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Actually, this isn't an entirely random mine because I actually went looking for this one.   I had hoped that I might find some bluebells in the woods too, but it turned out that something rather terrible had happened to quite a bit of the wood...

I thought at first that the huge tire tracks were from machines that had come in to cut wood, but it turned out that actually, they had come in to clear the paths.  There were a LOT of fallen trees: so many have come down this year.  Fierce storms....

Fortunately most of the trees fallen across the paths had been cleared by the Heroic Monster Machines of the Duke of Cornwall (for these are his woods).   But there were a few left that we had to leap.  Brythen leaped the trees with no reservations, but I had to encourage Rosie.

And here is the Excelsior Tunnel!  In 1877, someone thought it would be a good idea to join up the Kit Hill North Engine shaft, which goes down through the tall hill to the south of this wood rather like a 112fathom core through an apple, with a tunnel that would go straight into the bottom of the hill.  Unfortunately, it turned out that Kit Hill sticks up like that because it's made of seriously tough stone.  The original tunnellers gave up in 1885.   Several other companies gave it a go after that, but none of them managed to join the level tunnel to the shaft, although by 1938 they had got it to be a respectable 730 meters long.

Then it had a brief career with the Atomic Energy Authority, who wanted to know if explosions in a tunnel under a hill would be easy to detect (ie can we be sure what other countries have got nuclear weapons because we'd see the bangs?  Or might we not see the explosions if they were underground?)

Here is the entrance. Quite a lot of water was running out of it while we were there.  I was interested to see how bashed about the gate had become compared to this photo from 1999.   It looks like someone has piled rocks in front of it to prevent people breaking in, too.  Or to prevent something from breaking out, of course.   And now I begin to wonder exactly what it was that knocked all the trees down...

There's a fairly well-preserved building to the right of the entrance, which you can see below.  Well, under all the moss it looked fairly well preserved, anyway.

No bluebells here either, but I liked the lighting.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
13th May, 2016 02:12 (UTC)
Beautiful woods.
13th May, 2016 06:03 (UTC)
The obvious answer is that the Atomic Energy people are still there. The answer to the question "how easy is it to detect explosions if they're underground?" is "you can't!" and they've been happily exploding away underground for decades. The only evidence is a higher number of fallen trees that you would expect. Their subterreanean life surrounded by atomic explodey things has turned them all rather strange - practically a whole new species, really: duergar with bombs. The Duke of Cornwall is in on it, and has consented to send in his monster machines to erase the evidence of their presence, but he has also insisted on barricading all exits to protect the people from the rage of the atomic dwarves.

It's the only plausible explanation, really.
13th May, 2016 17:57 (UTC)
Of course you realise what is going to happen now that you have told the whole world about this ...
13th May, 2016 11:25 (UTC)
" And now I begin to wonder exactly what it was that knocked all the trees down..." - it starts to sound like something out of Zelazny's stories :) Though the above version sounds attractive too.
Please, continue with your mine-stories, they are interesting. And the woods are beautiful. (And the last picture looks just like a place in Tarusa I've discovered a couple of days ago. Tarusa's oaks send greetings to their Cornwall's cousin. )
13th May, 2016 13:37 (UTC)
Those woods are beautiful; I love the look when moss covers everything. Probably because it's so different to what we have around here.

Interesting stories attached to the mine! Were you able to get close enough to peek in?

I would like to add you as a friend, if that's ok? I read your entries when they come up on the LJ home page and always love the photos and stories you tell.
14th May, 2016 08:05 (UTC)
I did peek in, but it was very dark in there! Apparently it's dead straight and you can see miles of tunnel stretching away - but not without a light. Mind you, that might have provoked any residents.. :-D

Yes, by all means!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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