Drainage. Water collects at the bottom of shafts where a sump is left. The water could be pumped out by hand or bailed out with buckets. At Alderley, the only drainage tunnel that we have clearly identified is the Hough Level running from Engine Vein to the Edge.
(Below right) Drainage in Wood Mine. Water springs from the floor of a shallow passage in Wood Mine and is channeled down the side of the passage as this picture shows. From here, it was channeled through a wooden trough and then drained out of the Wood Mine adit. At some time, possibly in the early twentieth century, interceptor pits were built just inside the entrance to Wood Mine to stop sand and lead particles escaping from the mine.
(Left) Drainage channel in Cobalt Mine. The cut out channel round the left hand wall was made to take seepage water from the fault workings in the cobalt mine to the shaft illustrated above. Similar features are found in Engine Vein, especially around Bear Pit where a 'garland' has been cut round the shaft to collect falling water and divert it down Blue Shaft and hence to the exit at Dickens Wood.
(The Cobalt Mine and the main picture courtesy of Phill and Elaine Taylor)
(Below left) The garland around Bear Pit. This gutter carved into the wall of the shaft collects water and directs to a drain leading to the Hough Level. On the left side, a piece of wood can be seen that is held in place by an iron hook. The purpose of the wood is to stop material falling into an blocking the channel or buckets catching on it and tipping over when descending.