Trip Date: October 16th 2018
Following directly after the SWCC Yorkshire trip meet, Claire and I stayed up North for a few more days. On a wet and miserable Tuesday we headed over to Nenthead mines to meet up with Allan who had kindly offered to lead a trip into the system.
I had heard from others that Nenthead was impressive and was keen to visit it. On our way out of the mine system, having been underground for nearly 6 hours I casually asked Allan what percentage of the mine did he think we had visited…
… Oh probably less than 1%
We entered via an up and over gate into a level called Smallcleugh, which as it was a Horse Level was relatively large, with welly deep water in the first section, there was a reasonable draft and the temperature was cool but not cold. Allan showed us various chambers, these are horizontal mineral veins which are known in this part of the world as “Flats” some with historical artefacts, most contained a fair amount of Galena as well as other minerals in the walls.
|The Entrance of SmallCleugh.|
|Allan in one of the many initial chambers we passed through.|
|Claire looking a tad worried when realising what is above the archway…|
The pitch down from here to the Hangingshaw level, was via a fixed ladder which had been installed in a combined ore shoot and manway.
Hangingshaw is another Horse Level, and is the the lowest level which is normally visited. This is a colder and wetter level, in several sections the water was waist deep.
|Claire abseiling down Proud's Sump.|
|Reflection of Claire in pool.|
|Selenite crystals growing from a low roof in a chamber.|
|Amazing colours and patterns on low level formations.|
|Stone arched tunnel, black stain on right hand side indicates past water level!|
|Allan passing collapsed ore shoot. Don't touch!|
|Whiskey bottle junction. The clue is in the name!|
|Passage in Scaleburn|
|Scaleburn Horse Gin|
|Crystal formations in Rampgill level|
Snottite video, click on it to watch.
We eventually exited the mine 6 hours later, 99% short of seeing the rest of it and thankfully very near the bunkhouse where a tea was on the brew.
Thanks Allan, an amazing experience, it’s not all grim up North!