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  Long Meg Gypsum Mine and Caves @ Lacy Caves, Little Salkeld, Cumbria, UK Sunday 5th March 2006 
Today we took a walk along the river by Cherry's house in Little Salkeld, with the original plan to go to Lacy's Caves - sandstone caves by the river that had been carved from sandstone as a folly several hundred years ago. As we had some time to spare however, upon passing a strange derelict ruin in Cave Wood with overgrown steps leading up the hill we decided that it'd be wrong not to investigate. We'd passed an old signaling box on the existing railway track that I'd read about online before, but didn't realise that it was part of a branch railway for an old gypsum mine - the Long Meg Mine. This we found out by just walking through the forest - finding sleepers and random bits of metal which later turned into tracks, old buildings and finally a blocked up mine entrance. There was a great sense of atmosphere to the place and a sense of time stood still. The trees had grown up around the leaves laid deep on the ground, but a lot of it was in good condition with random bits of machinery strewn around. Some of the tracks had been torn up and in other places was very warped. There was an old bridge which had caved in with the tracks still where they'd fallen. I like finding old abandoned things so endeavour to finding out about them - why they were built, who used them, what happened there etc, so I did some digging online this evening. There's not much, but the best sources of info online is dmm.org.uk and visitcumbria.com. No photos seem to exist though except for in a self published book which isn't available on amazon, so hopefully someone will find this page when searching in the future for details about it. In brief it was built in 1896 by the Long Meg Plaster Co and after changing hands several times finally closed in Jan 1976 having produced 5 million tonnes. It's peak workforce was 29 in 1925. One of the buildings by the mine entrance seems to have been used for parties in the past 20 years, with plenty of litter and graffiti. I can only imagine the other buildings with better fences and "danger keep out" are part of the Long Meg Plaster & Mineral Co. Some actually have glass in the windows and look like they could almost be in use today, although we didn't get close enough.
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Little Salkeld Signal Box - Views: 250 - Comments: 1

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It would have been wrong not to climb them! - Views: 317 - Comments: 2

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