Author Topic: Raasay  (Read 3389 times)

Offline richardg

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Raasay
« on: February 12, 2014, 08:47:35 pm »
Hi can anyone tell me of where to find information on caves on The Isle of Raasay

I'm after up to date information.

Thank you

Richard Gibson

Offline rhychydwr1

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Re: Raasay
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2014, 07:49:07 am »
Inverarrish Ironstone Mine [=Raasay Iron Mine]   NGR NG 553 340-NG 569 371 Landranger 32
A vast, loosely grid patterned mine last worked in 1918. Two entrances are accessible but great care should be exercised as it would be very easy to lose direction and become lost in intricate workings. There are other small workings at NGR NG 580 378.

"I remember the noise of the wagons . . . terrible noise!"
 
Description
Annie MacLean of Raasay remembers the dismantling of the old Raasay iron mine installations at Suisnish and the scrap iron and remaining ore being taken away from the mine workings to be used in the war effort.
Biography
Annie MacLean was born in Raasay in 1928 and raised on a croft near the pier. The family moved to Inverarish in 1939. She was the only girl in the family and had an older brother in the Royal Artillery and another in the Driver's Corps. After her mother died Annie remained at home on Raasay and has many recollections of the changes that occurred there during the war.
Transcript
They were taking away the scrap iron. See, the kilns there, they were iron kilns and all this iron. And the railway going up to the mine. And they even took away the rails the bogies were running on. They took away all the scrap iron. That was a power house and engines and that, they took all that away. And I remember when they were taking away the scrap iron. I still remember the noise of the wagons running through that railway which was leading onto the pier. And there was a puffer and it’s the noise of them putting the scrap iron and all that onto the puffer. Terrible noise! When the mines stopped, the bogies were still lying along with the ore in them. And they took that away first. They emptied all those iron bogies they had and they took that away, and then took all the scrap iron.
Source
Date: 194-
Contributor: MacLean, Mrs Annie
Location: Isle of Raasay
Original Source: Mrs Annie MacLean Museum of the Isles Highland Council Archive Service (Skye and Lochalsh) TPYF Interview OH AML (2) 08.10.09 Interviewed by Mary Carmichael
________________________________________
Raasay Iron Mine
 
Description
This view taken from the head of the pier at Suisnish in Raasay gives only some idea of the Raasay Iron Mine when it was in full production and sending off regular cargoes of local iron ore. Originally, a rail line terminated at a calcinating or crushing plant at Suisnish; this was connected to the pierhead by conveyor which transported the ore to a series of hoppers or bunkers located at the pierhead. The mine was worked up until the end of the First World War after which iron-ore production ceased. Although everything was maintained in full working order, almost the only iron to be extracted in the Second World War was scrap from the dismantled installation itself.
Source
Contributor: MacLean, Mrs Annie
Location: Isle of Raasay
Original Source: Museum of the Isles Highland Council Archive Service (Skye and Lochalsh)
________________________________________
The iron works, Suisnish, Isle of Raasay
 
Description
The plant complex at the Raasay iron works prior to being dismantled. The iron mines and associated railways were in working order between 1912 and 1942 though iron ore production had ceased within a few months of the end of the First World War. The mine was operated by William Baird & Co.
A 1.5 mile railway line connected the Iron mines above Inverarish to a plant and the pierhead at Suisnish. The line was cable hauled because of the steep gradients. At one time there was a concrete and girder viaduct of which only the concrete piers can be seen today.
Source
Location: Isle of Raasay
Original Source: Museum of the Isles Highland Council Archive Service (Skye and Lochalsh)

****

Anon 2012 The Iron Mine of Raasay – 100 Years On.  Archaeology Scotland, Issue 13 Spring  no page numbers.


Andrew, K M.  May 1969 Raasay has Everything, But…Scots Mag 91 (2) 131-139 illus.

Booth, David and Perrott, David 1981 The Shell Book of the Islands of Britain.  Guideway/Windward, London.  80, 81

Boyd, J Morton and Boyd Ian L 1990 The New Naturalist The Hebrides. 349 Raasay iron. 350  Islay lead.

Draper, Laurence and Pamela.  Supplemented edition 2003 The Raasay Iron Mine 1912-1942 / Where enemies became friends  79 pp, 22 plates, 10 tables, 6 plans, 4 figs.  Contrary to the Geneva Conventions, German Prisoners of War mined iron ore just off the coast of Skye in Scotland.  SB Dingwall: The Authors.

Gribble, C D 1983 Mineral resources of the Inner Hebrides.  Proc Roy Soc Edin, 83B 611-625.  613 Raasay iron.  613 Islay lead.   

Haswell-Smith 131 iron mining by Baird & Co using German prisoners of war [a war crime?] closed 1919.  132 location map.

Hume, John E, 1977 The Industrial Archaeology of Scotland 214 and plate 90

Industrial Heritage - Industry People Transport.  27 (1) Spring 2001  Iron Mining on the Isle of Raasay, Scotland by Rota.  The massive iron deposits were discovered during surveys carried out before the Great War.  During the 1914-18 war they were worked by Baird Ltd who mined 140,000 tons underground and 12,000 tons opencast.  The mine was entered by the main adit at 330 feet above sea level.  From here the ore was lowered down an incline for 1¼ miles to a 4,000 ton ore bin, where it was taken by steamer to Glasgow for smelting.  The mine closed in 1919 and in 1941 all available scrap metal was recovered for armaments.  The headings were 12 feet wide by 8 feet wide and until recently one was still open.  The article is illustrated by 8 fine photos and 3 maps.

Jeffreys, Alan 2008 Mines in Scotland 41

Warwick, Chris 2005 Some Caving Notes.  GSG Ser 4 2 (4) 25 Raasay Iron Mine.  Gated, but can easily climb over.  Three hour trip hundreds of metres of passage.

WL Oban 1936/7 100 Raasay Iron Mine


Offline richardg

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Re: Raasay
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2014, 05:17:05 pm »
Tony...

Your an amazing fellow, such a huge wealth of knowledge, thank you for this..

As well as looking for natural caves, we will certainly enjoy all the historical heritage you've opened our eyes too with this broad information sheet. looking at early 1900's archaeology

Thanks again Tony, I've a couple of your Caves of Scotland books in my library, I will also enjoy looking through these..

Richard

Offline robjones

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Re: Raasay
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2014, 06:06:50 pm »
During the 1914-18 war they were worked by Baird Ltd who mined 140,000 tons underground and 12,000 tons opencast.  WL Oban 1936/7 100 Raasay Iron Mine

140,000 tons may sound impressive but actually Raasay accounted for only 0.1% of UK iron ore consumption during the Great War.  :smartass:

Offline richardg

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Re: Raasay
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2014, 10:47:53 pm »
Thank you rob jones.

This all goes together to make our trip even more interesting, thinking of the massive wartime effort to get as much metal created as we could, to protect our lands and our way of life..

I don't think we will go into the mines, as looking up references here on this forum there's one about potential bad gas down there.

However the location and what remains of this wartime history on the surface promise to reward our visit to the area...

Richard

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Raasay
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2014, 02:57:18 pm »
CPC Journals in the 70s & 80s included a series of articles entitled "In search of Islands". I seem to remember one of these covered Raasay. If you have easy access to these it's worth a glance. It's probably not worth going to a lot of effort as I don't think the article said very much about the caves.

Offline andys

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Re: Raasay
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2014, 03:20:13 pm »
Plateaus are the highest form of flattery.

Offline McMole

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Re: Raasay
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2014, 09:50:57 pm »
The GSG Bulletin has several articles on the fissure caves and the iron mine on Raasay:

Fissure Caves on the Isle of Raasay   1st Series Vol 4 No 5 p21
Some More Fissure Caves of Raasay   2nd Series Vol 3 No 3 p31
Raasay – The Diary   3rd Series Vol 1 No 3 p31
Raasay Iron Mine   3rd Series Vol 2 No 1 p26
Raasay 1990 and 1992   3rd Series Vol 2 No 3 p29
The Caves of Raasay   3rd Series Vol 2 No 3 p25
Meet Note: Raasay, 2010   4th Series Vol 4 No 4 p8

The earliest article is 1971 and the latest 2010 so perhaps not 'up-to-date', but possibly the latest information you'll find on the caves. I don't think any GSG members have been there since. There is also a short booklet ‘Guide to the Awe-Inspiring Raasay Fissures’ which is available in Raasay Community Stores and gathers together information from the Bulletin articles.

You should be able to find GSG Bulletins in quite a few caving club libraries and  BCRA.

Offline rhychydwr1

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Re: Raasay
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2014, 10:40:33 am »
Someone delete an earlier post  :o

There are some photos at:

http://www.aditnow.co.uk/photographs/Raasay-Iron-Mine/


Offline richardg

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Re: Raasay
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2014, 08:56:38 pm »
Thank You rhychydwr1 for the photos and rob jones, Mc mole, andys, Pitlamp and again rhychydwr 1 all for your excellent advise, It certainly will be worthwhile visiting.

Richard.