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Deep Level (03/04/09)

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Following the course of the Red Dell beck we soon reached the first adit of this valley. It was a strange feeling to be away from the well known adits of Nenthead! Here we observed everything with fresh eyes, rather than the run straight in.

The first section of the level was a cross cut to the Bonsor Vein and this was driven in very nice competent rock, along the way in, on the floor we could see sleepers and the iron spikes that used to hold the rails in place - you would not want to trip and fall on these. After some 200m we reached the Bonsor Vein, but you could only go along it for a short distance, as falls had occurred on both the west and east branches. Here at this junction we saw our first feature, the flooded Bonsor East Shaft, with its deep blue pool. Carrying on north, after a short walk we reached the Old Engine Shaft, again with a corresponding deep blue pool and long view up it. In the pool we could see part of a manway and ladder. Pete then pointed out, in a questioning tone, what was supporting the large rocks over the manway, which was our way on?

Shirting around the shaft we carried on in a north westerly direction along the Dry Gill Vein, following the course of W. T. Shaw's 1954 By-Pass Level. This lead us to the Old North Cross Cut. Climbing up into it, to the northeast we reached the Dry Gill Vein again and the forehead. Retracing our steps, we then carried on in the other direction, finally reaching a dig, which I believe gave access to the Bonsor Vein again. At this point we turned round and headed back out, to investigate all the other features up the valley. Having done some more research, we should have gone through the dig as it gave access to the rest of the accessable Deep Level. Assuming it had not fallen in, does anyone know the story of it?