A hidden world, now all but forgotten, lies beneath the fells
It is hard to imagine that many of the hillsides around Cumbria and the Lake District National Park, used to be once the home to miners in large numbers, and that many still contain the old abandoned entrances to once highly productive mines.
Sadly many of thses mines are now lost never to be entered again, but some do still provide the opportunity for a safe exploration under expert guidance.
Under the guidlines of the British Caving association, any mining trip in the UK must be carried out only, in venues which have been inspected by the BCA’s appointed Mining Engineer, as such we have a number of venues in Cumbria which we can take guided trips into.
Here we have the old Coniston Copper mines, Horse Level. The hillside below the Old Man of Consiton is riddled with mines, many intersecting each other leading to vast workings, which saw the employment of many locals and incomers over the centuries.
The trip underground is only short, but enables the visitor, under our guidance and instruction to experience the harsh working conditions of the miners and learn about the skills used to win the Malachite, Copper Ore, from the surrounding rock, which in turn was turned into Copper.
We have a number of mines which we can access in this area of the Lakes, One horizontal which again like above enables the visitor to experience the working environment of the miner. Goldscope is a wonderful example of mining over the centuries with some very ancient mining techniques used during its exploitation. A short trip but well worth the experience, under expert guidance and instruction!
Notes for 2017 into 2018
Unfortunately due to the limited nature of the mines that are accessible in the Lake District, we have elected to focus on the mines of the Northern Pennines which allow for much greater levels of exploration, including trips of more than 4 hours in length.
We will still continue to use those mines listed above, when appropriate, but we want to be honest about what they offer and the opportunities for novices. We love them, but then we would, wouldn’t we!!