Author Topic: Question about Middleton Dale Mine Levels  (Read 974 times)

Offline Pitlamp

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Question about Middleton Dale Mine Levels
« on: April 10, 2019, 09:34:15 am »
These are described on pages 276 & 277 in Barker & Beck's Caves of the Peak District (2010 Edition).

The information on LEVEL 4 (page 276) refers to "a short sump to two natural chambers".

I think this means a miners' "sump" (i.e. a short shaft connecting two levels) rather than a water-filled "sump". Please could someone familiar with the mine confirm this?

(It'd be useful to sort this, in relation to ongoing work for the next Peak District Sump Index.)

Thanks!

Offline Ethel.Bangrod

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Re: Question about Middleton Dale Mine Levels
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2019, 02:10:45 pm »
These mines are quite hard to find in some places, certainly, Middleton level 3 is run in now and too tight to enter, I'm not sure if 4 is the same. I can't see a reason why there would be a dive sump in there however as these levels are quite high up in the dale in some places. I'm on expedition at the moment but when I get back can check my notes on the entrances. Others might have better info
 

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Question about Middleton Dale Mine Levels
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2019, 07:14:50 pm »
Thanks.

I'm wondering if Mark might know anything useful . . . ?
(Chances are he's been in there in the past with John Beck.)

Online alastairgott

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Re: Question about Middleton Dale Mine Levels
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2019, 07:24:12 pm »
I'm on expedition at the moment

Spoilers...
Scraps and Maps, Scraps and Maps, Squawk, pretty polly...

Offline martinb

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Re: Question about Middleton Dale Mine Levels
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2019, 08:13:18 pm »
I've just looked up my notes for Level 4:

2 entrances, one by tree, runs NW (ish) to 2nd drop in entrance. low crawl to Junction with low crawl going L. Main crawl/stoop then turns R (NE) and continues to hairy deads and poss. choke.

Junction on NE passage then drops into low sump. Not tackled, looked horrible.

I'm not sure if Markc of this parish tackled it either.

So Pitlamp, I think you may find it a 'proper' sump.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Question about Middleton Dale Mine Levels
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2019, 10:28:49 am »
Thanks Martin, that does sound like a water-filled sump rather than a miners' vertical shaft. (It also shows the value of keeping notes / caving diaries.)

Whilst I'm on, I just noticed that the COPD description (page 277 in both cases) also mentions that Level 9 and Level 11 contain a "sump" each.

Can anyone elaborate?

Ta

Offline mch

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Re: Question about Middleton Dale Mine Levels
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2019, 12:12:00 pm »
The sump in Level 11 referred to in COPD is definitely a water-filled sump - looked at it about 30 years ago.

Incidentally, the right hand mined passage in Level 4 has a terrific outward draft. Investigation is on my to-do list when I get time (John Beck thought that it may come from a connection to Ivy Green Cave).

Offline Mark

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Re: Question about Middleton Dale Mine Levels
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2019, 07:10:18 am »
Apologies I have been out of the country.

Just to add to what others have said, the "sump" in level 4 developed after we dug out the passage, which created a
U bend. After breaking into the chambers digging continued but the onset of winter and a lot more drips soon filled the passage creating a "sump", water levels vary from roofed to bone dry depending on weather conditions.

Levels 9 & 11 each contain flooded mine workings, again depending on rainfall, both are just blind levels.

Offline martinb

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Re: Question about Middleton Dale Mine Levels
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2019, 09:05:11 am »
I concur with Levels 9 and 11 having blind sumps, both Markc and myself looked at them in the past.

One thing you may like to look at is a possible sump in Sunday Mine (COPD page 285).

Myself and markc filled in the old oil drum entrance as it and the associated crawl had collapsed in the past and we dug a 'new' 45deg entrance to intersect the rift above the original crawl.

JSB indicated the rift ending in a choke of large boulders, but when we explored it there was no choke, apart from some HUGE boulders in the roof, after that was a 45 deg slope dropping some 2 to 3m to a water filled pool. The water levels, over the period we were trying to find a way into Aaron's entrance (in the natural passages above but not accessible from Sunday Mine), the water levels did vary. We did think that the water *may* have something to do with the sump/stream in Streaks but we guessed we were a way above that.

Of interest was a very noticable rope rub mark in the wall above and right of the 'sump'.

We also explored Aaron's Entrance workings as well, mostly natural with flat out crawls to a choke at the end, where JSB indicated a shaft had been dug in the past, now collapsed - and dug down towards the choke in Sunday Mine, but to no avail.

We did do a smoke test from Sunday Mine - lower to Aaron's - higher. I lit a smoke 'berm' and succesfully gassed Markc within nano-seconds. There was also voice connection.

Sunday Mine is best accessed with a 6m ladder as the slope is a tad awkward to climb unaided, there is (probably) an old rope tied around the tree to the right of the entrance to clip on to. The entrance is higher and east of the Streaks Lower Entrance, hidden from the road.

Just been looking at my notes for this dig, dated from November/December 2011, and we broke into Sunday Mine (Lower) on 10th Jan 2012.

"There is a pearched sump and no evidence of connection to rest of Sunday Mine (Aaaron's Entrance) although there is a noticable draught at the entrance"

On 13th Feb (2012) "...it was noticed that the sump was low and Markc prodded the metal pole in. The numpty let go and it disappeared!..."

21st Feb 2012 "...Sump had dropped by another 8", Markc retrieved pole!"

As a side note the pole was about 5' long, and it disappeared vertically down into the sump.

29th March 2012 "..trip to see if water levels had changed - which they had, another 20+cm lower,... spent time chasing draughts and theorising...!"

That was our last trip into Sunday Mine as all digging efforts had come to nowt and a certain Treak Cliff Cavern lured us with hidden delights.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Question about Middleton Dale Mine Levels
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2019, 09:17:38 pm »
Thanks very much MCH, Mark & Martin B!