Blackmoor Swallet Stanton's Stone Shaft Blackmoor Leat Grebe Swallet Bomb Mine Kate's Mine M M Mine Middle Flood Swallet Waterwheel Swallet Small Mine Castle Mine Boulder Mine MCG-15 Roman Rake Dig MCG-11 Chimney Shaft MCG-17 UFS 2 Barwell's Shaft East Bank Dig Charterhouse Un-named Cornish Shaft Halfpenny Hole Mini Mine MCG-18 Rift Mine Whittaker's Mine Calcite Mine Oil Mine Charles Moore's Shaft Upper Flood Swallet ICBINC Shaft MCG-12 MCG-19 Bank Subsidence Dig Costean Pit New Shaft MCG-21 Easter Bunny Hole Ubley Rakes Trial Shaft Trat's Site Sycamore Mine
Go to the Main Mendip Cave Registry Search Page
Velvet Bottom, Charterhouse-on-Mendip.
|NGR:||ST 50539 55505|
Also confusingly known as Blackmoor Swallet, Stainsby's Shaft is the large fenced shaft located immediately above the stream sink. The most important of the Cornish mines excavated by the Mendip Hills Mining Company between 1844 and 1848, the shaft reached the impressive depth of 108m, which remains the deepest known shaft on Mendip. There was one level at 18 fathoms (33m) depth, which extended for 18m to the north and 80m south, and another much longer one at the 38 fathom level (70m) which extended for 220m, passing a further 33m deep winze en route. Including the numerous old men's workings and natural cavities that were encountered along the way, the finished working must have had a length approaching 500m. Today, the shaft provides fascinating evidence of the mining history of the Blackmoor area, with small-scale 'old men's' workings alongside a much larger Cornish shaft and some natural passages. There is much evidence of mining throughout, including carved pockets in the solid wall for the seating of huge wooden stemples, several of which are visible amongst the mass of boulders.
The shaft is named after Peter Stainsby, who was manager and treasurer of this and many other mining companies. Sadly fortune failed to smile on him and in 1855 he was convicted of embezzlement and forced into bankruptcy. The natural cavities were probably part of the Upper Flood Swallet system and attempts are currently underway to reach a fabled cavern shown on the miners' plans at the 18 Fathom Level but currently blocked with slimes and lead tailings. The miners reached this 'cavern' 55m along the 18 Fathom level but found it full of mud and boulders. MCG re-entered the shaft via a hole dug in the infill in 1962.
Alternate Names: Blackmoor Swallet
Notes: Care required - recent rock movement (1993)
This entry was last updated: 2014-07-31 15:21:15
Errors or omissions in this information? Submit corrections/additions/comments for this entry to the registrars.