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MINES AND OTHER HOLES IN THE SOUTH EAST

INTRODUCTION

This is not a study of the mines of the South East as there are a number of other web sites that cover the topic much better such as www.wcms.org.uk and www.croydoncavingclub.org.uk.  This page is largely devoted to a trip by Club Members Nigel and Steve to the Reigate/Merstham/Godstone area in October 2005.  We were kindly hosted by Andy and Jane of the Wealden Cave and Mine Society and a number of their friends including Robin, Paul and Malcolm and visited the hearthstone mines at Bedlam's Bank and Godstone and the Sand mines and tunnels at Reigate.

The area we visited was on the boundary of the chalk and lower greensand where the harder rocks of the upper greensand are exposed.  The sketch map below shows the area as well as the basic geology of the Weald.

Below is a series of pictures from the various trips made over the two day weekend which left us with slightly sore legs and stiff necks over the following couple of days.  A good time was had by all and we are very grateful to our hosts for their hospitality and leadership.

All photos are copyright Nigel Dibben and can be used for personal use only.  For any other use, please contact the .  

Bedlam's Bank (west)

At the entrance General view inside showing the height of workings Waste pack on the left and a pillar on the right
 At the entrance General view inside showing the height of workings Waste pack on the left and a pillar on the right
Typical workings in the older part of the mine A neat pack on the left Partly backfilled workings
Typical workings in the older part of the mine A neat pack on the left Partly backfilled workings
Low workings The working face in the background with Andy and Jane A window mullion awaiting removal for 300 years
Low workings The working face in the background with Andy and Jane A window mullion awaiting removal for 300 years
Jane near the end under the M23 Crawling over the concrete infill A rare view of the original floor
Jane near the end under the M23 Crawling over the concrete infill A rare view of the original floor
Larger chambers Larger chambers ... but still low
Larger chambers Larger chambers ... but still low
Blocks waiting to be finished Yellow formations coloured by iron in the rock above Partly backfilled passage
Blocks waiting to be finished Yellow formations coloured by iron in the rock above Partly backfilled passage
Panorama of formations Redundant wooden props
Panorama of formations Redundant wooden props 

Bedlam's Bank (east)

Blocks of stone awaiting removal Steve looking at the miner's poem The miner's poe
Blocks of stone awaiting removal Steve looking at the miner's poem The miner's poem

Remains of a donkey or small horse

In the Far East Looking at ruts on the floor
Remains of a donkey or small horse In the Far East Looking at sledge ruts on the floor
Low passage in the Far East, but higher than further west Miners' graffiti More graffiti and a trough for a grinding wheel
Low passage in the Far East, but higher than further west Miners' graffiti More graffiti and a trough for a grinding wheel

Godstone

Near the entrance with recently installed pillars Typical Godstone passage with white painted walls A larger worked out area with timber supports
Near the entrance with recently installed pillars Typical Godstone passage with white painted walls from the mushroom-farming era A larger worked out area with timber supports
The working face

A good cross-section of the local geology

More random passages in the western part of the mine
The working face A good cross-section of the local geology More random passages in the western part of the mine
Rail tracks on the floor A composite picture showing the extent of the stopes Graffiti from 1876
Rail tracks on the floor A composite picture showing the extent of the stopes Graffiti from 1876

Reigate

Reigate road tunnel from the south Looking through the tunnel Looking out to the Tunnel Vaults
Reigate road tunnel from the south Looking through the tunnel Looking out to the Tunnel Vaults

    The plaque over the entrance

The plaque over the entrance of the tunnel which is the oldest road tunnel in the country still in use

Reigate West Tunnels

The recently dug entrance to the sand mines

In the sand mines

In the sand mines
The recently dug entrance to the sand mines In the sand mines In the sand mines
Graffiti from tourists in 1862 A group of visitors in the main tunnel Another section that was formerly designated as an air raid
      shelter
Graffiti from tourists in 1862 A group of visitors in the main tunnel Another section that was formerly designated as an air raid shelter

Reigate East Tunnels

The blast door rescued from the council offices

Carvings from the second world war

General view of the smaller tunnels
The blast door rescued from the council offices Carvings from the second world war General view of the smaller tunnels
Not quite as old as it looks! Brick supports holding up the town hall car park Modern steps
Not quite as old as it looks! Brick supports holding up the town hall car park Modern steps

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Last updated: 11/05/2010
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