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Dates carved iun the wall in Brynlow Mine


Brynlow Mine is located in Brynlow Dell which is north of Artists Lane. Brynlow (sometimes spelt Brinlow) is marked on the 1878 plan as an ancient level but evidence from within the mine suggests that most of it was probably the work of Charles Roe in the 18th century. On one wall of a coffin level in the main workings, someone has carved the initials JW (probably Jonathan Wagstaff, one of Charles Roe's men) and the date 1764. There is a suggestion that the mine might have been started earlier.  Near the JW intials is another date 1866 and initials GL (George Leeman?).  The earlier evidence is in the form of a number of pits which the later mining intersects at shallow depth below the surface.  The diagram below, which is looking from the west, illustrates the history as we currently interpret it:

Section on NW-SE alignment (1) Bronze age pits near the surface; nearby (2) are 18th century surface workings.
(3) 18th century workings running up to shallow depth and (4) a shaft (now called Norweb Shaft after it was rediscovered by Norweb contractors laying a cable. 
(5) The 18th century adit leading to contemporary passages (6) along the fault/vein, some of which rise up to touch the bottom of the Bronze Age workings (3).
(7) The 19th century Hough Level (which may have been called Oakes' Level) that undercuts and drains the older workings.  Larger stopes (8) lie parallel to the Hough Level and a flooded sump in the floor (9) leads to unexplored workings.

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The entrance is a narrow cutting in the dell which leads up to a metal door. Before being rediscovered by the DCC, the entrance was completely lost and the adit was nearly full of leaf mould and water.

Inside, the passage is narrow and low with curved walls, wider at the shoulders, which give it the name of "Coffin Level". After a few hundred feet, the passage meets the Brynlow fault and turns right into the main workings. Where the passage turns right, a branch continues straight on but half the size of the entrance passage. This ends at a blank wall.

In the main workings, there are six levels from close to the road in Artists Lane to below water level, a vertical range of some 100 feet. These are connected by a sloping shaft and some climbing ways, one with the ladder still in place. Below adit level, the mine was excavated in the 19th century .

Except for some flooded workings, the lowest level in the mine forms part of the Hough Level and, since the DCC have worked in the area, access has been made possible again to Wood Mine to the west and Engine Vein to the east.  From Brynlow, the Hough Level runs westwards along the fault for some distance before turning north and then east to enter Wood Mine.  In the other direction, the level turns north as it leaves Brynlow and heads straight for Bear Pit and Engine Vein. 

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Because of the nature of the workings, Brynlow is not suitable for trips except by experienced cavers and mine explorers.  For access, contact the DCC.  The only entrance to Brynlow is the adit entrance.

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Go to the main photo gallery for more pictures of Brynlow Mine.

click a picture below to enlarge it

The entrance looking up valley. The figures give scale.In the Brynlow Adit (The Brynlow adit is a tight fit for adults! Compare the later picture of the extension towards the flooded workings.)In the adit following the fault (The adit turns along the fault (left hand wall))Abandoned miners' ladder, probably from the 20th century (This ladder may date from the 19th century or could have been brought in by visitors in the twentieth century after the mine closed. We know it was accessible in the early 1960s.)
The entrance looking up valley. The figures give scale.In the Brynlow AditIn the adit following the faultAbandoned miners' ladder, probably from the 20th century
1764 on the wall in Brynlow1866 date (GL carved his initials and date near the 1805 date as well as further in, near the 1764 date)In the high-level passages (These passages may date from the 1805 period)Water transport (The boat used to get through to Engine Vein as the water is more than 2 metres deep in this section (compare with the historical pictures))
1764 on the wall in Brynlow1866 dateIn the high-level passagesWater transport

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Please note, some detail may not be shown at present for security and safety reasons.

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