Hanging Flat Lead Mine, Stoney Middleton, Derbyshire, December 2020

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HughieD

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1. The History
Hanging Flat mine is a small lead and fluorspar mine, just west of Stoney Middleton, Derbyshire. Sitting 100 feet above Watergrove sough, for many years the mine appears to have been un-named before being given its current name.

In late 1800s Samuel Needham and his brother lived close by in Hanging Flat House. They worked the mine for lead. The ore was mined on incline and then raised by winch and kimble into the adit which could take half-tonne tubs. However, in the 1950s and early 60s the mine was worked for fluorspar before closing. In 1967 J.Garlick proposed re-opening the mine and it subsequently worked throughout the 70s, apparently with little success, economically. In the 80s ex-Laporte man Roger Ridgeway then look over the mine and worked it with slightly more success, until it finally closed later in the decade circa 1987.

More recently, around 1992, the entrance section was used for filming a "cave rescue" scene for TV Soap Peak Practice (starring Kevin Whately and Amanda Burton) in an episode aptly titled “'Light at the End of the Tunnel”. They left behind a number of big polystyrene 'boulders' throughout the mine.

In terms of the mine itself, it runs northwards for 300 feet until it meets the east-west Needham Rake vein and splits into two branches. The eastern branch to the right leads to the New Gates shaft, which most likely predates Hanging Flat. The internal shaft has timbers around it and is set on area of false floor of steel sheet on girders. If you look down the shaft, you can see the lower level of the mine, 10m below.

To the left the passage has 6 cross-cut slits heading off to the right. These were driven into the vein from the parallel drive and all come to a dead end at a back-fill. Here the vein was drilled and blasted nearly to surface then the fluorspar was loaded out of the slits.

The mine retains the iron pipework that was used to take compressed air to the rock drills. Brown pipes also run through the mine, possibly as part of the ventilation system while smaller-diameter flexible pipes were most likely for water for dust suppression.

2. The Explore
This one hasn’t come up much bar a couple of reports by @PaulPowers. That’s quite surprising given it’s a cracking, photogenic little mine and access is relatively easy. Been doing a lot of walking and exploring around Stoney Middleton so when I discovered this place was located close-by I headed off for a shufty. The entrance is tucked away close to the road. It’s a bit of a tight scramble to get in but the mine soon opens out and thereafter is flat and pretty dry. We spent a good hour-and-a-half in here as although it might be relatively small it’s pretty nice. The right-hand branch goes further than the left passage, but it gets a bit sketchy around the shaft, with collapses and rotting beams. Getting out was a bit more difficult without the aid of gravity and we got a bit mucky but all-in-all it was worth it.

3. The Pictures

Here’s what we were looking for:

Hangingflat 07 by HughieDW, on Flickr

It was a bit of a squeeze…

Hangingflat 06 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9740 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The compressed air pipes:

img9742 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Left or right first?

img9770 by HughieDW, on Flickr

To the left:

img9739 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Remains of an old cart:

img9736 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Rusting mining gear:

Hangingflat 04 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Old compressed air cylinder:

img9731 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Minerals leaching in the wall:

Hangingflat 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

On we go:

img9733 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9732 by HughieDW, on Flickr

One of the six cross-cut slits:

img9728 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And back out we go:

img9727 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9718 by HughieDW, on Flickr

On to the right-hand passage:

img9767 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Close-up of the tipper:

img9749 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Side passage to an elevated working:

img9763 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Deeper in we go:

img9760 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9758 by HughieDW, on Flickr

This is where it starts to get a bit sketchy:

img9755 by HughieDW, on Flickr
 

BikinGlynn

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Thats a really nice one mate, love the old tipper cart
 

yvettelancaster

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1. The History
Hanging Flat mine is a small lead and fluorspar mine, just west of Stoney Middleton, Derbyshire. Sitting 100 feet above Watergrove sough, for many years the mine appears to have been un-named before being given its current name.

In late 1800s Samuel Needham and his brother lived close by in Hanging Flat House. They worked the mine for lead. The ore was mined on incline and then raised by winch and kimble into the adit which could take half-tonne tubs. However, in the 1950s and early 60s the mine was worked for fluorspar before closing. In 1967 J.Garlick proposed re-opening the mine and it subsequently worked throughout the 70s, apparently with little success, economically. In the 80s ex-Laporte man Roger Ridgeway then look over the mine and worked it with slightly more success, until it finally closed later in the decade circa 1987.

More recently, around 1992, the entrance section was used for filming a "cave rescue" scene for TV Soap Peak Practice (starring Kevin Whately and Amanda Burton) in an episode aptly titled “'Light at the End of the Tunnel”. They left behind a number of big polystyrene 'boulders' throughout the mine.

In terms of the mine itself, it runs northwards for 300 feet until it meets the east-west Needham Rake vein and splits into two branches. The eastern branch to the right leads to the New Gates shaft, which most likely predates Hanging Flat. The internal shaft has timbers around it and is set on area of false floor of steel sheet on girders. If you look down the shaft, you can see the lower level of the mine, 10m below.

To the left the passage has 6 cross-cut slits heading off to the right. These were driven into the vein from the parallel drive and all come to a dead end at a back-fill. Here the vein was drilled and blasted nearly to surface then the fluorspar was loaded out of the slits.

The mine retains the iron pipework that was used to take compressed air to the rock drills. Brown pipes also run through the mine, possibly as part of the ventilation system while smaller-diameter flexible pipes were most likely for water for dust suppression.

2. The Explore
This one hasn’t come up much bar a couple of reports by @PaulPowers. That’s quite surprising given it’s a cracking, photogenic little mine and access is relatively easy. Been doing a lot of walking and exploring around Stoney Middleton so when I discovered this place was located close-by I headed off for a shufty. The entrance is tucked away close to the road. It’s a bit of a tight scramble to get in but the mine soon opens out and thereafter is flat and pretty dry. We spent a good hour-and-a-half in here as although it might be relatively small it’s pretty nice. The right-hand branch goes further than the left passage, but it gets a bit sketchy around the shaft, with collapses and rotting beams. Getting out was a bit more difficult without the aid of gravity and we got a bit mucky but all-in-all it was worth it.

3. The Pictures

Here’s what we were looking for:

Hangingflat 07 by HughieDW, on Flickr

It was a bit of a squeeze…

Hangingflat 06 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9740 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The compressed air pipes:

img9742 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Left or right first?

img9770 by HughieDW, on Flickr

To the left:

img9739 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Remains of an old cart:

img9736 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Rusting mining gear:

Hangingflat 04 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Old compressed air cylinder:

img9731 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Minerals leaching in the wall:

Hangingflat 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

On we go:

img9733 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9732 by HughieDW, on Flickr

One of the six cross-cut slits:

img9728 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And back out we go:

img9727 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9718 by HughieDW, on Flickr

On to the right-hand passage:

img9767 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Close-up of the tipper:

img9749 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Side passage to an elevated working:

img9763 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Deeper in we go:

img9760 by HughieDW, on Flickr

img9758 by HughieDW, on Flickr

This is where it starts to get a bit sketchy:

img9755 by HughieDW, on Flickr
exiting explore brill pics
 

Roderick

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This was one of the first mines I explored many years ago. It was a great place to take beginners as until recently the polystyrene boulders still had most of their paint so looked very realistic, particularly as you were only expecting to see real rocks underground. You could with much effort and grunting pick one up then pass it to the unsuspecting person who didn't know about them with words like "just feel the weight of this". The mine was worked more recently than you might imagine and was probably the last in the dale.
A lovely Gentle Giant of a man called Roger Ridgeway, who had been involved in the mines and quarries all his life doing everything from laboring through to being surveyor and chemist, took it over and decided to work it on his own. Much of what you saw in there was his handiwork. He was a real legend and impossibly strong. If you go in the Miners Arms in Eyam of an evening after lock down and ask about him they will tell you stories about his exploits all night. He was in there every night usually drinking several pints of Coke! There was (and probably still is) a big chest of lead ore which had not moved for years because of it's weight. When asked about it, a previous landlord who was shall we say not noted for his generosity, explained why it never moved and told the questioner that if anybody could lift it he would buy everybody in the pub a drink. Roger's ears pricked up, he shuffled to his feet, braced himself, hefted the chest of lead up, clumped across the room with it and banged it down on the bar causing the bar to collapse and everyone got a free drink. If you want to read about mining in Stoney dale there is a nice piece Roger wrote here Eyam Plague Village | Eyam Village in the Peak District | Mining. He was a real polymath, as well read and knowledgeable as he was strong. I miss the quiz nights in the Miners when Roger would correct the quiz master if he was wrong.
 

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