted: 02/01/2009 17:52:26
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Weardale - not counting the one in Park Level, Killhope mine I suppose ...? Sneaky

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IP: 87.112.30.226 Edited: 02/01/2009 17:53:21 by Manxman
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Underground Waterwheels
Posted: 03/01/2009 15:44:38
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Also, thinking of Crofty is the waterwheel there one of those shown on that old section plan of Bullen Garden Mine (later part of Dolcoath)? The section plan comes from William Pryce's Mineralogia Cornubiensis (1778). IP: 84.71.154.73
Heb

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Underground Waterwheels
Posted: 03/01/2009 15:45:24
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Allenheads - No longer accessible, sealed up some time ago. IP: 84.92.35.248 Edited: 03/01/2009 15:47:09 by Heb
scooptram

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Underground Waterwheels
Posted: 03/01/2009 16:33:19
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na its in the tincroft section 20 fm level but the drive has colasped big time (the drive was on the great cross course) Sad

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Manxman

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Underground Waterwheels
Posted: 03/01/2009 16:52:11
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Weardale - there is (was) another one, though.

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ICLOK

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Underground Waterwheels
Posted: 03/01/2009 20:53:07
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Got to admit guys this is fabulous, I never realised so many had survived... even if a few are now not accessible.
Just how common where they? Where was the heaviest use in the UK underground?
Whilst I understand the technology and construction for pumping / winding and even crushing underground what tended to be the primary use generally?
Smile

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Underground Waterwheels
Posted: 03/01/2009 21:11:27
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Wheal Friendship (mary tavy) has some big ones, so I gather, but the old literature says that the shaft needs to be maypoled to see them (capped).

I also gather that access is off the cards.
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Redwinch

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Underground Waterwheels
Posted: 03/01/2009 21:19:29
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Manxman wrote:

Weardale - there is (was) another one, though.

Was it in groverake?? Confused

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toadstone

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Underground Waterwheels
Posted: 03/01/2009 21:29:08
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ICLOK wrote:

Got to admit guys this is fabulous, I never realised so many had survived... even if a few are now not accessible.
Just how common where they? Where was the heaviest use in the UK underground?
Whilst I understand the technology and construction for pumping / winding and even crushing underground what tended to be the primary use generally?
Smile


I'm sure Mr C & Adam will put me right but they were quite common. The Derbyshire/Staffordshire metal mines had them at any rate. Mandale Mine in Lathkilldale, this particular one was reputed to be the biggest in mining history according to the PDMHS web site. I think Ecton had one too. Nearly all the ones I've seen or know about are either at outside ground level if housed underground or outside if you see what I mean. Thinking about it because of how they work you can't have them below the water table level? As I understand it they were mostly used as water extraction pumps.

I suppose the reason that not many remain is that they were mainly made of wood. While wood will stay preserved in water where you get continuous wetting and drying it rots very quickly. The iron bits then just corrode.

It would be interesting to see how many were actually used though.

Peter.
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ICLOK

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Underground Waterwheels
Posted: 03/01/2009 21:47:11
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Yeah I knew re the Derbyshire ones, its a shame there isn't more known on how common they were. Given the works of Agricola in DRM its obvious the technology was ancient and from chats with guys in Germany underground waterpower certainly was applied back then in Germany... I'm interested to know if it dates back that far here? Is there any archaeological evidence to this effect?

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toadstone

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Underground Waterwheels
Posted: 03/01/2009 22:11:26
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This is an interesting article
[web link]

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davel

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Underground Waterwheels
Posted: 03/01/2009 22:13:22
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Milnes' plan of Cromford Moor Mine (1811) shows two underground waterwheels.

There was an underground waterwheel at Brewery Shaft, Nenthead, and, if one is allowed to apply the term 'waterwheel' somewhat more widely, there were also underground pelton wheels at the bottom of Brewery Shaft which drove a compressor and a generator.

(Information from Water Power in Mining, proceedings of the 2002 NAMHO Conference at Aberystwyth (Special Issue of Mining History Volume 15 Nos. 4 & 5, PDMHS 2004.)

Dave
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ICLOK

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Underground Waterwheels
Posted: 03/01/2009 22:23:12
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Excellent link, Thanks. Big Grin

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