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Smallcleugh Mine, Nenthead, Cumbria.


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Smallcleugh Mine from what we can gather was started in about 1770, looking for the continuation of Hanginshaw's West of Nent Vein, but this was soon abandoned. In 1787 the work was restarted by an agent for the London Lead Company along the Smallcleugh Cross Vein which produced an immense quantity of ore. There where also many other rich veins worked from Smallcleugh - Middlecleugh (and 1st and 2nd Sun Veins), Longcleugh, and Great Cross. The mine over the years was also worked by the Nenthead and Tynedale Lead and Zinc Company and Vieille Montagne Zinc Company. Most of the operations in Smallcleugh had come to an end around the 1900's. In 1963 the mine was briefly reopened in pursuit of new ore reserves, but little large scale mining took place. A famous occurrence at the mine was the dinner party held down it. On September 2nd 1901, 28 members of the local Masonic branch held a dinner down the mine in a large stope know today as the Ballroom Flat.

It is often assumed that Smallcleugh Mine extends all the way to Bogg Shaft and beyond, as these are reached via the Smallcleugh portal, however Smallcleugh originally only went as far as the Longcleugh Vein past the Ballroom, and the beginnings of the Middlecleugh Vein and Middlecleugh Second Sun Vein. The area past this which covers Carr's Cross Vein, Cow Hill Cross Vein, Barron's Sump Chamber and beyond are is in fact a separate mine called Longcleugh Mine, which was originally worked by shafts.

Smallcleugh Mine is the one that everyone knows and goes down. We have been going down this mine on and off since 1988. It is very impressive and extensive with multiple flats, circular routes and connections to Middlecleugh, Rampgill, Carr's and Caplecleugh Mines.

General Mine Photographs

Pictures that we have taken over the years from all parts of the mine.

Updated 06/07/11.


Proud's Sump

We had read a trip report about Proud's Sump. Sounding interesting, we had a look ourselves.

(Charlie, Karl, Mike, Pete), Jan 04 and (Charlie, Mike), 15th April 04.

Middlecleugh Second Sun Vein

Trip to find the location of shafts linking into Capelcleugh mine.

(Charlie, Mike), 15th April 04.

Proud's Sump and Carr's Level

We met up with Karli from Nenthead and popped down Proud's Sump to see if we could get into Carr's Level.

(Charlie, Karli, Mike), 12th June 04.

Middlecleugh Second Sun Vein and Sub Levels

A trip to explore the sub levels and a drop down into Capelcleugh.

(Charlie, Karli, Mark, Mike), 31st July 04.

Smallcleugh Cross Vein and Sub Level

Exploration of the sub level below this passage.

(Charlie, Karli, Mike), 1st August 04.

Bogg Shaft and Middlecleugh Level

Visit to Bogg Shaft and up into Middlecleugh Level.

(Aubrey, Ambrose, Charlie, Karli, Mike), 21st August 04.

Baron's Sump

Trip to try and find this magnificent chamber.

(Charlie, Karli, Karl, Mike, Pete), 1st October 04.

Baron's Sump Revisited

Trip to explore the Baron's Sump area and to try and get up into the Low Flats.

(Charlie, Karli, Mark and Mike), 14th November 04.

The end of Middlecleugh Second Sun Vein

A trip to tie up some loose ends and to see the forehead of Middlecleugh Second Sun Vein.

(Charlie, Karli, and Mike), 9th July 05.

Beyond Bogg Shaft 1

Exploration of the stopes past Bogg Shaft and the forehead of Longcleugh Vein.

(Charlie, Karli, and Mike), 28th July 05.

Old Fan Flats and The Letter Box

Back to basics, having a look at the things you pass by and flash powder photography.

(Karli, Mark and Mike), 8th October 05.

Smallcleugh to a Unknow Level - Part 1

Exploring the sublevel on Smallcleugh Cross Vein leading to questions...

(Karli, Mark and Mike), 9th October 05.

Middlecleugh Vein

After waiting over 17 years, finally we get to see this part of the mine.

(Mike and Peter), 19th November 05.

Smallcleugh to a Unknown Level (Through Trip to Carr's Level) - Part 2 - Concluding the investigation of the Smallcleugh Cross Vein Sublevels.
(Karli and Mike), 20th November 05.

Cross Vein Sublevels and Sumps - Returning back to the sump we found in the Letter Box area of the Smallcleugh Cross Vein.
(Karli and Mike), 5th December 05.

First & Second Sun Veins and Santa's Grotto

Looking at the far east side of Smallcleugh and huntng out fabled grottos.

(Charlie and Mike), 20th January 06.

Unkown Flats below Smallcleugh

Amazing little seen or unknown flats below Smallcleugh, practically under your feet.

(Charlie, Karli, Mark and Mike), 21st January 06.

Digging on the East End of the Middlecleugh 2nd Sun Vein

Having a stab at a small dig on the east end of the Middlecleugh Second Sun Vein.

(Charlie, Karli, Mark, Mike and Ryan), 22nd January and 25th February 06.

Hydraulic Shaft

Seeing the bottom of the shaft for the first time, its open and the level is clear.

(Charlie, Karli, Mike and Ryan), 25th February 06.

High Flats and Smallcleugh Flats and Maypole Testing

It's May, only one thing you can do, get a maypole and climb up it underground.

(Ambrose, Charlie, Karli, Mark and Mike), 6th May 06.

Looking at the ends of veins around the Barron's Sump area

Putting to bed the veins around Longcleugh Mine.

(Karli and Mike), 3rd June 06.

Bogg Shaft and Middlecleugh Vein Stopes

Discovering that Bogg Shaft has had a collapse, on the brighter side we found new large stopes on Middlecleugh Vein.

(Alistair, Karli and Mike), 24th June 06.

Middlecleugh Vein Stopes and Sub Levels

Further exploration of the stopes and getting a mud bath which would cost a fortune in a spa.

(Karli and Mike), 14th July 06.

Beyond Bogg Shaft 2

More exploration of the sublevels and stopes past Bogg Shaft at the forehead of Longcleugh Vein.

(Ambrose, Mike, Phil, and Rich), 11th September 06.

Beyond Bogg Shaft 3

Surveying the sublevels and stopes found on the last trip.

(Alistair, Karli, Mike and Peter), 30th September 06.

Middlecleugh Second Sun and Longcleugh Vein Stopes - Part 1

First explore of these warren like stopes and veins.

(Karli, Mike and Peter), 9th December 06.

Smallcleugh Cross Vein Sumps

Putting to rest the questions of which sumps are open and which are blocked.

(Karli and Mike), 10th December 06.

Middlecleugh Second Sun and Longcleugh Vein Stopes - Part 2

Second visit to these complex stopes, carrying on surveying and checking sublevels.

(Karli and Mike), 20th January 07.

East Side of Longcleugh Vein

Exploring the flats and strings on the Longcleugh Vein past the Ballroom.

(Alistair, Karl and Mike), 23rd February 07.

Sub Levels and Stopes Under Wheel Flats

Looking for the large flat that is marked on the VM abandoment plan.

(Mike and Pete), 9th March 07.

Middlecleugh Second Sun and Longcleugh Vein Stopes - Part 3

Finishing the stopes off on the Middlecleugh Sun Vein side and finding more sublevels on the Longcleugh Vein.

(Karli, Mike and Pete), 10th March 07.

Barron's Sump, Sublevel

Exploring Atkinson's Sump and sublevels on the east side of Cowhill Cross Vein, along Longcleugh Vein.

(Karli and Mike), 3rd November 07.

Wheel Flats, Sublevels

Maypoling up a sublevel rise that we first found in 2006.

(Karl, Mike and Pete), 24th November 07.

Bogg Shaft and Rigging

A trip to have a look at the current state of Bogg Shaft and to install some permanent rigging for access.

12th January 08, (Karli, Mike, Pete, Tony and Wendy).

Photography Practice with LED Lighting

Pictures and then some more pictures and then some......

24th February 08, (Mike and Pete).

Smallcleugh Work Weekend

Hauling in loads of timber to shore up the bulges and the fall on the Middlecleugh 2nd Sun Vein.

19 / 20th July 08, (Dave, Dean, Helen, Mike, Pete, Dog Pete, Roy, and Soot).

Middlecleugh Second Sun Vein - West End - Part 1

Looking around the west end of the MCSSV.

13th December 08, (Karli, Mike, and Pete).

Middlecleugh Second Sun Vein - West End - Part 2

Further exploration of the stopes around the west end of the MCSSV, plus a look at the re-rigged ladder at Bogg Shaft.

17th January 09, (Mike, and Pete).

Bogg Shaft Stopes on the Longcleugh Vein - Exploration of the stopes on the east side of Bogg Shaft.
21st February 09, (Karli, Mike, Pete and Dog Pete).

Maypole Retrieval - A fine trip Karli suggested.
18th October 10, (Karli and Mike).

Incline Flats Photography Potter - A leisurely Sunday afternoon, photographing the flats and playing with a new camera.
24th July 2011, (Ian, Karli and Mike).

Smallcleugh Flats Potter - Taking a look at the things that we have neglected to see over the years - it's amazing what there is...
3rd May 2014, (Karli and Mike).

Bell's Sump - A look at the alternative route down to Rampgill, Hangingshaw Branch. Three pitches and a rebelay.
24th May 2014, (Chris, Karli and Mike).

Longcleugh / Smallcleugh Cross Vein Junction - a look at a ore chute above the Longcleugh / Smallcleugh Cross Vein Junction.
9th November 2014, (Karli, Mike and Sal).

New Year's Eve Afternoon Party - a trip to take my 6 year old daughter to the Ballroom and back.
31st December 2015, (Hannah, Karli, Mike and Sal).

Middlecleugh Second Sun Vein Stopes - A revisit to the stopes we explored in 2006/2007.
30th January 2016, (Karli, Mike, Pete and Sal).

The Young'ns MES Christmas Trip and Cook Up- Taking Hannah and Sam around Smallcleugh via a more adventurous route this time round.
30th December 2016, (Alistair, Hannah, Karli, Mark, Mike and Sam).