High up in the remote Northern Pennines lie villages frequently cut off in winter, yet a mineral wealth that funded Greenwich Hospital during the Napoleonic times, lies hidden beneath the moors.
To be able to walk the track taken by the miners of old, to explore the hidden gems beneith our feet and experience the skill and workmanship demonstrated by these men, is indeed a privilidge.
The area surrounding the village of Nent Head has a long history of mining, as far back as the 12th Century. Accompany us on a journey back in time through the passages and caverns mined out of the limestone that blankets these hills.
Smallclough is one of the most extensive mines we can visit in this area with a wealth of things to look at, from the marvellous architecture which the miners and skilled stonemassons built, through the vast working areas, known localy as Flatts where Galena, Lead Ore was mined. With a mineral wealth waiting to be seen, including fragile Gypsum crystals and a seam of coal, Anthracite, this mine holds the potential for some of our biggest trips underground.
Tyne Bottom Mine
A wonderful example of mining, although small in length, Tyne Bottom demonstrates quickly the skill of its miners, with wonderful drystone walling surrounding much of the passage way, and fantastic stallagtites descending from the ceilling, as water drips through the natural bedrock of limestone, allowing for the minerals to recrystalise, as calcite.
Nestling near the car park where we start our journey for Smallcleugh, Rampgill is a simple mine in the context of it’s neighbours. While rarely used on it’s own, it does allow us a very wet exit from Smallcleugh. Including 2 vertical abseils between levels and flats.