The Backdoor entrance is at the base of a cliff, and after a short
crawl you are into the mine proper. Our first thoughts where: impressive and
you can get lost, its a maze.
From the entrance we went straight to the
Cathedral, then beared south to get on the B12 route, after some time on this
we reached the airshaft for the railway in Box Tunnel, and shortly after the
deep well with nice blue/green water. From here we eventually reached Box 17
where a group of robots was constructed from bricks - however now there is not
much left of the robots, the area is more of an address book for websites. Here
a compass would have come in handy as the route description says to bear east?
we ended going the wrong way, but did get to see a saw sharpening bench.
Retracing our steps back, we got back on the correct route which was following
B Passage to reach the Delta Rectangle Shafts. Along this passage there where
many concrete block pillars which seemed to be supporting the roof, and a round
From the shaft we headed back down the passage and took
the Delta Rectangle Passage, heading for Box 14, 13, 12 and 11. At Box 11 the
B11 route was picked up heading to the exit via the Cathedral. Throughout the
trip far to many features where seen to comment about. The mine is fantastic
and the volume of stone taken out is mind boggling! We have only seen a
fraction on this trip and I think on the next one we will follow the same route
but with deviations to see more artifacts and even a visit to the MOD
The suggested route on the Central Region survey estimates the
trip to be about 2 hours, but that's only if you don't stop and look at
anything! On this trip we took 3½ hours including ½ an hour of
panic in the back of the mind when we lost our way over falls on the B11 route
(also visited by a few bats here, whilst scratching our heads) - a moral here:
take a compass, it will really aid in navigation and give you a much better
chance of getting out if you get lost!