With the Lakes receiving 1 months rain in a day (it’s deja vue for Cockermouth residents!) we decided to head underground today and recce a future Adventure for Quest 4 Adventure.
Borrowdale and the North Lakes are famous for their mines and one in particular, the Graphite Mine at Seathwaite, is especially interesting.
It was the major source of ‘Wad’, a very pure form of Graphite back in the 1800’s, very hard to mine and left behind a maze of passages, both horizontal and more importantly, vertical, to explore. It’s owned by the National Trust who are happy for people to explore at their own risk, and a reasonably risky place it is to the unaware. Not from collapse so much, but from the numerous shafts in the floor.
So, some years ago, some explorers decided to place safety anchors in the rock to allow abseil descents of the system. And that’s what we did today. Down 4 levels and along about 1 kilometre of passage, although there’s far more to nose along.
It’s not super pretty, but it is very interesting and a marvel of mans ability to change the world. There are kilometres of passage, all dug by hand, with railway lines still place. It’s an amazing adventure and a special hidden world to explore and will be going onto our list of Guided Adventures in the Autumn.
Best of all today..it was dry!