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Middlecleugh Mine - Middlecleugh North Vien (18/05/19)

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The east side of Middlecleugh North Vein has not been accessible due to backfilling by the old man, but over the last few years it has been dug out and opened up. The level itself ends in a fall, but significantly it provides access to a large engine shaft that connects with the Hangingshaw Branch of Rampgill.

We entered Middlecleugh Level and headed for the junction with the North Vein, crawling through the back fill we entered carefully into the horse level, as the entrance into the level was via a break in the arching. It had been shored up with new timber, but considering this was the only way in and out we did not want to disturb anything. Landing on spoil in the level we then made our way in and entered the backed up water which proved to be one of the coldest we have experienced in Nenthead. A short distance along the level and we came to the crosscut that intersects the shaft. The shaft heads down to Hangingshaw about 70m below and above there is supposed to be an engine room, however how it was accessed is unclear. There is a level shown as an incline from the Smallcleugh horizon on the same vein which leads to the shaft, but this does seem convoluted as it would have to be in the region of 40m or so. Could the shaft be climbed with an aid - maybe for braver souls?

Moving on from the shaft we carried along the level, going over a few minor falls - mostly debris from rises. We came to a beautifully arched junction and eventually pass this the level came to a fall. Here is was possible to go into a stope above the level, but this did not lead to anything else due to more falls. We returned to the main drive in and decided to go to the Longcleugh Vein to have a look at Frog Shaft. Past the shaft we ended up having lunch on the junction of Longlcleugh and Cowhill Cross Veins. It had been a while since we were last here having accessed this from the surface as the link with the Middlecleugh adit had not been opened up at that point. After lunch we had we had a bit of a potter and headed back out.