A long overdue return with a decent torch and decent camera.
The Kettleness portal is looking much closer to collapse than ever before, with a large amount of soil falling through from above and large stones hanging.
Although once inside this end of the tunnel constructed from large blocks still looks very solid, although there was some bowing of the walls and collapsed layers of brick in certain areas towards the brick-built Sandsend end.
There are four ventilation shafts along the length of the tunnel, which seem to come in large and small varieties. All are capped, with fallen bricks and water cascading down them.
There are two small side tunnels used in construction, which run from the bottom of air shafts, although both looked extremely muddy due to the water from the shafts so we didn’t venture down them.
There are some impressive mineral formations lining the walls of the tunnel.
Also stalactites growing from the roof.
Dozens of alcoves line the full length of the tunnel, with the occasional bit of amusing graffiti.
Exiting at the Sandsend portal is a small climb, although once you’re jumped over the wall there’s no easy way to go back.
After a years break I made a return to the Kettleness Tunnel to get a few more photos, the condition of the tunnel hasnt changed noticeably.
We ventured into the small side tunnel used in construction about halfway along for the first time, after a short distance daylight becomes visible at the end.
Theres an interesting variety of coloured minerals leaching through the brickwork in places.
The easiest way to avoid a plummet down the cliffs is to approach from Boulby and continue straight on where the Cleveland Way turns sharply uphill.
The first remains to be encountered are the foundations of a reservoir, theres also a large metal tub, although I cannot say if its contemporary.
Adjacent to this is a small length of tunnel which has collapsed a short way in.
All over the site are numerous smaller conduits that must have been used to move liquids around.
The path then passes directly between the bases of two circular cisterns.
Up towards the base of the cliffs the top of a short waterlogged tunnel can be seen to the right of a retaining wall, this only travels through the bank and appears to be for drainage.
The next area you come across is the series of huge stone retaining walls visible from the top of the cliffs on the Cleveland Way.
Huge boulders from the cliffs litter the area above the works.
Two small tunnels can be seem running through the remains of the alum clamps where the stone was burnt for months on end, it has been suggested they were to aid the process.
Towards the edge of the cliff a tunnel runs around an area of an old landslip re-emerging some distance away, The regular blocks suggest some sort of trough or conduit was originally present.
A smaller conduit joins the tunnel at one point, and somewhat mysteriously a pretty teapot sits in one corner.
The shaft at Aysdalegate was sunk some time around 1868, with the mine operating until 1880. A branch of the railway ran in front of the buildings to allow loading.
The mine buildings have since been converted into residental houses, although the small central window in the last house shows this was once a winding house.
A capped shaft acts as roundabout in front of the winding house.