Most of the work I have been doing as of late focuses around how to preserve and protect Chatsworth mine. The mine itself has a main shaft which reaches a depth of 44.5 metres with the first 6 metres protected by a dry-stone walling collar before reaching solid rock. As can be seen from the numerous pictures uploaded, the top of the shaft is covered by a series of rotten wooden sleepers, with a mound of rocks piled on top of them. This has meant that the shaft cannot easily be identified, and is a death trap for any unsuspecting humans or larger animals that may walk over it. After a discussion with John, I have decided to apply for permission from Historic England to erect a fence around the mine and to cement sections of the dry-stone walling collar. This is to prevent anyone from inadvertently walking over the shaft, and to stop any of the brickwork from falling out of the collar which could destabilise the shaft. The reason permission needs to be sought from Historic England is because the Grassington Mines are classed as a scheduled monument and as such, and unauthorised work would constitute a criminal offence. I don’t see there being an issue with us doing this, as there are already fences around some of the other mines across the moor, and the work we propose to do will both protect visitors to the area and preserve the mines.
In addition to this, during a recent meeting, one of our members Adam Clenton, has offered his services in protecting the shaft lining. Adam is an expert in this type of restoration work and was able to provide technical advice on how the lining should be protected. Not only that, but Adam also offered to cover the costs in paying for the sand/cement grouting which will be used to hold the brick work in place.
I am currently waiting for a response from Historic England and in the meantime have approached a friend from Harlington Fencing is going to provide a quote for the fencing. Once a response is received from Historic England, I will begin efforts to raise money to pay for the materials.