Mine workings

Places to explore
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Postby FLITZ » Mon 05 Mar, 2007 12:22 am

As anyone who has lived in Leeds will know we live on top of a maze of old mine workings, subsidence and landslips are almost a way of life especially in east Leeds, ask anyone who lives in Richmond hill about the deep chasm that opened up in the playground of the former Mount st mary's primary school that almost swallowed the social club.Most of these workings come from the old Prince of wales pit, my own granfather worked here (Clarence Sykes) for many years, he told me first hand about the many tunnels and shafts that criss cross the city centre, also the ammount of natural underground caves that the miners reported hitting in the course of there work, unfortunately these caves usually contained water, the miners also had to contend with the ground conditions.There have been over the years a couple of large holes appear in the Leeds landscape (even bigger than the holes in the Leeds united defence) which have been put down to mine workings and as a general rule they are down to the one pit.
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Postby Loinerpete » Mon 05 Mar, 2007 11:29 am

It would be great if these caves and tunnels were charted, i find it fascinating, I went to Brownhill school on Harehills lane in the early 60`s, i well remember a crack in the wall that would be filled in and then reappear, the rumour was that the school was built on mine workings, there are houses on there now, i wonder if there are any cracks!!
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Postby Phill_d » Mon 05 Mar, 2007 11:54 am

People don't really associate Leeds with coal working. It's had many pits in it's day. Especially Middleton & it's importance in Railway history. Richmond hill also holds a record many people don't associate with Leeds & that's railway tunnels. But the first tunnel ever constructed in England was on the Richmond hill cutting. So terrified of travelling through this piece of devils work were the passengers that the railway fixed copper sheets to the tunnel entrance to shed in some light & the walls were whitewashed. This didn't stop the panic & eventually the cutting was widened & only a short tunnel still exists there today.
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A fool spends his entire life digging a hole for himself.A wise man knows when it's time to stop!(phill.d 2010)http://flickr.com/photos/phill_dvsn/
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Postby rikj » Mon 05 Mar, 2007 2:47 pm

I've heard that when one of these holes opened up in the garden of an elderly lady some mine explorers entered the old workings. Their desciption says the going was "very difficult". They spent some 3 hours underground.Look on any old map and the Leeds landscape is littered with shafts and mines. I suspect that a lot of bits of green space haven't been built on because of what's underneath. e.g. the southern part of Wortley rec, site of the old Busk Pit.

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Postby jf » Wed 21 Mar, 2007 7:40 pm

We have some of the mining records for east Leeds at work (these are produced by the Coal Authority - some of them are old barely legible hand drawn plans). I had a bit of a glance the other day - there was a pit at Killingbeck from what I remember, complete with railway sidings. Older workings probably won't be shown, particularly shallow workings which can be the most problematic.There was an extensive rail network in east leeds serving some of these pits - parts of the trackbed still remain near Pontefract Lane, though this is disappearing quickly as the area is developed and the new link road to the A1 is put in.
Leeds Lass
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Postby Leeds Lass » Wed 21 Mar, 2007 11:23 pm

My mum passed away around 2 weeks ago and I am going to be the "proud" (ahem!) owner of a flat that I ain't gonna be able to do owt with, (without winning the lottery), due to horrendous subsidence from the old stone quarry that it backs on to!!! When the flat was first purchased, the subsidence was noted, but it just keeps getting worse. I can just about see daylight through one of the cracks! Not all history is good!!!

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