So this was more of a cheeky little explore than anything planned in advance. A few of us were in the South of France for the Urban Explorer Wedding of the Year, an event that was most definitely epic and involved many many drunken selfies of at least half a dozen drunken explorers (including the Bride and Groom) but hey that's another story and not one for here
The day after we left the Bride and Groom to do Honeymoony type things and took ourselves off on a trip to the local cokeworks/coal miney type place. It isn't epic or awesome but it was a pretty damn fine mooch to end the trip with.
It is a derpy derp and appears to be a popular place to burn out cars but worth a trip anyway
History is limited and in French so here is my best shot at something that vaguely resembles information but however doesn't mean a great deal to me and is probably worth skipping lol!....
The Sainte Marie open pit was a coal mine of the Mining Unit of Tam, H.B.C.M. (Houilleres du Bassin Centre Midi), in the south-western part of France, near Albi. In this area, a large amount of coal has been exploited by Underground mining. This pit was designed in order to exploit the coal remaining around the shaft (Saint Marie shaft) of an old Underground mine situated in the basin of Carmaux.The diameter at the top of the pit was 1200 metres and its final depth was expected to be 300 metres. The first 100 metres were composed of tertiary deposits (clay and sand) which covered the carboniferous formation. The average slope angle of the Tertiary is 37° (without benches) and in the Coal Measures, it was foreseen from 37° to 50° (with benches of 6 metres high) depending on the slope situaüon. At present üme, the depth of the mine is about 160 metres.
Nine coal seams have been mined by Underground working between 1900 and 1984. Different methods have been used depending on the thickness, the dip of the layer and the dimension of the panel. In fact, panels were backfilled, caved or undermined long-wall. The basin of Carmaux is a large synclinal split by a dense network of faults which directions are approximately N 140 E. The dips and the dip directions which was left around the shaft, but, close to the slopes, begin the old exploited long walls. These long walls are at different topographic levels due to the particular structure and have been exploited in panels lined by the faults odented approximately N140.
The first design of the open pit was done by a Standard geotechnical survey; this one has taken into account the geomechanical, hydrogeological, structural Parameters äs well äs the "decohesion", induced by the revival of subsidence due to old Underground mining. However, some mining slopes can locally present risks of slipping induced by old Underground mining.
Anyway here are a few pics
Thanks for looking
Crank Caverns have been on my radar for a while, with its mythical history of child eating dwarves, oddly shaped body bags, cannibalism and a hidden chapel who wouldn't want to go and take a look?
With a history like that, we decided to brave the night and risk life and limb to go in search of the evil creatures of the caverns. Meeting up with some friends we scurried through the dark to the edge of the woods. Wondering what awaited us we made our way through the trees to the cavern entrance, listening out for the scurry of tiny angry dwarf feet! Much to our disappointment, we heard no such thing so made our way in!
It was a little damp and muddy in places but We explored every nook and cranny possible, with one of the lads crawling through some that weren't even possible! He is like a crawly ninja of small holes and gaps that do not exist! Despite our extensive searching, we didn't come across any dwarves or a single human bone and with no evidence of a secret church we called it a night and went our separate ways. Was a fun night out with a cracking bunch of people
Sandstone quarrying began here as early as 1730. As the quarry expanded, the cost of purchasing land to open cast mine it increased, so it was decided to opt for a different method. Instead of quarrying out the stone, they would mine it out, following a seam of stone until it ran out. This resulted in the network of caves, tunnels and shafts we see today. Rainford Delph is listed as a Colliery by 1854, under the ownership of Charles Howarth or Yorkshire Charlie as he was known locally by 1880. Mining finally ceased and the woods and caverns were used as a game reserve by the Earl of Derby until 1939 when they became a storage facility for ammunition for the anti-aircraft position at Crank. After the war, the caverns ceased use as a game reserve.
Myths and Legends
Child Eating Dwarves
"Vicious dwarves" were once rumoured to inhabit the labyrinth of caverns in Crank. In the late 18th century four children decided to explore the sandstone caverns and vanished. One child survived and told a terrifying tale about small old men with beards, who talked in an unknown language, they killed his three friends and chased him. The petrified child stumbled over human bones in the caves and finally managed to scramble through an opening to the surface as a hand was grabbing at his ankle. The authorities became concerned because a number of people had gone missing in the area near the cave entrances and apparently they sent in the army to install gates and bars. It is apparently undecided if this was to keep people out or keep something in.
Oddly shaped body bags
Apparently about 17 or 18 years ago two young lads entered the caverns and got lost, they had told their parents where they were going and when they didn’t arrive home their parents informed the police. After a couple of days searching the police sealed off the area and removed to body bags from the caverns. This is where it gets strange, they were also reported to have removed 7 more body bags from the caverns, one of the bags was said to have not been in a body shape but was square.
There is a story about some scouts who went down the caverns for a look around and at the end of the day one of the scouts had not come back out. Eventually, they called out Cave Rescue to try and find the boy. After a long search they found him or what was left of him, allegedly the boy was partly eaten. The parents of the child wanted it all kept secret so the press didn't get hold of the story and they could give their son a peaceful send-off.
Another story tells of a child's head found in a cave, along with evidence of cannibalism. After a second investigation, the caves either collapsed or gunpowder was used to seal them.
Two heavily armed soldiers descended into the caverns with torches and claimed that they not only found a heap of human bones, they also found the ruins of an ancient church of some unknown denomination. The interior of the church was lit by three large candles and grotesque gargoyles formed part of an altar. Throughout the exploration of the underground, the soldiers said they felt as if they were being watched, and also heard voices speaking in an unknown language.
Anyway enough of this rubbish here's a few pics to look at instead......
Thanks for looking
Designed by Architect to the Metropolitan Police, John Dixon Butler FRIBA, the Greenwich Magistrates’ Court opened in 1909 with an integral police station. The Symmetrical frontage is faced in Portland Stone in a free Classical style and features a central semi-circular tablet with Royal Coat of Arms, carved in stone by Lawrence Turner.
Inside, the entranceway leads to the former police station foyer which has a mosaic tiled floor with MP monogram (for Metropolitan Police) laid by Messrs Diespeker. The foyer leads onto Court 1, the main courtroom which is toplit with a decorative plaster frieze around the light well and a monogram of Edward VII in plaster above the bench. The Courtroom has mostly original fittings and the bench is in a curved recess, up three steps. The court has its own custody suite. The suite consists of nine prison cells with associated facilities for booking in prisoners etc.
Visited here with @AndyK! a few months back. We sat on this for a while as we were hoping to return and see if we missed any bits but haven't got around to it. Anyway, I think we saw all the best bits. Here are some of my photos to begin with, and a few taken by Andy at the end. I also poached the history from his website report, so cheers for that!
A few shots of the custody suite from Andy
Thanks for looking