Mine works in Northern England – Industrial heritage becomes geotourism

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Commendium is often requested to assist with mine works filming and conservation projects but rarely both at the same time. We were invited by veteran Geologist Andy Freem and his wife Antonia, to scan elements of the Nenthead Mines, located near Alston in Cumbria. The project was to provide complementary 3D and drone footage and data to be included in Andy’s latest film production.

The film opens with aerial video captured by our professional drone operator. It shows the whole mine workings above ground. This video was processed into a 3D model using Pix4D software. Underground, using 3D laser (LiDAR) we scanned two sections of the Smallcleugh Mine, which is part of the overall Nenthead mine complex. Smallcleugh is in the centre of a 50+km complex of mine levels and underground workings, and it contains evidence of the lives and techniques of the lead miners working there for over 200 years.

The first scanning target was a ‘Whimsey Chamber’, where horses were brought underground to walk around in circles, providing power to lift and lower items in the adjacent shaft. It is quite remarkable how much of lift feature remains. The 3D models illustrate the mine in fine detail and inform the viewer as to its construction in ways that pure video cannot.

The second 3D scan illustrates the ‘flats. Flats are areas where miners hacked and blasted out lead ore from valuable veins. It illustrates the incredible handwork, and stonework used to create arches and build stacks, to support the mine roof.

Nenthead Mine Works Film

The Nenthead Mine video may be viewed on YouTube and offers a rich and fascinating illustration of the mine. The whole area around Nenthead still has many former mine works and invokes a timeless picture of life in Victorian England. Whilst this mine is easily and freely visited, if you are not experienced in the underground activities we recommend hiring a guide or taking a guided tour.

Should you like further information on this project, please contact us on 0330 119 0000 or contact us via the website