Author Topic: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine  (Read 25329 times)

Offline SamT

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2011, 11:12:27 pm »

Fascinating,

In the black and white photos, I'm sure Pete's photo has been taken from further away and slightly to the left. 

Am I right in thinking the depression in the foreground of the older photo is still visible in petes just at the base of the spoil heaps in the foreground.

I know it can be tricky - because of differing lenses etc,  but it would be nice to see one taken from the exact same spot.

Always tricky to decide if the sketch is taken from a position below the current bus stop, e.g. by the crushing circle area, or actually showing the gank mouth from the position of the bus stop now.  If so - would the artist not have included odin cave as a feature of interest.

Eeeee - if I could travel back in time.


Offline pwhole

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2011, 11:31:42 pm »
Here's another photo I found online from an old caving group - this was taken (I'm guessing) in the 1940's or just after, when there was a spar-washing plant to the right of the mine - there's a part of a water trough (part of a log-washer?) visible - the right-hand flank of the vein is identical to today, just half-buried in crap:



When this plant closed, the hillocks from that were levelled into the ground in front of the cartgate, burying what can be seen in the older photo. As far as I know, when the Mam Tor road was redeveloped, yet more stone was thrown onto the site, so I'm estimating 4-5m at least to get back to the original entrance. There's also another image (a painting) online of the old track and cartgate entrance, but I can't find it now. Most of this stuff is also in the PDMHS special bulletin from 1976, which is one of my prize pieces! I've photographed the Chatburn article, and will post asap.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2011, 11:58:04 pm »
Sam - it's Phil, not Pete ;)

Here's the Chatburn article - sorry for the low quality, but it'll eat up my site bandwidth otherwise - I don't have a Flickr account yet.







It looks to me like the collapse outside is a long-standing one - probably on the line of the cartgate, behind the interior blockage, which I estimate to be around the second boulder pile. As can be seen, Royse's shaft was sunk at the interesection of Widowers Vein with the main Odin Old Vein (the gorge and cartgate) - the map also hints that the level was possibly open at the gorge floor at the time they sank the shaft. Either way, there's a possible entrance at top level now, and a possible dig at the (clearly deliberately) blocked lower level:

http://www.mine-explorer.co.uk/view_picture.asp?id=29526

Offline danthecavingman

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2011, 01:27:05 am »
I offer the following at risk of being wrong and Phil having more knowledge than me....
Sadly there is little prospect of ever exploring the full extent of Odin. It was extensively reworked for fluorspar from the 1920's onwards, the flourspar miners deliberately allowing the stopes to collapse after they had finished extracting the gangue minerals (which had by then become useful). Most of the fluorspar was taken out via the Mam Engine Shaft (via the original 'Cartgate'), the shaft being partially driven through shale and now collapsed as well.
If there is a lead into Odin, it is via Mam Tor Swallet, the water from there appeared in Odin at the 'Swine Hole (?)' from what I recall of the research I did while back. This would lead into Odin somewhere near a part of the vein called 'Brass Castles'. However I suspect this is all conjecture given what has gone on here historically. Having dreams of getting into Odin Mine is a bit like expecting to get into a coal mine that has been seamed out and allowed to collapse. It's just not there anymore.

'Come fellows drink! Drink up your fill! For soon we must go up the hill, where Odin rich in shining ore, shall give us glasses, plenty more. So luck to Odin, Golden Mine, where metal bright like the sun doth shine....'
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Offline SamT

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2011, 09:01:38 am »

Offline SamT

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #30 on: August 26, 2011, 09:14:01 am »

As a complete aside,  the name Odin it seems, used to be Oden in the bar records.  And if one puts on your thickest 18th century Derbyshire accent could sound like
"Owd 'un" or
"Old 'un"  or
"Old one" leading to
"The Old One" dear chap. 

And since it was perhaps the oldest leadmine in castleton (roman times) it must be true.  I've just made up some history.  cool.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #31 on: August 26, 2011, 05:36:34 pm »
Dan

Is that for certain? I got the impression the later sparring (around 1908 according to my records) was external mainly, and didn't really touch the inner workings much. I've got the SUSS survey of Mam Engine Shaft by Chris Fox (is that Goydenman?), and it didn't sound too collapsed on there - maybe flooded. Or has there been further exploration since?

The Mam Tor Swallet link is definitely right, as John Gunn told me he'd dye-tested that one ages ago - I also wanted to look at Jose Hole in the cartgate on our aborted collapse trip, as there's clearly some water activity coming from above and to the south-west - ie Blue John Cavern direction...

Also I think there may be another entry directly under the bus terminus on the top part of the road, near Blue John - there's a huge fissure in a large hollow, filled (again deliberately) with a huge pile of very large rocks. Maybe the 18th C Levy entrance...

I've got to pop out now regrettably, but we'll carry on this conversation later...;)

Phil.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #32 on: August 26, 2011, 06:53:39 pm »
The other issue that concerns me with Odin is the survey that everyone uses - everything that's on the survey is still in place, (apart from the new collapse), but there's plenty that isn't on the survey, and there some areas on the survey marked as 'blocked' that aren't. Until we chatted about Amy Gutter vein, I'd never heard of anyone going up there as everyone I asked said it was blocked, and, as you confirmed, it isn't. So I'm tempted to be sceptical about blockages until I've actually seen them.

But there's so much to go at in Odin, and so many visited over the years that it beggars belief no-one ever has published anything about the internal workings beyond the few scraps we have. Puttrell went in there, as did plenty of others afterward, but few seem to have written about it in any detail. No-one's ever even done a proper surface survey, as far as I know. I still haven't been down the 'big pitch', although I would have by now if we hadn't been kicked out, but again, I still wonder whether all the western leads are permanently gone, or just messy. Collapsed deads can always be re-stacked.

I would say the best non-destructive leads would be to attack Widowers Vein (top and bottom levels) and just see where they go. I've only been 20m or so in there myself, as I was always on my own, and had no idea of the floor, what with the survey not including it! I have seen it flooded, when the rest of the mine wasn't, but it's usually dry, especially lately. And then as second option, to push Amy Gutter vein west. And there's always Knowlegates Sough to find - I'm certain I've already been on part of it...

Offline Goydenman

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #33 on: August 26, 2011, 11:17:44 pm »
Dan

Is that for certain? I got the impression the later sparring (around 1908 according to my records) was external mainly, and didn't really touch the inner workings much. I've got the SUSS survey of Mam Engine Shaft by Chris Fox (is that Goydenman?), and it didn't sound too collapsed on there - maybe flooded. Or has there been further exploration since?

The Mam Tor Swallet link is definitely right, as John Gunn told me he'd dye-tested that one ages ago - I also wanted to look at Jose Hole in the cartgate on our aborted collapse trip, as there's clearly some water activity coming from above and to the south-west - ie Blue John Cavern direction...

Also I think there may be another entry directly under the bus terminus on the top part of the road, near Blue John - there's a huge fissure in a large hollow, filled (again deliberately) with a huge pile of very large rocks. Maybe the 18th C Levy entrance...

I've got to pop out now regrettably, but we'll carry on this conversation later...;)

Phil.

Yep Chris Fox, Goydenman that's me!
I reopened Mam Tor Engine shaft and abseiled in to floodeed shaft. Not wearing caving gear at the time and not fancying get wet came back out. Someone else went in (can't remember who and found passage going off at water level. Water turned left along 'resurgence' passage while straight on went to shaft. I placed scaff bar on my second trip to get down shaft into shale chamber with no way on. At the lowest part of the chamber I made a poor attemt at a dig. Managed to get below shale to rock band and then dig ran in. Moved onto another dig - but but still think this is a good lead.

Offline Mrs Trellis

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #34 on: August 27, 2011, 11:14:32 am »
Fascinating stuff. Went down Odin in the early 60's and wasn't impressed. Far too near the shale boundary imho.

However I can make a small contribution:-

The situation is very reminiscent of Alderley Edge in the 1970's. An old mine system open to anyone with or without illumination, some entrances blasted over and others buried beneath tons of spoil, all on land owned by the NT.

The DCC (local caving club based in Stockport despite the name) agreed a lease with the NT to re-open some entrances. The general condition was to ensure the safety of the entrances on NT land , manage access to the mines through these, and to carry out remedial work to the surface caused by underground collapse (it was doing this which led to the discovery of the Roman coins and thus  the Roman era shaft and adit.)  I think everyone would agree that the result is a win-win for the general public and the subset of underground enthusiasts. Whilst tons of sand and domestic refuse are much easier to shift than tons of limestone boulders the DCC nevertheless managed some large-scale work like the closing of Engine Vein by concreting.

However the lesson is that a mutually satisfactory relationship between the NT and a local caving club has a good precedent.

Mrs Trellis
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North Wales

Offline pwhole

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #35 on: August 27, 2011, 11:58:59 am »
Mrs. Trellis - that's exactly the approach I have in mind with Odin - there have been some discussions about taking over responsibility of underground exploration by a 'comptetent organisation', and there are plenty of those in the area for sure. It seems to me that are several solutions on the table, they just need comparing and then one implemented! PDMHS, TSG and Eldon, say, all have the experience and resources to tackle this jointly, if need be, and combined efforts would produce solid results. The surface features alone are lethal if abused, but the general public are allowed to clamber all over them without any liability fears on the part of the NT. You can't lock down a site like this one.

Obviously the main barrier to progress is the shale - however, the earliest workings in Odin are also the highest, so whilst they're less stable (as we've seen), they're also the most important historically, the most accessible and in dire need of serious analysis. In my opinion, what remains of Odin is not collapsing, it's just a little unstable in the backfilled areas, and with work, it can be overcome. I'm not trying to downplay the seriousness of the entrance series, as the floor of that is the roof of the cartgate link passage, and if it falls, then there's more blockage, and possibly great danger for those underneath - but we're in places like that all the time. I've been in far worse situations than Odin regularly, they're just not on NT land!

But there are engineering solutions available to all these problems - traverse lines can be installed throughout, for one thing, and they can then be gradually replaced by substitute walkways above the backfill. An excavation at the front, properly managed and stabilised would remove the need for access via the common route, and then some stabilisation/excavation could be done from the other side first. It's obvious that most people have very little knowledge of what exists west of the current workings, but the JH cartgate was also blocked by chokes - if Moose and co hadn't unblocked that cartgate, there would be no Leviathan and no Titan!

I know folks will say it can't be done, but of course it can - many in the know on Odin are civil or mining engineers, and have many contacts in the business. Jim R has stated to me many times of the importance of the inner workings, and we've discussed potential practical solutions regularly. The obstacles here are not technical, but financial and legal and both of those can be sorted out, as other projects have clearly indicated! Odin is possibly the most important mine in the Peak District, and I personally think it's critical that what remains is saved and made available to a wider audience.

Offline droid

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #36 on: August 27, 2011, 02:13:19 pm »
That's a very positive comment, and one that I agree with. I've seen some of the mine conservation that's been done in Derbyshire and what's possible with a small dedicated team.

The possibility of a through trip from Oden to Trickett Lane Sough bolt is a rather attractive one.....
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Offline Goydenman

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #37 on: August 28, 2011, 08:51:48 am »
I think you are right on both accounts - the importance of Odin mine and the capability of the three clubs mentioned.
Go for it!

Offline graham

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #38 on: August 28, 2011, 09:32:43 am »
I think you are right on both accounts - the importance of Odin mine and the capability of the three clubs mentioned.
Go for it!
Agree on all counts. Those guys can supply the knowledge, the skills, the experience and the manpower necessary. Financing is another issue, but I would expect this to be a long-term and ongoing project, just like at Alderley, as described above by Mrs Trellis. Those guys have done - and are doing - a great job. I see no reason why this project could not be as successful.
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Offline Roger W

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #39 on: August 29, 2011, 08:55:51 pm »
A lot of very interesting data there!  But I'm puzzled by a few things.

1:  Chatburn's sketch plan appears to show the cartgate running along the line of the gorge or worked-out vein.  But the survey puts the cartgate at up to 50 feet to the south.  Also Chatburn says Royse's shaft hit the arched roof of the cartgate at a depth of about 30 feet, while the survey shows the cartgate roof to be about 80 feet below the present entrance.  Also Chatburn seems to say that the passage he got into from the shaft was blocked at both ends, and that a side passage was also blocked.  Could this have been the cartgate he got into, or is there another, parallel passage there?

2:  What causes the sinkholes depressions that seem to occur from time to time in front of the gorge?  There's the one in the old photo - the left-hand one of Phil's pair - and there is another one (fenced in by the National Trust) in the lower photo on the Winstercavers website

 http://www.winstercavers.org.uk/OdinMine_20081225.aspx

Is there something under there that keeps running in?  It can't be the cartgate if the theory that it only went underground as far as the level of Odin's Cave is correct, and I wouldn't have thought filling in an open cutting would have left such big voids...?

It's a pity Phil's photo in reply no 26 stops where it does: another inch or so in the foreground could tell us a lot.

3:  If the area beneath the entrance level is so unstable, with the handline climb floating upon nothing, so to speak, what should be done to stabilise this part of the mine and prevent that "200 metre deep, evil chasm" opening up?

The whole history of the place - ancient and recent - is so fascinating!  Ahh, if only my memory were better, or -  as Sam suggested - we could travel back in time!
"That, of course, is the dangerous part about caves:  you don't know how far they go back, sometimes... or what is waiting for you inside."   JRR Tolkein: "The Hobbit"

Offline pwhole

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #40 on: August 30, 2011, 02:11:30 am »
Roger

Remember that when Royse sank the shaft, the entire gorge floor would be about 20 feet lower than present. Also if you're referring to the current entrance as the top slot in the rock, then the cartgate may well be 80 feet below that, but that's a long way up from ground level.

But I am baffled by both Chatburn's and Royse's descriptions (I have his old book), as neither really tally with the present workings. If they dropped into the parallel passage that leads to the Bell Chamber, then I don't know where, as that has a solid roof, although I've never explored far west from the crosscut. They must have come in somewhere behind the current blockage, but Royse then describes crosscuts in the arching like boxes in a theatre - there's only one crosscut in the accessible cartgate. I still think the Widowers Vein holds some of the clues to all of this - it's totally unsurveyed, and the (now blocked) lower level entrance was right at Royse's shaft point - maybe it wasn't blocked in 1927?

As for how to support the backfilled entrance passage, I really have no idea at present - I'm no engineer, but it's a tricky job, as it's mixed shale and loose rock. Tracking the extent of the crossover of that vein with the stempled passage beneath is also tricky as it's technically a crosscut, which means it should be mostly in solid rock, but no-one has much idea of what's stacked above those stemples - their presence alone suggests something. But supporting from underneath seems fraught with risk, as shifting the weight distribution could add more instability, not less. If any mining engineers are reading, I'd love to hear a more expert opinion!

Phil.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #41 on: August 30, 2011, 12:44:30 pm »
Regarding the collapses, here's my options:

1. The infilling by the spar-men was done really badly, with some huge boulders dropped in the bottom with voids between (but above the mine workings), which are now settling dramatically.

2. The cartgate roof was stempled or arched much further back toward the road, and that has collapsed, although the line of the cartgate may be further to the south in reality - ie under Odin Cave.

3. My preferred option - the workings in the roof of the Bell Chamber are running in. There's very little contemporary info on this stuff. Here's my theory:

Way back, around 1670, there were a few meers being worked east of the road, but only two west - starting from the drill-mark next to Odin Cave, two meers takes you to the very bottom of the steep slope in the gorge. These meers were overseen by Robert Hallom, and within these two meers was a working called 'Deepe Shafte', or 'Hallom's Shaft'. Knowlegates Sough wasn't yet cut, so there were no low-level workings to consider yet.

On the old 1750's plans, there's also an 'old pipe' in the first two meers called 'Toume Hole', or 'Joume Hole'. This could be referring to the natural opening high in the south wall of the cartgate with a natural spring, now called 'Jose Hole', but I think it refers to the same Hallom's Shaft, which is a worked-out pipe, and doesn't appear to be part of the main Odin Old Vein system. The lowest workings in the Bell Chamber reach the later altitude of Knowlegates Sough, and probably connected at the back of the nasty rift you reach through the dodgy hole at the back of the main chamber.

However, once you drop into the main chamber, after the first pitch, you can then climb back up the western wall, and reach a ledge, which connects to some further, and much tighter pipe workings trending back up, and to the north; ie out under the grassy area. These workings were extensive, and a bit scary, as much of the roof is a crumbly shaley/boulder bed mix, but they went further than we expected, and we explored part of them. There was a shaft heading back down in the furthest chamber, and lots of u-bend crawls to negotiate. I don't have any photos of those workings, but the climb up, and hole in the back of the chamber leading downwards, are in and around these pics:

http://www.mine-explorer.co.uk/view_picture.asp?id=29458

As far as I can tell, none of this is represented on the survey, and could be some of the earliest workings in Odin, with huge archeological value. But they could also be the source of the collapses above, as they seem the nearest, and most northerly. If anyone else has ever been  up there, it would be good to hear from them. Dunno if Cave Troll or Brendan have?

This color version of the collapse photo may be better:

http://www.mine-explorer.co.uk/view_picture.asp?id=29516
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 01:04:44 pm by pwhole »

Offline danthecavingman

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #42 on: August 30, 2011, 01:41:26 pm »
The way on West would be to follow the Cartgate back towards Chippendale Rift and then where it would continue dig through that collapse.....however.....where I have been on 'Amy Gutter' vein is approximately (I think) the other side of that collapse. The level there had rails and sleepers in the floor and so is probably the Cartgate. It ended in almost immediate collapse East and went for quite a way west before it was run in. This point is where Rich Bartrop and Bob Grimes dug for a while back in the late eighties befre giving it up as suicidal....
Cave Troll has been to the bit I'm on about - with Tim Rivett and others. They found some interesting artefacts.....

D.
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Offline Mrs Trellis

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #43 on: August 30, 2011, 04:41:54 pm »
A pre WWI OS map would be useful. The road etc. may have changed but Odin Cave and the shaft on the eastern side of the road are unchanged.
Mrs Trellis
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Offline SamT

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #44 on: August 30, 2011, 06:04:07 pm »
ta da...

Odin 1880 by sam_townsend, on Flickr
1880s


Odin 1890s by sam_townsend, on Flickr
1890s


Odin1920s by sam_townsend, on Flickr
1920s

Not much cop though

Offline Roger W

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #45 on: August 30, 2011, 07:11:45 pm »
Well done, Sam!

The road seems to have been there (with the OS benchmark!) since 1880...

Can't make out the cave, though    :(

Is that the course of the cartgate that can be seen on the 1890's map?
"That, of course, is the dangerous part about caves:  you don't know how far they go back, sometimes... or what is waiting for you inside."   JRR Tolkein: "The Hobbit"

Offline Roger W

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #46 on: August 30, 2011, 07:23:23 pm »
Phil,

Comparing your colour photo of the surface collapse with the one on Winstercavers, it looks to be the same hole, but much bigger in the Winstercavers photo.

What's the latest there?  Is it now even bigger, or have the NT wallahs filled it in?

Ought to pootle down and take a look, but I'm busy re-laying my drive at the moment (where's the "aching back" smiley?)

Roger
"That, of course, is the dangerous part about caves:  you don't know how far they go back, sometimes... or what is waiting for you inside."   JRR Tolkein: "The Hobbit"

Offline pwhole

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #47 on: August 31, 2011, 02:12:28 am »
I haven't been up there since just after the closure notice was put out, and the collapse didn't seem any bigger then. I've been busy on other projects all summer to try and stop thinking about Odin as much, but it's clearly not working - I'm itching to get stuck in.

Dan - you know where the cartgate above Chippendale connects to the stempled passage at the t-junction, and then continues for about 30m to the man-made arch? After that, the roof appears to dip down, and the stemples taper down in length, as the 'floor' also rises. I'm assuming that's the collapse you refer to?
But what do you think is going on there? It does seem to be the logical continuation of the cartgate passage, but unless the original floor dipped away, I can't work out how it 'ran in' at this point, if indeed it did. The roof situation says maybe not. It may have been filled in by hand from this end? These two show it:

http://www.mine-explorer.co.uk/view_picture.asp?id=29437
http://www.mine-explorer.co.uk/view_picture.asp?id=29438

Shortly after the most westerly surveyed Amy Gutter workings, and roughly below Tinker's Shaft, there should be another rither point where the cartgate vein rejoins Amy Gutter, according to the old plans - I'm wondering if the 'suicidal dig' was around this point?

Offline danthecavingman

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #48 on: August 31, 2011, 11:33:56 am »
Phil - that is exactly where I mean, just beyond that lovely stone pillar. Digging there would I think take you to where I've been further in. The suicidal dig is further along from there.

D.
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Offline pwhole

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Re: Warning - major collapse at Odin Mine
« Reply #49 on: September 01, 2011, 01:44:31 am »
Dan - now I'm not so sure - they don't look that close together on the survey. Your dig should be way off in the top-left corner. The original description by Peter Lord also mentioned that another portion of the cartgate was discovered, via the big west pitch, then traversing back along Odin Old Vein from a crosscut - however, I'm starting to wonder if there's more than one 'cartgate', or that it's not a contiguous passage for its entire length, as he refers to it on the survery as Knowlegates Level.

Anyway, check this out - this is a comparison image, scaled as best I can, matching the original 1750's plan with the current accessible workings - the basic outline is quite obvious, as is the rither point I mentioned earlier, at Point 'F' - the current survey seems to all show 'blocked' just before the veins ought to meet up. Incidentally, the unexplored 'Knowlegates Level' is visible in dotted lines continuing west from the current cartgate end.



The original plan was only drawn at cartgate level, although Gin Swafe and Slicken Drift veins are actually much lower in the mine - at the Trickett Sough altitude, and where TW was, as far as I can tell. So it's only an approximation - but, most excitingly - Amy Gutter Vein and Widowers Vein appear to meet 'indoors'. More to chew on, anyway...

 

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