Author Topic: Hillocks/Wharf Mine  (Read 3977 times)

Offline Madness

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Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« on: October 18, 2017, 12:34:03 am »
Did a quick trip down Hillocks tonight. There was a slight smell of rotting flesh near the bottom of Wharf Main Shaft. There was nothing noticeable that would cause the smell.
More concerning was a number of rocks covered in green lichen at the foot of the shaft. Some had very recent impact marks. To me it seemed obvious that they'd come from somewhere exposed to daylight. So they'd either been thrown down the shaft or they were part of the ginging at the top of the shaft. We had a quick look at the top of Wharf Main Shaft when we got out of Hillocks. Another group of cavers were down the shaft, but the ginging looked intact. I'd be interested if they noticed the smell or the lichen cover rocks.
It does appear that some idiot may have dropped some rocks off the nearby wall down the shaft. However, you do need a Derbyshire Key to lift the lid, so whoever dropped the rocks must have planned to do it beforehand.

Offline Iain

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2017, 04:48:07 pm »
I was down there via the Oil Drum entrance on Monday the 9th October and there was nothing untoward at the foot of the shaft at that time. Curious!

Offline pwhole

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2017, 10:03:59 pm »
Folks may find this interesting - a video ascent of the Hillocks engine shaft made last year with the prototype Shaft Inspection Device (SID) by Vertex Access Group. I was present for this test, and others, and we got some pretty good results. The lithology of the various beds passed through is very interesting, and you don't normally get chance to notice much of this when concentrating on the SRT.



Offline aardgoose

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2017, 11:01:47 am »
Interesting device, I was speculating on the practicalities of something like this with but along the lines of using rotating 'low cost' 'lidar' type scanner to get a point cloud type model of a shaft. Adding an accelerometer to improve stability of imaging would be interesting.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2017, 12:07:19 pm »
There's been several issues to resolve - some obvious, some less so. Rotation and 'jiggling' are much reduced with the two tension wires, but it'll never be rock-solid without all sorts of steadying gear, and not really necessary. Humidity, drips/inlets and 'floaters' are another big problem. The device is mainly intended for stills-imaging of the shaft walls from a static position, so it's not critical that the video camera view is perfect, but it's a very handy extra.

Anyway, back on topic, there is clearly lichen visible on the top stones of the ginging, but as this was done a year ago, doesn't really help the current situation - I haven't been back since. One thing that does intrigue me is the 'double-barrel' profile of the shaft for a way down, ending at a large ledge. It's almost as though they planned a parallel lift but then abandoned the idea. Jim Rieuwerts suggests this was probably done in the mid-19th C when the mine was re-opened and the larger level driven beneath the coffin-level.

Offline AR

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2017, 09:36:26 pm »
It's an abandoned widening job, Phil. This shaft (Whalf Over Engine) was originally sunk in the first half of the 18th century, but when William Wyatt took over in the 1830s for some reason he decided that particular shaft needed to be twice as wide. The work then stopped again for reasons not stated in the reckoning book (Bagshaw coll. C398) and instead they moved on to sinking the shaft in the copse, then started on Chapeldale Level and finally sank the shaft on  the back of Knotlow and the shaft above the track to Knotlow farm. As Jim will tell you, it's a real puzzle trying to establish Wyatt's motivation for some of what was done there, if he was having ideas about steam pumping then surely Crimbo Hollow shaft was a much better prospect. I do wonder whether some of the work was purely to occupy some of the local miners, Wyatt certainly funded some speculative work with little prospect of success over at Chelmorton in order to prevent impoverished local miners departing for the coalfields.
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Offline adamgeens

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2017, 11:18:22 pm »
I've often wondered why there are such an array of impressive shafts at Hillocks/Knotlow for what seems like relatively small amounts of extraction. I'd be interested to find out more about William Wyatt, if anyone has names of books etc. they can point me in the direction of. Thanks!

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2017, 11:26:33 pm »
Lead mining in derbyshire [history, development and drainage] might have the answer. Not sure, as it would be in the volume i dont have, volume 2. (Millers dale to alport and dovedale)

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2017, 11:41:05 pm »
Aha! if you search for " monyash" on the PDMHS website then you get some reasonable results https://pdmhs.co.uk/files/articles.php useful search function halfway down linked page.

There are three articles you might want to look at and most seem to be in the lead up to the EPC discoveries.
Part 1 https://pdmhs.co.uk/bulletins/the-mines-north-west-of-monyash-derbyshire.pdf
Part 2 https://pdmhs.co.uk/bulletins/the-mines-north-west-of-monyash-derbyshire---part-2.pdf
Part 3 https://pdmhs.co.uk/bulletins/the-mines-north-west-of-monyash---part-3.pdf

But dont let this put you off searching for monyash on the PDMHS website, you may (nay will) find more...

Offline AR

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2017, 09:18:35 pm »
Those three papers by John Robey do cover a lot of the known records, though be aware that there are mistakes in them, particulalry in the identification of the Knotlow engine shaft as Chapeldale Mine (actually located at Flagg Town Head). For info on the earliest exploration, there's Brian Saville's article in a very early edition of "The Lyre" and for info on the mid-1970s exploration, Clive Westlake's article in the EPC journal and Dave Penney's account of the sump draining at Knotlow in the PDMHS bulletin.

For more in-depth information about William Wyatt and his operations, see Lynn Willies' papers on the Barker and Wyatt families in the PDMHS bulletin.
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Offline adamgeens

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2017, 10:10:09 pm »
Thanks Alistair, that's some great reading there. Pleased to find out what the remains are at the bottom of Crimbo shaft, if I read it correctly. Also that they spent money 'christening' it!

AR - Thanks very much, I'll look up those research papers and reports - fascinating stuff :-)


Offline alastairgott

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2017, 04:36:09 pm »
We went on a trip here at the weekend. 4 Entrances rigged and about 12 members around and about.
 My little team descended Whalf (hillocks) climbing shaft, and had a good foray looking at all the mined passages and also the jaw dropping amounts of Natural in there. I last went in Hillocks about 6 years and 8 months ago, with my eyes shut!

One particularly interesting section of Natural passage was a downward trending Phreatic passage.
 From Hillocks Engine the Location was through bottle passage, then up on the left, almost going back on yourself. The amount of blasting scree going down was impressive.
 At the base of the phreatic was lovely water worn natural with mud choking it, in the Back right was a coffin level which led through to more natural and a muddy sump (I didn't look up, but in recent conversation with AlanB I believe there could have been a dig in the roof?).
we then progressed forward past the mud sump and up into a bit of a choke, I removed some rock and pushed through. Me and Pwhole then took turns to look at the progression, which was an upward trending mined passage with blasted rock on a slope up to a chamber.
 We assume this could be another way back up into the chamber past Bottle passage. but we didn't push the Scree at the time, for fear we would choke ourselves in!

The natural at this level is interesting. On the Whitehouse 1980 (and Westlake) survey it shows this passage to be at 980ft and the Engine shaft top at 760ft (vertical change= 220ft, or 67metres).
 Whalf (Hillocks) Engine sits at altitude 288m and Lathkill resurgence at 210m.
 So by my reckoning, this natural passage sits at 11m higher than Lathkill Head cave (resurgence), and approx (a best Guess) 1.4km distant from Lathkill Tiger 7.
 could be worth a look?

Offline pwhole

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2017, 09:36:59 pm »
It was a lovely hole and no mistake, and stained nice and brown just like they should be. It did look rather interesting at the top of the slope, as the rock on the floor around was shattered into scree-sized pieces, but loads of the stuff, not just one boulder's worth. And the coffin level, though short (10m?) clearly had a purpose for them to make the effort, though at the moment it's unclear what that was. Another interesting hole next to the sloping passage leads into two large chambers half-full of sediment, just like Pit Props in Speedwell. This must all be logged somewhere already...hopefully we'll get a response back from Crewe guys later on tonight, as their newsletter no. 65 is quoted as a reference in COPD.

Offline AR

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2017, 09:44:34 pm »
There's a lot to look at down there and it's by no means been fully pushed or documented. Doing a conservation audit is on my list of things to do when I get time....
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Offline pwhole

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2017, 11:10:31 pm »
On the Lathkill Survex model it looks as though the line stops at the end of the coffin-level at 222.30m AOD, but I'm just going from memory having only been there this once. The sump pool is about 2-3m lower than that, so I'm guessing that would be about 220. The screenshot shows the model rotated so the coffin level in Hillocks and the upstream end of Lathkill Head are alongside each other - separation between those two stations according to this version is 15.14m.


Offline shotlighter

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2017, 11:26:48 pm »
It was a lovely hole and no mistake, and stained nice and brown just like they should be. It did look rather interesting at the top of the slope, as the rock on the floor around was shattered into scree-sized pieces, but loads of the stuff, not just one boulder's worth. And the coffin level, though short (10m?) clearly had a purpose for them to make the effort, though at the moment it's unclear what that was. Another interesting hole next to the sloping passage leads into two large chambers half-full of sediment, just like Pit Props in Speedwell. This must all be logged somewhere already...hopefully we'll get a response back from Crewe guys later on tonight, as their newsletter no. 65 is quoted as a reference in COPD.
Phil, is there any date given in the reference?
The numbering actually on the front of the news letters seems to have started after that one.
I'm sure there is/was a document somewhere tying the issues date to the number but it's possible Ralph had it.
I've a somewhat patchy collection but you never know!
The chap who I think has a more complete set than me, was not at tonights meeting unfortunately.
Nigel

Offline pwhole

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2017, 12:50:38 am »
It's from 2000 - Steve Knox. I had a look on the website but they don't go that far back unfortunately.

Offline shotlighter

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2017, 04:01:05 pm »
It's from 2000 - Steve Knox. I had a look on the website but they don't go that far back unfortunately.
Well typically, I can find 64 & 66 but guess what!
I'll email Steve, he's bound to have a copy.
In meantime I thought this snippet from issue 66 may be of interest;

 Divers in action in Whalf!!
Flushed with success after passing the first four sumps in P8 Max was persuaded to "have a look" at the sump at the bottom of the entrance series in Hillocks. Steve Knox and Brian recall this drying out in ('76?) leaving a passage blocked by mud. Max managed to shift a few boulders(trundled in?) and was of the opinion that its worth further investigation. Pumping is being arranged using a submersible pump with a generator on the surface. Watch this space!

I don't think the pumping ever happened though.
I'll post more if & when I find it.
N

Offline pwhole

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2017, 02:15:19 pm »
Thanks for checking. I have a feeling that I've read Trevor Ford confirming that the way on in this sump was run-in - it has a hand-picked forefield at the far end? About 5m long to the back wall? It seems as though he knew about this phreatic tube we were discussing, as it's vaguely mentioned in Limestones and Caves of the Peak District, in 1977. He also mentions Crimbo Swallow being 15m above Lathkill Head Resurgence in there...so none of this is new, but may be more significant now more cave (and thus better models) has been found.

Offline Pete K

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2017, 02:31:03 pm »
One particularly interesting section of Natural passage was a downward trending Phreatic passage.
 From Hillocks Engine the Location was through bottle passage, then up on the left, almost going back on yourself. The amount of blasting scree going down was impressive.
 At the base of the phreatic was lovely water worn natural with mud choking it, in the Back right was a coffin level which led through to more natural and a muddy sump (I didn't look up, but in recent conversation with AlanB I believe there could have been a dig in the roof?).
we then progressed forward past the mud sump and up into a bit of a choke, I removed some rock and pushed through. Me and Pwhole then took turns to look at the progression, which was an upward trending mined passage with blasted rock on a slope up to a chamber.
 We assume this could be another way back up into the chamber past Bottle passage. but we didn't push the Scree at the time, for fear we would choke ourselves in!

Yes, it was a route back up to the start of the descent 'chute'. Several people made the short round trip last night and it was very loose by all accounts. Lovely coffin level down there with quite a generous cross section.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2017, 03:37:57 pm »
What did you make of the Phreatic down there? Nice?

Offline Pete K

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2017, 05:59:05 pm »
Way more in Whalf than I remember. I'll be back off down there again soon to poke about some more when my back/shoulder are not so knackered.

Offline shotlighter

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2017, 05:25:06 pm »
Thanks for checking. I have a feeling that I've read Trevor Ford confirming that the way on in this sump was run-in - it has a hand-picked forefield at the far end? About 5m long to the back wall? It seems as though he knew about this phreatic tube we were discussing, as it's vaguely mentioned in Limestones and Caves of the Peak District, in 1977. He also mentions Crimbo Swallow being 15m above Lathkill Head Resurgence in there...so none of this is new, but may be more significant now more cave (and thus better models) has been found.

Steve Knox has kindly forwarded me a scan of his paper copy pages (looks like this one was pre digital issues).
I've done a PDF of them, so if you or Alistair PMs me with an email address I'll send you a copy.
Nigel

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2017, 09:39:31 pm »
Thanks Shotlighter, I had no Idea that Whalf climbing shaft was opened before the Engine Shaft, and all in the last 20 years!

Things always seem to come in two's! 2 for 1 on entrances.

Offline shotlighter

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2017, 12:12:45 am »
Thanks Shotlighter, I had no Idea that Whalf climbing shaft was opened before the Engine Shaft, and all in the last 20 years!

Things always seem to come in two's! 2 for 1 on entrances.

It's not often we do special offers!!  ;D

Offline pwhole

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2017, 01:05:23 am »
One other thing I forgot to mention was that toward the end we headed up the larger passage toward Meccano - the one that opens into a larger space with the length of rail leaning up to a ledge. On the opposite wall to that, under an overhang, is a circular scrape-mark and centre-hole for a windlass. The floor below it is just gravel and sand, but surely this must be a filled-in shaft. No idea where it went, but it does hint there may be more down there, and possibly dry.

Offline Chocolate fireguard

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2017, 02:45:48 pm »
I have noticed that windlass hole and obviously filled-in shaft. Many people have seen it over the years (it's in plain sight on the right as you head away from the bottom of the Whalf shafts) but I have never met anybody who has investigated, or knows what's below there.

Re the "sump" mentioned in Shotlighter's reply #17 (in blue), I have only seen water in it a few of the times I have been there and get the impression that it's mostly dry. Which may not always have been the case of course.
Somewhere at the back of what I used to call my mind I believe it was pumped, perhaps by the TPU, which means back in the 60s/70s.
Or perhaps I am confusing it with the flooded shaft in Knotlow's Waterfall Chamber.


Offline alastairgott

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2017, 03:28:25 pm »
"Or perhaps I am confusing it with the flooded shaft in Knotlow's Waterfall Chamber." Chocolate fireguard

I'm almost sure this was pumped, the extension of the flooded shaft in Knotlow is called the Pump series on the Westlake (and Whitehouse) survey.

 http://thedca.org.uk/publications/surveys-test-only

http://thedca.org.uk/publications/surveys-test-only/file/92-knotlow-hillocks

Offline pwhole

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2017, 03:58:40 pm »
Found it! This is, as far as I remember, the entrance to the sumped section, which ends in an arched set of vertical pickwork marks. There's a grovelly little passage goes off to the right up that ledge:


Offline danthecavingman

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2017, 05:24:58 pm »
There is an interesting lead in Hillocks if you go down Whalf Climbing shafts and turn left at the bottom. Before you get to the very end there's a short coffin level on the right that ends in a rift / stope that's choked from above - might go somewhere interesting?

Anyone else recognise this from my vague description?

Dan.
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Offline al

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #30 on: November 10, 2017, 05:56:44 pm »
There is an interesting lead in Hillocks if you go down Whalf Climbing shafts and turn left at the bottom. Before you get to the very end there's a short coffin level on the right that ends in a rift / stope that's choked from above - might go somewhere interesting?

Anyone else recognise this from my vague description?

Dan.
Hi Dan, That sounds like the one Matt Ryan was digging in the'90s - he had a pulley set in the ceiling to help with dragging the kibbles out. My midweek bunch (Lofty, Keith Joule, Howard Taylor, John Martin and myself) took it over at a later date and worked on it for a winter - it was very cold and very wet! The coffin level ended in a boulder pile which was either a run-in shaft or a stope (a lot of the rocks we pulled out had a high proportion of galena) and we played a dodgy game of jenga below it, but never got through before we finally moved on to other things.
Old ... but not old enough to know any better

Offline AR

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2017, 09:58:53 pm »
"Or perhaps I am confusing it with the flooded shaft in Knotlow's Waterfall Chamber." Chocolate fireguard

I'm almost sure this was pumped, the extension of the flooded shaft in Knotlow is called the Pump series on the Westlake (and Whitehouse) survey.

 http://thedca.org.uk/publications/surveys-test-only

http://thedca.org.uk/publications/surveys-test-only/file/92-knotlow-hillocks

The pumping was written up by Dave Penney in the PDMHS bulletin - https://pdmhs.co.uk/bulletins/new-pumps-for-old.pdf
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Offline Alex

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #32 on: August 10, 2019, 12:06:48 pm »
Planning a trip down here tomorrow, has anyone been down recently, what's the CO2 conditions?
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Offline paul

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #33 on: August 10, 2019, 06:17:26 pm »
No problems when we were there in June. I don't think there have been bad air issues with the Knotlow / Hillocks / Whalf Pipe for a while now.
I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!

Offline Alex

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Re: Hillocks/Wharf Mine
« Reply #34 on: August 10, 2019, 09:19:41 pm »
Thanks for the info :)
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)