[ Catching up on trip reports now that I can actually log in again – this was originally on Facebook. ]
Moorfurlong Mine, 31 Jan 2018.
Present: me and Louise
Having largely failed to achieve anything this week I was a little desperate to get underground, and Louise was game for a spontaneous trip on Wednesday night so long as it wasn’t too long.
I suggested Moorfurlong Mine as I’d been reading about it recently, and as no one else seemed keen the two of us set off for Bradwell. We had a nice time exploring the narrow, steep, winding backroads of Bradwell in the snow while foolishly trying to navigate using the map in Caves Of The Peak District, then enjoyed a short drive to a small quarry which Google Maps claimed was the farm we were looking for.
Eventually, by having driven along most of the roads in the area already, we found Within House Farm and paid our £2 each to the farmer. As we set off into the fields in heavy, horizontal snow I was pessimistically wearing a coat as I assumed we were about to spend a lot of time wondering around in the dark. Thankfully, Louise spotted a suspiciously flat looking bit of snow straight away and uncovered the shaft top.
The fixed ladder which leads down the 12 m shaft looked very sturdy so we dispensed with the rope we’d brought, which also proved unnecessary for the handline climb listed in COPD. We had a thorough poke around the mine, there are some standing-size chambers, a lot of pleasant crawls and some fun little free climbs. Though it is all easy going the climbs are made spicier by being up and down tubes made of deads.
As this mine is virtually in Bradwell itself we unsurprisingly found litter (removed), mud penises and graffiti, but there’s not too much of it considering. We found a lovely little chamber with a floor made almost entirely of crystals and sections of fossil crinoids, plus some crystal veins and what looked like blue john. We didn’t bother with the furthest end of the mine as it involved some wet crawling, but maybe it will be worth another trip as we’re not sure we saw the buddle pools (?) mention in the description.
We emerged into a much clearer night, with the snow-covered valley reflecting a full moon so that it was almost as bright as day. A short, but very pleasant hour and a quarter underground.