Subject: Report - Middleton Mine, Sept 2009 Tue May 25, 2010 6:19 am
This was an interesting trip to say the least. Visited with Fortknox0, Gizmo, my other half and Frosty who deserves a big thumbs up for his help on getting us in to this site! Ok so after a five hour drive from Ramsgate we arrived at 11.30pm somewhere in Middleton. After driving round trying to follow Frostys directions we ended up lost and called it a night at about 5am the next morning. We crashed in a nearby carpark for a couple of hours then woke frosty from the back of my car and got him to phone around and try and get us some directions. It turned out that we were about two minutes up the road from the entrance! We finally got in at 10.30 am and spent an epic 8hours down there. This place is HUGE and it is very very easy to become lost. Luckily we found our way out pretty easy.
Anyway, some info on the place!
Middleton mine is the largest disused limestone mines in the UK and is approx. 22miles long spread over three levels. There is little information on when the mine originally opened but was originally used for lead mining. In the 1900s it then became a mine used for limestone. The mine finally closed in 2001 and is currently decommissioned and all entrances are being sealed. It was clear that they are regularly checked when we saw fresh tire marks around the entrances. According to various sites on the internet the lowest level of the mine was used for secret testing and experimental work which was kept classified. This is a huge maze of passages and spurs and becomes very confusing as you venture further in. There are also huge drops everywhere. If you got lost or injured down there then there would be a slim chance of you ever getting back out! EXTREME CAUTION is advised if visiting this mine!
Nearly all the mining equipment has been removed but all lighting, signs, first aid points and fuse boxes etc, are still in place and in a good condition.
We covered the whole of the first level but ran out of time and energy to explore the second or third level but anyone who hasn’t been to this mine could not prepare themselves for what to expect. Its huge, its dangerous and the air gets pretty bad, pretty fast. But all I can say is this place was amazing! Thankyou to shadz and manic for your help and once again thakyou to frosty for his attempt at directing us!