This blog post is entirely about having a walk up Slitt Wood in Weardale to have a look at the Slitt Vein (nothing suicidal, its a mineral vein wot you can ackcherly see cos all the ground around it has been quarried away ) – and the bagging of Black Fell a 604 metre top designated as a sub-Hewitt in http://www.hillbagging.co.uk/, and which I’ve only just noticed…. pause for breath….and nothing at all to do with the launch of http://www.ukhillwalking.com/, in which there’s a small article about hillbagging from yours truly. In fact I won’t mention http://www.ukhillwalking.com/ ever again.
Appropriate, though, I suppose.
So, being completely unaware of the launch of http://www.ukhillwalking.com/, me and superdawg parked neatly by the phone box in Westgate and wandered up through the ever lovely Slitt Wood, just as far as the mines.
Now these mineworkings have just had a lorra lorra money being excavated and restored, to some extent. For interest, there’s the bargain steads – big containers for each mining team’s production, the excavated smithy with it’s rock drill holes in the floor – presumably to prove they worked – a deep, deep shaft, fenced off, a wheel pit with a water supply from a dam up the hill and the footings for an Armstrong hydraulic engine, which replaced the wheel in the wheelpit – used for pumping water out of the mine. Plus some interesting and wet culverts.
if you walk up the hill on the newly created permissive path (like wot me and the dog did), you follow the edge of Slitt Vein and, at the top of the hill, there is the vein, stripped bare of it’s surround of ironstone, and with it’s galena mined out from the middle – but big and proud and strong, a damn great lump of quartzy rock. So that’s what a vein looks like…
After this, we wandered up the road (the beck being too lively to cross today) – and lunched in some forest in a warm and bright spell. The forest has lots of old pits and heaps in it – still being on the line of a lead vein, but this stuff is full of purple flourspar. I borrowed a couple of pieces. I’ll put them back if requested…
And then we wandered over the moor alongside a wall that’s shown on the map as derelict, but which, according to an inscribed stone at Black Hill summit, was restored by the Golden family in 2001/2. They seem to have done a cracking job.
As the sun came out, we retreated to the Dale and followed the river downstream to the start. Bruno had a paddle and a bark in a deep salmon pool. We had no idea about http://www.ukhillwalking.com/, obviously and I’m not going to mention it.
10 miles and 1500 feet and one sub-Hewitt bagged.