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Great Britain Cligga Head Mine: Giant Stope and middle level

TonyFisher

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Cligga Head Mine lies a few miles SW of Perranporth in Cornwall, England. The first activity is thought to be as old as 2000 years ago. Minerals mined included tin, wolfram and copper. The main network was dug from the 30s to 70s and consist of four levels with very roughly the same layout. These are commonly referred to as the top level (or 100 feet), middle level (200 feet), bottom level (300 feet) and the flooded level (below sea level) which no one explores and is seldom mentioned. There are many other smaller sections and inbetween levels, some of which are much older. Cligga tunnels run into the cliff face so not only is it visually spectacular to the casual walker passing by but you can access virtually any part without ropes. That doesn't mean however the safe entry points (adits) are obvious and when I first visited in the 80s had no idea it was even possible. Returning 30 or so years later with a heap of information including maps of 3 levels I was still unable to enter because I felt the none to obvious path down to the beach was too dangerous and I was still not sure about other entry points. The following year I was able to find a safer route down the cliff and had learnt of other safe entry points (adits). I was then able to fully explore. Well, fully apart from the areas I deemed too risky. I made a rule that I would not knowingly cross any false floors or do any climbing other than basic clambering. Visiting on my own I figured I had to be extra careful. Not that I'd want to die in a group either of course. The below photos and video is from the middle level as well as a massive stope which is obviously not level specific.
Camera- Sony Cybershot 350WX.

B1.jpg


Standing next to a recent collapse in the giant stope. This is where the ore was actually mined. The tunnels and shafts are for access, ventilation, drainage and moving the ore.
xMiddleLevel2b.jpg


A short modern ladder from the stope to the middle level.
B3.jpg


Contact shaft on the middle level. This is the main shaft that runs through all four levels. It is however capped so it's just a concrete pad on the surface.
B4.jpg


An ore chute. Ore would have been tipped into carts from a higher level. In recent years (since about 1995) explorers have put clay on the walls and written names and messages in it. The wet clay floor only extends a few feet and is kind of unexpected.
B5.jpg


Scary looking corridor. I stayed well away.
B6.jpg


The photos shows I am not really a photographer and video is my passion. There are many videos of the mine but I wanted to capture it in a wider angle than normal. Although the 4 torches required are slightly distracting I was very pleased with the result. I thought long and hard about editing it and ended up choosing something that comprehensively shows the stope and middle level as well as remind me of what I did that day when I watch it in 20 years time. Sure I could have cut it down and made it more viewer friendly but I don't think history needs editing into a format based on attention span or what the Quest channel think is best.
Camera: Samsung Gear 360 (2016) using one lens for 180 deg coverage.
 
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TonyFisher

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Sorry, one photo splitting text. Don't know how to edit after posting.
 
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