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Old Engine Shaft and Surface Features, Red Dell Valley, Coniston.

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The Old Engine Shaft dates from the 1830's, when it was sunk to replace the East Bonsor Shaft. A large 14m diameter water wheel was used to power the pump and winding gear operating in the shaft. The pump was based around a balance bob arrangement, used through out the Coniston Copper Mines complex.

The shaft is just over 400m deep and it intersects the Deep Level at the 90m mark. It then continues down into flooded workings to the 170 Fathom Level, 311m further down. The top of the shaft is accessible via a large short level driven into the hillside. From the level it is possible to see the head gear with sheaved wheel still in place, this was restored by CATMHS. Below the head gear is a small level, which formed a platform for the balance bob mechanism. The vertical pump rods are still in the shaft and can be clearly seem from the access level driven from the East Bonsor Shaft.

The pumping side of the shaft was used to pump water ultimately from the 205 Fathom level, which had been drawn up by operations on the New Engine Shaft. The water here was then diverted along the 170 Fathom level, and up to exit via Deep Level. Ore raised by the shaft will also have been taken out via this level, straight to the Bonsor Dressing Floors.