UK Caving Exploration

Author sophos9 - Last updated: 09.12.2009

Some History

I can’t go into too much detail about this mine, due to the dangerous and sensitive nature of it, but if you like underground urbex, you’ll like this.

The mine was dug to provide minerals for the chemical industry, it opened in 1959 and the workings cover over 30 miles on 5 levels.

At it’s peak, giant plant machinery was used underground, and the size of some of the spaces is immense, the rock crusher alone that was left down there is easily 3 times the size of a house and the main roadway is 3 storeys high in places.

The mine closed a few years ago due to the working out of the profitable seams. It is still under care and maintenance to safeguard the houses and town it lies under.

Urbexing an abandoned mine

Urbexing an abandoned mine

The Explore

Me and diehardlove arrived early in the morning to meet up with two other explorers, we promptly found our way in and were greeted with an awesome sight. I’ve been in mines before, but the scale of this place was truly mind blowing.

While we were looking around, there were roof collapses in other parts of the mine due to the rain soaking in and this was very scary, we however made it out without incident in the end. It was easy to get lost here, but this just meant that we saw a lot more than if we had been following a set route.

We explored the deepest levels as a result of going the wrong way, and this was really worth the effort of the long walk back again! Although the mine has been emptied of most of it’s equipment, it was still possible to find giant conveyor belts and parts of diggers.

Abandoned mine looks great for urbex

Abandoned mine looks great for urbex

Equipment

We took a lot of gear with us and it was all essential for a safe(ish) explore:

  1. Helmets and walking boots
  2. Lots of food and water
  3. Climbing gear
  4. First Aid Kits
  5. Two large searchlights
  6. Head torches
  7. Hand-held torches
  8. Batteries
  9. Cameras, tripods and flash units

My Camera

All of the photos you see on here were taken simply with a Canon EOS 450D and 18-55 lens. I generally use a Canon 5D when I am in buildings, but mines are wholly different places and I don’t like taking such an expensive camera down them. All of the photos were taken in 30 seconds or less, but I did have a shutter release with me. I used light painting with torches for all of the photos, I believe it is the best lighting techniques as you have more or less unlimited control of the light, something that is harder to achieve with flash units. I mainly used a Maglite 4D body with Terralux TLE-300 emitter for these photos, it’s very bright at 600 lumen’s. Sometimes even this wasn’t enough though, so we had to rely on the large searchlights we took with us.

Some Pictures

One of the 20 metres curtains in the deepest level

One of the 20 metres curtains in the deepest level

Large water tank in the mine

Large water tank in the mine

One of the most modern stretches of the mine

One of the most modern stretches of the mine

Decaying machinery

Decaying machinery

End of a conveyor belt

End of a conveyor belt

Transgalactic Mining Co.

Transgalactic Mining Co.

Colossal Conveyor Belts

Colossal Conveyor Belts

Still-Running Ventilation Fans

Still-Running Ventilation Fans

Thank You For Looking…

3 comments

#1SubExplorerFebruary 20, 2011, 7:14 pm

Middleton & Hopton Limestone Mine is an excellent explore. Great set of pictures. Thanks for keeping Urbex alive.

#2paulpowersOctober 30, 2011, 5:02 am

Middletons most popular tourist destination

#3MattApril 16, 2012, 6:30 pm

Looks like a great place! Thanks for making the effort to get in there.

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