Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Mines in Alderley Edge 2 (West Mine)

The biggest mine in Alderly Edge is West Mine and was worked during the years between 1857 to 1878, in 1858 there was a great discovery of an ancient gallery which clearly shows earlier mining had taken place well before this time although this earlier mining was very small compared to the activities of the Alderly Edge Mining Company, there were mining here for copper and cobalt which is Malachite (a copper carbonate mineral which is a green-colour mineral) and Azurite (a soft deep blue copper mineral produced by weathering of copper ore deposits) and also Asbolite (A black, earthy mineral aggregate containing hydrated oxides of manganese and cobalt) this was in one of the orebodys and in the second orebody was Lead in the form of Cerussite (known as lead carbonate or white lead ore) and in this small amounts of Silver was also extracted.
The first mining type of work was by open cast in the years between 1857 to 1860 this created a vast quarry on the southern slope of Alderly Edge and within this was three mineral rich beds known as bed 1, 2 and 3 the beds were sandstone in-between these beds was barren rock with the ore in irregular but large patches and above the clay beds. Bed number 1 or the bottom bed was the most productive and due to this gunpowder was used to blow large chunks off the bed for the miners to brake up further to manageable sizes, to process the ore (copper and lead) a treatment works was built.
By the 1860's the copper ore grade was around the 2.5% which was satisfactory for the mining company but by 1864 a fault was encountered, this had displaced the ore layers and this caused several problems, several exploratory levels were mined to find the ore mineralised rock again and this was done under the instruction of the mine manager.
In the back end of the 1860's the ore became depleted thus the output from the mining company dropped dramatically and by the 1870's the cheaper imported copper brought a close to the Alderly Mining Company by 1867. Around the 1950's/60's the quarry was filled in and the mine entrance sealed.
If you wish to gain access to any of the mines in Alderly Edge then you need to contact DCC and more information for all the mines can be found on there website at 

Miners pick mark.

A well enscribed date 1866.

Old electron ladders well past there use by date !.

A hand winch for show.

Copper  in them there rocks !.

Time for a squeeze !.

A view from the other side.


A small vid of me going through the squeeze hole.

A view of the Roman galery.

 A climb through the hour glass !.

A view below the Roman galery.

 A look into the green river, this leads to a green
waterfall which has not been seen for over 30+ years.

 A bove the purple band which is some form of fungal/
 bacterial growth and very rare !.

Decending the rope ladder.

Very old smokes.

 A view down the near 40 foot free vertical climb
 which I was sent up first..ok..ok I put myself to go first.

Very early fuse wire made of plant material and some
 form of oil based mix.

Climbing down a near vertical pitch using a rope in hand.

Or if you !

A view of the Roman galery.


End game several hours and were all out..



  1. the green river is awesome, would have been cool to see some close ups of it- Duane

  2. very nice collection here nick, looks a very interesting place!