Monday, October 22, 2007

Snailbeach Mine

While in Shropshire I visited the old mines at Snailbeach. Lead mining ended at Snailbeach around the time of the First World War, but the mineral barytes was extracted here until the 1950s and the spoil heaps were worked for spar into the 1970s.

That website, maintained by the Shropshire Mines Trust, will give you a good idea of the surface remains and of the old workings the public can visit on open days.

It's all very interesting for the visitor, but I can't help looking back fondly on the Snailbeach mines as they were when I first came across them nearly 20 years ago. Then the startlingly white spoil heaps were still in place. They made the area look like a minature version of the china clay country in Cornwall. Today those heaps have been landscaped and grassed over.

The buildings were deteriorating, but in many ways were just as they had been when the last miners had walked off shift. There were still tools lying about in the old blacksmith's shop in the mid 1990s.

1 comment:

NickB said...

See here for the Blacksmith's shop in the 1990s plus others in the same Flickr set