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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Footpath No.10 Westgate (Slit Wood)

slit wood
Yesterday, me and superpooch walked the route of next Saturday’s Durham County Council guided walk which is a 9 mile route from Westgate – over the tops and to Rookhope and back along the Weardale Way. And part of this route goes through the very lovely and quite interesting Slit Wood.
Now Slit Wood has the remains of at least two lead mines – one of which has had a bunch of money spent on restoration and preservation quite recently and so, footpath 10 is quite important for this alone, apart from the fact that it’s very popular for Weardalers and their children and doggies and it’s quite well know further afield.
fp 10 succumbs to middlehope burn
And I found that some footpath 10 is either falling into the beck or is being covered by a landslip.
So I took these pictures of some of the industrial archaeology in the wood and some of the difficulties that the path is now experiencing.
I told the rights of way peeps at County Hall, obviously and they’ve replied saying that they’re monitoring the path and are planning some works. Which is good.
Hopefully, key bits of FP10 will still be there on Saturday.
A lump of FP10 about to dive into Middlehope Burn
Evidence of the testing of rock drills in the smithy doorway at Slit Mine
Remains of the smithy
This culvert defies gravity. The dog defies all attempts to get him to walk to heel
Maybe something to do with the hydraulic engine?
Footings for Armstrong hydraulic engine
Wheel pit and dog uninterested in wheel pits
Main shaft – capped with concrete. Shaft has shuttered in at 95 feet depth. Don’t jump up and down here…
Slit Vein Hush
Stile incorporates tramway rails
Gloopy landslip
Wet level Middlehope mine
Dam and tramways Middlehope Mine
Plants in the stream emanating from the Middlehope mine level

More about this route after Saturday’s walk! (Starts at 10:00 at the layby with the phone box on the A689 Crook to Alston road at Westgate – bring butties and a camera)


Dawn said...

Amazing Mike, I always admire the breadth of your knowledge with these things. It is so fascinating. Hopefully the powers that be will get that path fixed.

Mike Knipe said...

Dawn - Examines shoe laces and simpers a bit... yes, well, koff...