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The Captain

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  1. This is going to get rather messy if we are both commenting James haha! Believe it or not after nearly 16 years since it started I do still pop onto this thread from time to time. As HORT has said many times they are just a series of pillar and stall quarrying excavations and seemingly lead to dead ends despite the wonderful myths, we've never had any photos to prove the hidden world down there - people never seem to be able to upload them for some reason.... They are dangerous and unstable I completely agree with the land owner wishing to stop access to them. They are also home to a large population of bats which is wonderful and should not be disturbed. I think we have answered the question of where do they go to now and the answer seems to pretty much be nowhere
  2. We’ve established after 15 years if debate that Crank definitely doesn’t go anywhere. There are undoubtedly in accessible areas but it is not linked to the Stork. The tunnels up there sound interesting, its a very old pub. I would always ask why people would go to the effort to hew out tunnels though. Why would you build one to the church when you can just walk across to it? I'm not trying to be a killjoy here but I think its good to think about these things. It could be that they are old drops from the road that have been bricked up and backfilled. Without going off topic I took a photo recently of the Smethurst Shaft which is behind the Holts Arms and capped off. Noted by a Coal Authority sign as ‘secure site’. Quite interesting. Anyway back to the Caverns!
  3. Pick, I have visited the caves yesterday to look at the area you suggested along with a very handy 'poke pole' which can be used to detect voids in the ground. There are a few things which I find a bit hard to understand on this one. Firstly if the entrance to the 'king cave' is above the small hole as you mention, it would mean that the cave would lie directly above the existing cavern below it. Looking at the geology of the rock it would be a very flat and narrow tunnel and would sit above the other caverns. This particular cave inside is the worst in regards to rock falls and is quite perilous. My 'poke' test around the area discovered nothing other than hard rock about a foot and a half down and more so if an entrance was to be filled it would be more than just a light covering so could be impossible to detect. I know you mention knowing where to dig is the key, you are very welcome to join me and some friends up there some time to point out the location of the cave as I could have been in the wrong place? Thanks all, James.
  4. Hey Pick, I used to love Kes! The location of the 'mousey' has been a topic of much debate over the years on here. People seem to have their own ideas which one it is but there is apparently a hidden one somewhere to the right (as you face the main caves. The gated entrance down in the dip is also called the mousey by some too. Where roughly is your mousey and King Cave located? Cheers, J
  5. Hi Pick, I'm sorry if my reply is a little lengthy (and it is in no way personal I have been meaning to write this for some time) but unfortunately have to disagree with you on your comments about the tunnels leading to St Aidens Church. As much as I would love to think that they did there are a few factors from my own extensive research and also the general consensus on this topic that go against it. The caverns are the remnants of pillar and stall mining and date back around 200 years. The mining is due to the down throw of the quality stone seam which dips considerably south easterly. It was no doubt more expensive to open cast mine the stone like the rest of the site so they opted for the 'pillar and stall' method to extract the decent stone from its source. The stories of Catholic secret masses etc are false. The caverns not exist during this time. Over the years the following theories have been bounded about the caverns. 1. A tunnel to the Stork Hotel. 2. A tunnel to St Helens Town Hall. 3. A tunnel to St Aiden's Church. 4. A tunnel to Billinge Hill Beacon. 5. A tunnel to Windleshaw Abbey. 6. An underground cathedral. 7. An underground lake. 8. An underground waterfall. None of the above include the apparent ghosts or killer dwarfs.. (I'll come to that later) Despite these stories, nobody aside from one person has come up with maps (despite many promises to do so - they always seem to be unable to figure how to post them). The member who did produce the maps drew them of the caves we all know well and they show exactly what everybody has already explored. No proof has ever been provided of the waterfall, the extensive tunnels, the church, the altar etc. Given that the thread has now run for 13 years, we've seen much of the same thing come and go which is a little disappointing when all of us are genuinely interested in finding out as much about the caves as we can. Now I certainly do believe that there is much more to them than what we see today and there are certainly are areas which are blocked off either by natural or intentional means. I also think it is entirely possible for the miners to have tunnelled into an existing natural cave system - hence the waterfall, but until somebody produces proof of it I am disinclined to believe it. The main question to ask when thinking about tunnels - for instance an alleged tunnel to St Aidans is the amount of effort it would take for men with their bare hands to hew stone and rock out, tunnel downwards into the valley between them and back up to Crank Hill. It's several miles on foot so will be even further taking into account the geological conditions in the area. Why would they do this? There may well be a tunnel in the church as there are in many places - but I doubt very much it goes to Crank Caverns. The interesting question for me is where did the rumours and myths come from and I think it has something to do with the situation at the time. The Rainford Delph Quarry is situated on the top of a barren hill - even today it's barren and the village of Crank if you look at old maps was only a few houses. Stone from the quarry was used locally for building, but by all accounts it had closed by the 1880s as it is noted on OS maps as 'Rainford Old Delph - disused'. Now imagine our inquisitive Victorian and Edwardian ancestors from Billinge and St Helens who happen to discover this disused quarry. No social media, no documentation or images. A barren, deserted quarry in the middle of nowhere. Stories begin and they grow, word spreads, journalists pick it up and it goes from there. Suddenly it's part of our real history and it was only through looking at the facts that we discovered that they are little more than an old stone mine. It can be disappointing and has been for some people on this thread to think that the stories are not true, but you have to think what you are seeing when you visit this place. It was all done by hand and horse. All of it. Its a feat of labour from men, women and children which remains forgotten and taken over by stories of sinister child eating goblins. They toiled here and created these caves in hard times and in all weathers. Bringing up stone. There would have been injuries here, there would have been deaths from rock falls and accidents. There may still be bodies in there. All records for the quarry were lost - who knows. That for me is the true legacy of Crank Caverns. It's a reminder of a bye gone age, of very hard times where people would go to work and come home from work and not see the light of day and the stone from it still exists in the buildings around the area. What we should be doing is protecting this place as a site of heritage and history. Thanks. James.
  6. Hi All, I have been up to the Delph / Caverns this week whilst it was quiet and a few things of note which I observed. There are two large areas of subsidence at the bottom end of the site next to the farmers track. One of them is fairly recent and almost perfectly square. The ground has dropped by about 15 foot taking brambles with it and exposing the soil and roots of the trees. There is another dip further along but I suspect it's been there longer as it's fairly overgrown. At the bottom of the wood next to the field is a brick lined shaft going down. It's got earth in it / infill about 10 ft down, however I do wonder if these are the remains of the old haulage shafts for bringing up stone from the lower workings. The archives have articles in them which mention an engine house and chimney ruins there in the 1920s. The tipping by the farmer is still happening sadly and I suspect it won't be long before the entire lower drop to the gated access is filled in. I was watching some great GoPro footage on YouTube and some guys down there found a wall had been removed, some bones, an old bottle and the remains of a shoe. All very old. I must say that the vertical shaft must have lead down to somewhere so I think there is certainly scope to investigate this - the brick lined shaft could be an interesting thing to look deeper into. We'll find where they go to eventually folks! James.
  7. Hello All, Just thought I'd pop in to say hello. Lovely to meet HORT up at the Mason's the other week and we somehow managed to realize we knew each other in a virtual capacity! I can't believe this thread is still going but I guess it shows the continued interest into our little caves. I was still in school when I started it and now I'm nearly 30! I went up to the caverns last week and they are looking pretty much the same as always although it is sad to see that the tipping of rubbish into the lower working is increasing and looks very dangerous (shame on the farmer!). One thing I think is worth exploring is an area in the 'main' caves. If you enter them and go down to the back left hand side, there appears to be a roadway which is blocked up with mud and rock. I have often wondered if this went deeper and was one of the entrances into farther workings which was apparently blown up in the 1950s. There is a tunnel which is very narrow to the far right of this but it is worth noting that the bats live down there and are asleep this time of year. As they are protected it is probably better doing this in the summer. One thing that does make me laugh is the many posts on this thread by people who say they have maps of the caves. It's been running for over 12 years now and still none have ever appeared. Keep exploring folks, we might find the underground lake one day.. James
  8. The Caverns are a great location for filming, although the remoteness is difficult especially situations regarding lighting. We filmed up there back in 2009 and took up a full Steadicam rig, portable generator, and loads of external lights and lit it very well. It looked great. This was for a pilot looking at myths and legends of Merseyside and we mainly used it for presenter pieces to camera. Looked awesome but we had a few security guys with us who helped to scare away the local ferrals. In terms of the myths and legends, it is important that the correct facts are taken on board. The old stories of Roman armies, Henry VIII and the Catholics, Cromwell, Witches etc have all been proven to be false. The Rainford Delph Quarry was built purely for the extraction of the stone for building and the remains today are the legacy of this, and this was well after the dissolution of the monasteries and even further after the Roman occupation. As Archie pointed out, the caves are very dangerous and prone to collapse, which will of course happen eventually. All it takes is an earth tremor and that is it, I would advise extreme caution when around them. I have long stated that I would like to see access to the caves blocked with a gate only for responsible people / guided tours. One paranormal point to focus on was the use of the caverns for 'Satanic' practices and other such covens. This has been reported as taking place form the 1920s after the Great War up to present, and I know a few psychics who I have taken down there have all pointed out some interesting entities, one such is an elemental which haunts the lower chasm of the 'teethy' caves and is certainly not a nice thing, especially when it follows you home! Of course this is all subject to speculation and dark, cold and windy caves with bizzare acoustic refractions can make your mind tick. Good luck with your project though and if you need further info let me know James.
  9. Hi Chocolate, Thanks very much for posting these images. I think HORT mentioned before that people over the years have promised and promised maps. From my knowledge as well the ones you have done are very accurate and highlight how many portals internally in the caverns are blocked. Have you ever been past the dry stone walls? I wonder if they could be taken down with the correct tools. On the note of things coming down, visited the caves the other week and there appears to have been a large rock fall. I know I keep harping on about it but I do think the main caves should be gated over with a locked entrance, they are so dangerous and it would only take somebody to be in there at the wrong time and it would not be worth thinking about. Anyway glad to see this thread is still soldiering on, but we have still not found out where Crank Caverns actually go haha! James x
  10. Glad to see this thread is still going 9 years on haha!
  11. I just want to hightlight that the tipping in the mousey ditch is much, much worse now. I am not sure if anything can be done but I went up the other day and it is pretty much blocked. It's full of all sorts of rubble and such a hazard. I am also concerned about the animals, birds, bats, foxes etc that live in those caves, plus what is that p***k of a farmer pours some down whilst people are down there it could kill them. I am very, very concerned. J.
  12. Happy new year all. This thread has been running since 2004! 8 years! I think we have found so much more out about the caverns from the collective knowledge of all who have contributed with thier own experiences and thoughts on the caves. I think we have managed to dispell quite alot of the folklore and urban legends surrounding the caverns, which whilst it shatters some of the mystery, helps us to understand thier true purpose and why they are there in the first place. I am going to start to compile a report on the caverns, this will be based upon information from the St Helens local history archives and information from this forum. It obviously won't be a definative answer to anything, as it would never be possible unless we got a full exploration, however it should serve as a document for us all and others to look at the facts we do know. One thing remains though guys, to answer the question - where do they go? Haha Best wishes, James.
  13. the hole is still there it is at the bottom of the woods just off the road and can be seen by going round the edge of the field.If anybody is up there next time have a look. I am also positive there is also another way in in the main caves at the very back into a corner there is a small tunnel with a bloody big wind coming out of it!
  14. Interesting information about the 12 yarder and Carr Mill Dam, however are we forgetting logic? The quarrys purpose was to mine out stone as quickly and efficiently as possible hence why they dug tunnels in the first place to rafrain from buying farmland. They were not dug as exploration tunnels just mines. I wonder, looking at the small tunnels that run from the caves, weather these were to sound out stone? you know to see if there was stone worth mining, rather than open cast mining the top which would cost much more money. The whole site of the caverns including the wood is the remnants of the quarry. so there may be smaller caves around which are blocked up. I wish the reformation rhumours would stop appearing cos the caverns wernt bloomin there then! lol
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