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Grove Rake Mine (Aug 2012) 2013

Judderman62

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OK so I am probably th last person on the planet to pay this place a visit

as it seems everyone and their cat has been but here I present it none

the less.

The History.

The Groverake mine is located at the junction of the Groverake, Greencleugh,

and Red veins about 4.5 kilometers northwest of Rookhope, near the head of

the burn. Mining in the area likely predates the seventeenth century, but

major development was started by the Beaumont Company in the late

eighteenth century, including the sinking of two shafts on the Red and

Groverake veins, which ultimately reached levels in and below the Great

Limestone. Although the veins proved rich in fluorspar, they were relatively

poor in lead. Dunham (1990) reported that between 1818 and 1883, they

produced only 6,498 tons of lead concentrates.

With the departure of Beaumont, the mine was picked up in 1884, by the

Weardale Lead Company, which, followed by a succession of several

operators, worked the property for both fluorspar and lead until 1940.

Problems with the treatment of the fluorspar ores to remove silica evidently

limited the success of the mine during this period.

More successful operations were begun during World War II by Blanchland

Fluor Mines, Ltd., and then followed by British Steel. During the British Steel

tenancy, the Rake level was driven northward from the area of the shafts to

access the upper levels of both the Red and Groverake veins, and the

Firestone dib (local term for a decline) was put in to access lower levels on

the same veins. Although these tunnels never interconnected with the shaft-

accessed workings, they are considered part of the Groverake mine complex

(Younger 2003).

Fluorspar deposits on both veins proved rich, and the mine became one of the

top fluorspar producers in the region during the latter part of the century. With

the collapse of British Steel in the early 1980s, the mine was acquired by

Weardale Minerals and Mining, whose parent company, Minworth, Ltd., was

itself forced into receivership in 1991. The mine was then purchased by

Sherburn Minerals and worked until summer 1999. At the time of its final

closure, Groverake was the last commercial fluorspar mine operating in the

North Pennines.

The Visit.

This was first port of call on my trip to the North East. It's a lovely drive up there

with nice winding country roads, little traffic and miles of emptyness - I loved

the area.

On arrival there was a very light mist hanging in the air , which later

developed into a thick fog. This made for some dull looking photos

with little definition. It was a lovely chilled, relaxed mooch which I

rather enjoyed and a shot or two that were a little unexpected.

The Photos.

The fog was a double edged sword as, as it zapped some definition and clarity

it did lend some quite atmospheric shots to the collection - some of which

I really like.

These were taken with the Pentax K5.

So on with the show.

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I was not alone on site

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Locker area

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Remains of a dead sheep

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Nest of baby swallows

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Shush

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Very very cute ikkle animals :D Nice industrial pics there my duck

 

scrappy

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i really like this place and always wanted to go back at some point, well done! :)

 

klempner69

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Thats well good mate..I swear,when I was scrolling down,that big gear wheel looked like it was moving!

 
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Judderman62

Judderman62

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it's a belter, nice gentle mooch and in a lovely, remote part of the country. Mucho enjoyment :)

 
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Judderman62

Judderman62

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from memory no ...but when I saw it I liked it and thought ... oooh I'll keep that

 
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Judderman62

Judderman62

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sure it wont be to everyone's tastes but I liked it

 

SuZyQue

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Awesome report and pics, I like the foggy atmosphere it seems to go with the place/location, it looks a relaxing place. :)

 

skeleton key

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Thats sweet loving the way nature starts creeping in

Cool share

(y)

 
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Judderman62

Judderman62

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I have read that it's badly flooded and a death trap

 
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