Author Topic: Winze in Devonshire Cavern  (Read 711 times)

Offline Madness

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Winze in Devonshire Cavern
« on: March 18, 2019, 01:02:17 pm »
There's a winze in Devonshire, up towards the top end past the iron ladder. If I remember correctly it also extends upwards towards the surface. It's near the connection to the big upper chamber. No doubt someone has been down it in the past. I was wondering what was at the bottom. Does it connect to the upper chamber, or is whatever is down there only accesible via the winze? I was thinking of putting a couple of concrete screws and hangers in temporarily to allow access, but there's no point if you can get down there another way.
Does anyone have any details?

Offline bobdearman

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Re: Winze in Devonshire Cavern
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2019, 04:27:27 pm »
Please don't put concrete screws in Devonshire Cavern people of differing competence use the place and wouldn't neccessarily know how dodgy they are. Recently we've taken a load of them out from different locations and it's amazing how little it takes to shear the heads off.
Bob D (DCA Eqipment Officer)

Offline Madness

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Re: Winze in Devonshire Cavern
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2019, 06:54:29 pm »
Apologies, I should have been more precise when I said 'temporarily'. I meant that we'd remove them when we came back up the winze.

Offline AR

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Re: Winze in Devonshire Cavern
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2019, 09:08:12 pm »
It's a shaft to surface, and it's covered with an old boiler plate from what I could see looking up it. I've got an inkling where it is on surface but haven't had chance to go and have a proper poke - I'm expecting one of the hollows among the hillocks will go "boom" if prodded with a large stick!

Bob, I wouldn't worry unduly - you need to know Devonshire fairly well to be able to find the route up to the very top, this shaft is a long way from the "tourist routes".
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Offline Madness

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Re: Winze in Devonshire Cavern
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2019, 10:08:36 pm »
AR - Any idea where the downward continuation of the shaft ends up?

Offline AR

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Re: Winze in Devonshire Cavern
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2019, 08:29:44 am »
I've not dropped it myself but I have been down the holes in the floor in the breakdown chamber next door, which go into typical Devonshire narrow stopes, about 7m deep. There was a downward continuation there that possibly could be pushed but I didn't try it at the time.
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline Madness

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Re: Winze in Devonshire Cavern
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2019, 01:09:53 pm »
Thanks AR. Sounds like some exploration is required.

Offline al

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Re: Winze in Devonshire Cavern
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2019, 02:06:42 pm »
We dropped the winze last year - belays are a little difficult, and had to be contrived.

The deeper part of the adjacent large chamber, which can be reached via a shoulder height, level bedding plane on the left immediately after the winze (opposite side to iron ladder) has a connection to the winze partway down.

The foot of the winze is a typical Devonshire rift, with rubbish on the floor, ways on which close down, and evidence of some digging in the past.
Old ... but not old enough to know any better

Offline Madness

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Re: Winze in Devonshire Cavern
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2019, 03:39:33 pm »
Thanks for the info AL

Offline AR

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Re: Winze in Devonshire Cavern
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2019, 09:11:06 pm »
This is how I described what I found in the upper breakdown chamber for the PDMHS newsletter:

The floor of the upper breakdown chamber consists of large boulders that have fallen from the roof and jammed together to form a floor, though in a number of places voids can be seen through the gaps between these. The most stable-looking of these was descended  to a depth of 10m, the boulder layer being about 3m deep. This was at a point where two parallel stopes had been connected by the miners. The initials “HSS” had been smoked onto a rider between the stopes, showing that this area had been visited by explorers or spar miners before; if any members can suggest who this is/was or likely dates for this then please speak up

To the west, the northernmost stope ended after 7m at a packwall with a single stone stemple wedged across the stope just in front of it, a higher continuation above this was choked with boulders after a short distance. To the east, collapse debris blocks the way after 3m though a choked cross-cut or thurl can be seen; there is evidence of firesetting in the form of smoke trails and fragments of burnt coal and heat-affected limestone

The southern stope is narrower; to the west a steep rubble slope heads up to another of the holes in the breakdown chamber floor but due to an unstable section, no attempt was made to exit this way. There is a short scramble up another rubble slope to the east, then it descends steeply for about 7m with a 2m drop midway along it. A small hole could be seen at the base of this slope; this was not investigated at the time but may lead to further workings if pushed.
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline Madness

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Re: Winze in Devonshire Cavern
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2019, 10:04:43 pm »
Thanks AR, very interesting.

I need to get down there and have a poke around.