It’s been a busy few months for the group even without much underground exploration. We have finally ascertained a full understanding of ownership rights over the moor, after being in contact with both the Grassington Moor Management Association and the Bolton Abbey Estate. The estate work on behalf of the Duke of Devonshire who owns the mineral rights and the Management Association work alongside the Yorkshire Dales National Parks Authority. As the moor is classed as common land with no known owner, it is the local authority (the YDNPA) that is tasked with ensuring that no unlawful interference occurs. We are still waiting on a response from the Management Committee to confirm that they do not object to fencing and repairs to Chatsworth Mine, and already have confirmation from the Estate that they are happy for the work to go ahead. Members of the committee including myself, John H and Adam C will be attending a meeting with the Estates Director on the 23rd of May in order to discuss what information the Estate has on the mines, and to discuss future works planned by the group. Once we receive a response from the Management Association, we will be submitting the Scheduled Monument Consent to Historic England before attempting to raise funds to carry out the repair work at Chatsworth Mine.
In a recent meeting, we have also discussed how to raise the group’s profile including giving presentations on our work and also speaking with the YDNPA in order to increase tourist interest in the Lead Mining history of Grassington. At the moment, no plans have been made in relation to the above, however we have contacted a number of sources in order to obtain any historic images of the shafts and mine workings. These include contacting the Yorkshire Dales Museum at Hawes and sending a letter to David Joy, author of a book on the area entitled Men of Lead. In addition to this we have also sent a letter to a prominent member of the Earby Mines Research Group, who conducted a lot of work across the moor in the distant past.
On Saturday the 13th of April, a good friend of mine, Tom Buckley, took a trip up from Manchester, bringing along his state-of-the-art Drone. With this invaluable equipment we were able to capture some stunning footage of the mines as seen from above. The footage captured has now been uploaded onto my computer and when I get the chance will be edited and published on the website. In addition to this, I intend on using some of the footage as an introductory section within any presentations that I put together on the mines. Further to this, we were able to video an ascending video of Beever Mine, starting directly above the engine shaft and ascending to a height of 120 metres. I intend on lowering a camera down the shaft to the bottom (an estimated 91 metres), and coupling this up with the reversed drone footage. This will start the footage high above the moor and drop down the shaft to the bottom, giving viewers a unique view of the size and scale of the mine shafts.
In regards to the website, I have been creating a section on some of the mines which are now inaccessible. This will include surface pictures and descriptions of most of the main mines and will be included on the website as an additional section. More work needs to be done before this section is completed, however I have already taken a number of trips up to the moor in order to gather pictures and hope to have this project completed within the next few months.