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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 

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Stainsby's Shaft

Velvet Bottom, Charterhouse-on-Mendip.

NGR:ST 50539 55505
WGS84:51.29651, -2.71078
Length:85 m
Depth:32 m
Altitude:236 m
Tags:Cave, CROW

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)

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This entry was last updated: 2014-07-31 15:21:15

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