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UK Penny Rigg Copper Mill and Adits - Tilberthwaite - October 2015

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Penny Rigg Copper Mill and Adits - Tilberthwaite
Penny Rigg Mill, showing the pit which housed a 32ft diameter wheel.
Penny Rigg Copper Mill was used to process copper ore which was transported to the mill from the Tilberthwaite mine through the impressively long Deep Level Adit. The remains of the copper mill are extensive and include settling pits, smithy and office buildings, various huts and gunpowder magazines; together with buildings that were used for slate mining.
Tilberthwaite Deep Level Adit - also known as the Horse Level - once passed below Tilberthwaite Gill and deep under the hillside to the Tilberthwaite or Three Kings Mine almost a kilometre away. The entrance to is just behind the remains of Penny Rigg Copper Mill, where the ore from the mine was transported through the adit from the mine workings - in carts pulled by horse.
As well as the Deep Level Adit 2 other mines are located at Penny Rigg, the Quarry Adit and Small Quarry Adit.
My Visit
I'd already spent most of my day down the Coniston Copper Mines and had intended heading here the next day, but found myself with some spare time and wanted to at least locate Jenny Rigg Mill. Once parked up temptation and the thought of having a lie in bed tomorrow saw me wandering around the mill buildings. That wasn't really why I'd come here so as soon as I found the entrance to the Deep Level Adit I was in.
Wet from the start, the tunnel was a reasonable size so no stooping involved.
A small weir had been constructed just before you entered a large chamber, I was hopping the water wasn't much deeper on the other side as it was already close to the top of my willies.
Thankfully it wasn't and the chamber had some nice historical artefacts dotted around.
From here I followed a side tunnel on the right side of the main tunnel.
The railway sleepers are still evident on the floor of the tunnel.
Looking back the way I'd come I retraced my steps to gain the main tunnel.
The main tunnel continues for about another 400ft to a gated entrance, this I presume was where the tunnel was blocked previously, but the Cumbria Amenity Trust Mining History Society are currently trying to remove the blockages. It seems after removing this one they gained another 343m of tunnel, at the moment they are at another blockage, who knows how much further they will get after clearing this?
After this I headed out to find the Quarry Adit, this is located not too far away.
Again a reasonable sized tunnel which has a bit of water in it, less frequented than the previous one too by the looks of things.
There's some nice mineral deposits on the walls and pleasant enough to stroll through.
Probably about 250ft long the adit terminates at a blockage, again lots of nice mineral deposits on the walls.
I still had the light to try and find the the 3rd mine, Small Quarry Adit. My description as to where it was located was a bit sketchy and saw me walking along the crest of Tilbertwaite Quarry high onto the hills; at this point I found the remains of some small buildings and the entrance to the mine.
It's a bit shorter than the other 2, but probably sees very few visits due to its location. This one's fairly dry and again of a reasonable size.
Soon I was at the end of this mine and the end of my visits to the mines in this part of the Lake District.
All the mines at Jenny Rigg were great to explore, the outbuildings look interesting enough too but wasn't why I came here. Hopefully work to clear the various blockages in the Deep Level Adit will give a long interesting trip underground in the future.

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Cheers all, it was a nice mooch :thumb


I've heard talk of the section that the Cumbria Amenity Trust Mining History Society was digging having suffered in the recent floods, hopefully not too much damage has been done.

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