Refurbishing Deep Adit Shaft


During the early 1980s work started on clearing out an old shaft on the hillside to the north of the main workings.  The shaft was partially blocked mainly with debris from its collapsed collar.  The first job was to erect a tripod over the shaft and a small hand winch that could be used to wind a kibble in and out of the shaft. Wooden stagings and an iron ladderway were installed in the top part of the shaft working from a temporary platform suspended from railway sleepers placed over the shaft mouth. The debris in the shaft was hand dug into the kibble, hoisted to surface and then tipped at down a timber chute into a 1/2 ton wagon, which was used to dump the material on the old dump that surrounded the top of the shaft.  This work continued sporadically throughout the next few years until the shaft had been cleared and refurbished to its full depth of 75 feet. As it gets deeper the shaft gradually tapers in size to only about 3 feet by 4 feet.


The work to clear and refurbish the shaft was carried out during the summer months over a period of almost ten years.

Deep Adit Level

At the bottom, the shaft connects with an old adit level, named Wheal Chance Deep Adit. This is a typical eighteenth century adit, less than 3 feet wide and 5 - 6 feet high. In places there is clear evidence of how it has been hand cut by pick.

Downstream from the shaft the adit follows a tortuous route towards its outlet in the base of the valley below the dressing floors.  Its entrance is completely blocked by a stone wall retaining a collapse and this has resulted in a thick accumulation of clayey-silt to build-up on the floor.  Water drains out of the adit through a tiny culvert beneath the wall.  This section of the adit has been left in its original state

Upstream from the shaft the adit follows a narrow vein, which eventually intersects the Main Lode at Rosevale.  However, initially this section of the adit was found to be completely choked by a large roof fall of kaolinised granite at a distance of about 500 feet from the shaft. After many years of work this blockage has now been cleared - click here.

              Base of Deep Adit Shaft                      Deep Adit Level upstream from shaft         Deep Adit Level at the new winze intersection
The surface set-up on Deep Adit Shaft during clearance works, mid-1980s