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Smallcleugh Mine - Middlecleugh Second Sun Vein and Sub Levels (31/07/04)

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We had explored the Middlecleugh Second Sun Vein before, and got as far as finding the ladders which dropped into Capelcleugh, but no further.

On this trip we looked at the very large stope on the junction of Cowhill Cross Vein, and then from this stope we dropped down a small ore shoot into the sub level below. There are 2 laddered shafts in this level which both drop into Capelcleugh, however as we found out, the one we choose to go down was not the one which can lead you all the way out on the Capelcleugh Horse level. The first shaft we came to was bypassed and instead we dropped down the second one. It was laddered and could be climbed, but we did drop a line down as well. The drop was about 20m and we did not end up in Capelcleugh as expected but on another sub level, which was very grotty. Moving along, a small chamber was found with many artifacts, detonator boxes, fuses, and even a old Squire padlock

After this an intact ore shoot came into view. Dropping 10m down this finally gained us entry via a hopper into Caplecleugh. The passage was flooded upto mid thigh depth. Unfortunately the passage was blocked at both ends and there only was around 50m of passage to explore - we realised now that we had gone down the wrong ladders, but still it was more than worth it as we had found nice artifacts and yet again, gained new knowledge of this area.

On the way out we exited via the Smallcleugh Cross Vein and took the opportunity to photograph this passage as it does have some interesting features.