Box Freestone Mines

SKU 409443
Weight 0.12 kg


Cotham Caving Group A5 PB 79pp

Third Edition, revised and updated 2002. The first edition was published in 1967 and if I remember correctly is was a quarto sized publication, run off on an old Gestetner duplicator. Interest in these mines is still as keen as ever, hence this new glossy publication. Since 1967 the mines have seen many changes, as mining became uneconomic many quarrying firms ceased production and only three companies are still working today. The end of the cold war sounded the end of the great underground weapons store at Box and this closed in the 1990's. Likewise, many of the entrances have been filled in and today only the entrance to Jack's Workings is left. The Backdoor is officially closed. Bath stone or Oolite is quite soft when first cut, but after being allowed to dry out, it turns into hard building stone. It has been used in the construction of such edifices as the Georgian Crescent in Bath and the Houses of Parliament in London. The removal of the stone has left a maze of passages over 35 miles long. In 1959, teenage cavers, from Cotham Grammar School, Bristol, rediscovered the old Box workings. Excited by what they found, they began to spend their weekends exploring and map making. Travelling to and fro by bus, they often camped underground to gain extra time for the work. The major routes were surveyed, measured and recorded in scrupulous detail. The only omission I could find was that they did not identify the original explorer of the A.O. Route. (67 pp, 4 pp maps, 7 colour plates on 4 pp, 17 B&W photos in text). Review courtesy of Tony Oldham.
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