Tuesday 21 September 2010

Northamptonshire Ironstone Mines June-Aug 2010

Photos taken over Various visits.

These mines almost became abit of an obsession to me, There isnt exacly a healthy amount of information about them on the internet. So trying to find where abouts the mines are located and possible entrances took alot of time and research. Although this journey for information has led me to stumble over some old mine workers reports and lots of other intresting information.
Thus you can imagine my excitement when I finally stumbled acrross an entrance to one of the mines, Then another, Then another! I couldnt believe my luck. The research had all paid off, Within one day I had found entrances to three of them

This report consists of only two of the three mines.The reason is that early into my research I discovered that the third one contains alot of bad air and therefore wasnt prepared to risk an exploration until I get the right equiptment.

Historical report on what the work was like:
"These were quite hard times and the regime at the ironworks was very strict. If a worker was only a minute late in arriving at the clock-in point he could not do so for another quarter of an hour and lost pay accordingly. But it was much harder than this on the labourers who knew what really hard physical work was, (unlike, I suspect, many of our younger generation). They had to work 8 hour shifts whatever the weather, feeling well or otherwise, since time off on sick leave was unpaid. For example the men who lifted the two hundred- weight "pigs" of iron had to lift 50 tons by hand in each shift, onto railway trucks or for stacking. Many suffered with early back and leg troubles as a result.
The pay for this work was a mere pittance by today's standards and it is doubtful if you would get present day workers to do the job. It is no wonder that the men who had to meet these arduous demands were a pretty tough breed, and it is not for nothing that there was a saying that "at Islip they made pigs and old men".""
Frank Edmonds, Thrapston & District Historical Society

If your intersested in reading about the history of the mines in the area then I highly reccomend reading This Alan Smith's experiences in working the mines.

First Mine.


2nd Mine

After about 20 minutes of exploring this mine I noticed an expression of terror on my mates face, I stopped to turn and face him "Grrrrrrrrrrr" ,"what was that!" He cried, A low rumbling noise had shattered the silence and thats the last thing you ever want to hear in abandoned mine. It took a moment for me to realise that it had just been my stomache trying to digest the Burger king from the services on the way there.:p We took a moment to settle while my mate regained his composure.
we decided to venture further in. The first thing we noticed about this mine is that it isnt as easy to navigate as the first mine. It has alot of branching off passages and feels alot bigger!

The crawl in.

Thanks for looking.


  1. hi im from thrapston and i think i'm quite close to locating the entrance to these, from what iknow these are the ones just opposite the a14?
    would love to know the acces points if possible :)

  2. I'd love to see these. Are they easy to find?

  3. They are now sealed.