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Coldberry Mine overlooking the mine shop and incline.Coldberry Mine overlooking the mine shop and incline.COLDBERRY MINE. (full interactive valley tour)

The site of Coldberry situated just outside Middleton-in-Teesdale and was once one of the London Lead Minings jewels in its crown, a massive underground mining complex and external spoil heaps once dominated the landscape with hushing scars still prominent on the hill sides of the valley. Much of the site still remains intact with the original mine shop still standing in good stead at the mouth of the horse level, the powder house and the later electricity transformer buildings still stand and are easily recognisable.

The horse level exists in a bad state with severe pressure causing the short remaining block work adit to become badly distorted within only 10 yards of the main portal in a secure state. Three other entrances are within a few hundred feet of the horse level, one of which has recently completely collapsed (the drainage adit) with the other two remaining somewhat open. The underground working broke into the nearby Skears mine further around the hillside and it is possible to move from the lower workings to Coldberry via a series of underground inclines and shafts.

Coldberry Mine, standing in the processing yard.Coldberry Mine, standing in the processing yard.The site was later reworked by SAMUK to reprocess the spoil heaps from lead mining to obtain the fluorite and zinc from the waste, in doing so much of the then enormous heaps of waste were removed and spread across the whole site so that fairly little remains compared to the huge deposits left from the London Lead Mining Company.

Several late brick and concrete buildings remain in a collapsing state as well as numerous block lined shafts and the infamous 1000 ft deep stope that exits into a small open depression in the hillside. A substantial reservoir and leat system is still evident that once operated the balance haulage incline mechanism and underground machinery as well as the ever prevalent Victorian method of hushing being unmistakeable on the surrounding hills.


Skelton Park Ironstone MineSkelton Park Ironstone MineSKELTON PARK. (full interactive valley tour)

The site is still mainly intact and much of the buildings remain that housed the equipment and winding gear, though in a varying stare of repair. Two shaft heads are built almost right next to each other with one housing the fan house and the other being the downcast shaft. In later years the upcast shaft was extended as can be seen with the change of bricks nearing the top of the shaft. The downcast shaft is situated to the other side of the late winding house and may have been served by an electric winch from the upcast winding house. The original stream engine house remains at the side of the upcast shaft but was likely replaced in later years with the addition of electricity to the site.

The site is on private property and we had to gain permission to visit from the land owner.


Newlands Farm HouseNewlands Farm HouseNEWLANDSIDE FARM HOUSE AND YARD.

I stopped here for the first time after having passed many hundreds of times before (I live close by), never having explored the public footpath to the site I decided to stop and take a look around. The site looks as though it has been abandoned for quite some time though some of the buildings did at least have the remnants of electrical switches from around the 1930's. Around 30 percent of the building remains with much of the surrounding structures being either just an impressive frontage with absolutely no rear or interior, or with the interior completely destroyed because of roof collapse. The farm was certainly very substantial in its day and the design of the main house to look as though it was almost some sort of small manor.

Newlands Farm YardNewlands Farm YardThere are areas of the main house with some rather nice stone carvings as well as signs of there being once a tiled entrance porch. The chimney of the main house is very precarious and dangerous to be anywhere near with little now holding it vertical. Into the barns the floor still has a cobbled floor with divisions for the animals, feeding troughs are still on the walls and water sinks with a self feeding valve.

The rear of the farm houses some small dwellings which are now almost completely fallen, though appear very old in design and build.

I imagine the site would have been abandoned as the quarry has almost undermined the site as it stands.

Sandyford Shaft.Sandyford Shaft.


Such an interesting place but so little to see is how I would describe the old mine of Sandyford, with some very unusual earthworks consisting of a variety of ditches and small heaps that are easily visible but are rapidly disappearing into forgotten history.

A collapsed adit, barely standing mine shop and open mine shaft remain of the site which was inhabited into the 1960's and was later purchased by Northumbrian Water (unknown reasons other than it links underground to the Hunstanworth Mine and Chimneys). The mine shaft is most interesting in that is appears to be nothing more than an air shaft but shows the remains of a railed incline heading due South up the valley. Exploring the mine shaft we found a substantial compressor room with much of the pipework remaining, under the water in the flooded section of the mine - candle holders are still pinned to the tunnel walls and short props remain in the stope section that meets the shaft. (video to be added to this site)

Safety Notice: To enter a disused mine is extremely dangerous and my result in serious or fatal injury, recovery from an accident would place rescue persons involved in serious danger and in the event of a ground collapse, recovery may be impossible. You should not enter a disused mine or working without training under any circumstances.

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