Sir Francis Level Mine Works – Capturing the past and discovering something unexpected

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Yorkshire here we go again, off to Swaledale to scan a fascinating disused lead mine called Sir Frances level. The NYDNP commissioned Commendium to visit St Francis Level to create a full colour digital model of the mine workings for their heritage records. This included visual representations, to enable people, for whom a trip down a deep cold mine would not be attractive, to appreciate the work of the Victorian miners. In addition, the created models are suitable for architectural and historic studies. Over a series of 5 trips to the mine, Commendium staff laser scanned the mine workings with state-of-the-art LiDAR laser scanning equipment and took over 5000 photographs, from which a highly detailed, 3D colour digital model was built.

There’s lead in those hills

Scattered throughout the North of England are hundreds of abandoned mine workings, leftovers from the Victorian Period, when the Industrial Revolution, transformed Britain into a modern technology driven country that needed raw materials from anywhere they could be found to satisfy the demand.

The deliverable outputs

The following products were delivered to the client: Commendium constructed a detailed digital 3D model of the workings in St Francis Level.  From this model a short film was made which can be viewed on YouTube and is currently being shown at the Dales Museum in Hawes. The models have been archived and have been used for Historical Studies. In addition, they have been called upon to drive an application for further funds to preserve these precious items.  The format of the model was developed to be viewed over Computer CGI applications, architectural packages, and historical documentation.

Nice clip on BBC

Most recently Commendium has been asked to contribute to a BBC film featuring St Francis Level mine. Paul Rose interviews Richard, with our graphics and 3D models featuring in the clip. See Richard with ‘Paul Rose on the Yorkshire Dales’ here [About 10 minutes in]

Lead, silver, coal and more besides was extracted from these small private mines working throughout the local hills, which employed thousands. The relics of this period may still be found. Some mines, when you are armed with appropriate skills and equipment to enter, reveal a wealth of industrial heritage.

Water powered Lift

The St Francis Level contains a unique water powered lift, which was used to raise and lower miners to various levels. The lift is one example of industrial heritage at its finest. Sadly, like almost all of these local gems, the St Francis Level lift is sadly decaying. With public funds unavailable to preserve these unique items, the North Yorkshire Dales National Park (NYDNP), requested Commendium to record the mine workings in 3D so they could be preserved in full detail for future generations.