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About oncewasneveragain

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  1. I'm afraid Crank Caverns has become a landfill site, the lower caverns are now piled up with waste, not the dirt and rubble as we've seen before but what looks like shredded black plastic mixed with dirt. The old shaft that was at the bottom of the woods has recently been filled in! Is there nothing that can be done to stop this tipping? It's ruining the area and the whole lot could potentially collapse! Shredded plastic? Is it legal to dump this stuff wherever? I've a few photos from mid March (2019) I'll try to upload later of the waste that's being dumped there. Also bumped into a guy walking his dog and we got talking about the place... I decided a long time ago I wouldn't post anything on here regarding the caverns without definitive proof to back it up given all the myths regarding the place, however I will share it as this is an interesting story! After asking if he knew where the mouse hole used to be, he immediately pointed to a spot, a fern in fact and told me that was where it used to be. During the 80's when he was a teen (I would have been a few years younger) he said he remembers watching trucks backing up to the edge of the caverns dumping dirt over the edge to cover an entrance down which many people had been stuck / lost and had to be rescued from. It was deemed dangerous and someone, I guess council or landowner had decided to dump truckloads of dirt over the edge from the field to cover it once and for all. There had been what he described as an old farmers gate fixed down over it but people kept getting in and getting stuck in there!
  2. It seems this was a straight forward quarry, then they resorted to pillar and stall mining, then to driving adits to mine the stone and boring shafts down to meet the adits as a means of hauling the stone out, very normal mining practice! I've been down lots of old mines in Wales, lots I went down 20 years ago are now impassable due to collapses. Some of them go for literally miles! But why drive just one adit in the bottom of that hole? I would guess they would at least drive one or two from the main caverns? That would be the place to start mining! The mouse hole Powerful Pierre is talking about is buried under the rubbish that has been tipped, disgraceful by the way and it should be cleared. Crank Caverns is a recognized area of local historical, geological and natural importance. That stuff should be removed! This hole was a winding crawl tunnel that led into the gated entrance tunnel, another way in! Maybe it branched off elsewhere too. Maybe there's another main entrance under all that rubbish! There were supposedly more entrances to the right of the main caverns, three I believe which is why I was interested in Alan's description of an entrance. But I reckon if it was a shaft, it must have been bored down to an existing adit, driven from the main caverns and I guess from the farthest right cavern, the one which is very large and deep, maybe under the rock and mud floor. Worth a dig? Solid stone in there and the roof looks very stable, the left side of the main caverns is very unstable, I would not risk going in there myself but there was talk of there being a blocked passage there. One of many things I learned from tours in the Welsh mines, when a new mine was started they would make an effort to drive a tunnel to another nearby mine, this was usually done if the boring of shafts was not possible, for instance they had no rights to the land upon which the shafts would have to be placed, so they would tunnel to the nearest mine as a second way in / out or emergency exit, for ventilation and to aid in removing stone, it's not that far fetched that a link could have been made to Clinkham Wood mines, or to the 12 yarder or even another nearby delph or colliery. I don't believe however it could possibly go any further. Alan's post has got me intrigued as it's like I remember but we need to find this other entrance and prove there are other workings not recently explored, that would be a great achievement in the history of this topic! But on the other hand, maybe there's nothing! Worth a look but still any more information on other entrances greatly appreciated!
  3. Those lower caverns are creepy, maybe because they're down in that hole which I assume was once a deep quarry, looks much older than the upper caverns but maybe just the location, moss and vegetation on the rocks and the cold air down there. I remember on certain days a deathly cold wind used to blow out of those lower caverns years ago. I was down there a few weeks back, the wife and kids stayed up at the top of the hill and I went down / in alone. Not a nice feeling down there! The shaft I pinned on Google Earth drops into this lower mine system. Has anyone been to see this yet? I'm more interested in what used to be there that isn't now. Alan could you be more specific about where this 2 x 1 ft entrance was? Maybe reference some of HORT's photos for a rough position so I can look further? That whole area to the right of the main caverns is quite large, was it up on the top of the bank or into the rock face / wall? How far away from the final main entrance to the right? That's not an easy area to access, certainly not by tractors or other machinery, if there was an entrance I'd guess it has filled in with loose dirt and tree-fall. If it was deliberately filled in I doubt we'll every be able to find it let alone excavate and explore it!
  4. The wall has been built to support the roadway leading to the furthest cavern on the right, this is also the largest and deepest cave (of the main caverns) and leads around to the right when you go in, solid stone walls and ceiling but the floor is mud and rocks. I had a good look for this mouse hole today, spent about an hour there this evening. I'll post some more photos a bit later. Can anyone elaborate further on its location? I can't find it, on the other hand there are lots of places it could be but would need digging out. I managed to climb down to the overhanging tree but I'd need a rope and harness to get any further safely, there are some thick bushes there just above the rock face and i can't see what's behind them. Am I looking in the right place? This sounds like it was up on top of where I was, there's nothing there I can see but if there was it may have been filled in or covered over. I'll try to get up there one night this week but will need more equipment!
  5. This hole just leads into the main caverns, take the next large entrance to the right of this, turn left and left again and you can crawl out of this hole! Just to clear things up I do not think the shaft is the mouse hole, but I had never seen it before and went out of my way to find it, to my surprise it was there! I was out of the country for years, returned recently for good and have spent as much time as I can there but with young kids who want to follow me everywhere it isn't easy! My memory isn't great these days but I am sure there was another entrance that led into other workings not accessible from the main caverns or gated entrance. I thought it was up by the field above the main caves but I can't find it nor can I realistically see it being there as it would have to be in the field to drop down behind the main caverns. Maybe to the right of the main caverns, there is a stone roadway alongside the farthest right entrance, further right is a quarry but no entrances, could it have been in there, or elsewhere? Much has fallen into the quarries over the years, deliberately or naturally and maybe the elusive mouse hole is covered, lost forever. Maybe it never existed and this is my memory playing tricks on me, I hoped this mammoth forum would have unveiled it's location but it seems not. Maybe the shaft continues down to other levels but I doubt it, chances are it was for ventilation and to haul the stone out. There are large rooms down there and it would be difficult to drag the stone out of the gated entrance. There was much talk of this shaft earlier in the forum, going down 3 levels, 5 levels, 7 levels etc. I'm skeptical as I remember and everyone I ever talked to disregarded the gated entrance as a round trip, the mouse hole if it exists was elsewhere! Again I will say, I remember this mouse hole was there when I was a kid, say 30+ years ago, the fact that no conclusive evidence of it's location or existence has surfaced on this forum suggests to me that maybe I was dreaming! Why does no one remember exactly where it was? I have spent all my time there exploring the above ground areas, all too easy to head straight to the main caverns maybe missing what else may be in the vicinity! I am very interested in the real history of the place but there's so little info available. I was thinking of trying the local libraries. I have been researching local workings especially in Rainford, the old collieries and delfs in the area. There was supposedly an entrance in the cellar of Bushy Lane school which went into local mine workings, maybe Rainford Coal Company or Red Delph workings. Crank also had a colliery but I'm yet to find it's true location, not far from the caverns I believe. Rainford was riddled with coal and sandstone mines, Victoria and The Avenue collieries to name a couple more, there was a shaft at the top of Old Lane and a ford from which I believe the name Rainford came from. Yorkshire Charlie (Charles Howarth) who managed Crank Caverns (Rainford Old Delf) was also the founder of the Rainford Coal Company. All very interesting!
  6. http://www.aditnow.co.uk/Photo/Rainford-Crank_56287/ Very clear photo of the top-filled shaft.. Is there another level buried beneath this? Did this shaft go deeper? Never have I ever heard of light shining into these tunnels, this was blocked a long time ago. Does anyone remember this being open to the surface? Would anyone be interested in helping to unblock this? I paced his out today, it's between 50 - 60 meters from the gated entrance. Could this be the mouse hole?
  7. No it's not the mouse hole, I have found two, maybe three possible locations but not where I thought it was from memory, they would take some digging but appear to have been deliberately blocked. I'm beginning to wonder if this mysterious entrance ever existed. In 12 years of the Crank Caverns topic no solid evidence has ever surfaced of its existence, but I was very surprised to find that shaft, no one else seems to have found it before so what else lies undiscovered?
  8. Posted a google earth and pinned it so you can have a look next time you're there. It drops into the tunnels accessible from the gated entrance, best way to visualize it, watch the Youtube video.. At 3:20, they are looking down a tunnel with an old car tyre in it, at the end of the tunnel there is a pile of dirt from floor to ceiling, a bit later one guy looks up it but they didn't pay it much attention. This is the shaft which has been filled with dirt from above. This was probably for ventilation and likely where stone was hauled out.
  9. Just out of interest has anyone seen the Shaft at Crank Caverns, I posted a photo and location on the main Crank Caverns topic? Ordnance Survey only started detailed surveys around the 1830's, that's about as far back as detailed maps go.
  10. Have you been into the quarry behind the houses at Crisp Delph? The entrance as far as I know is in there but the landowner has apparently sealed it. You should seek permission to go in of course! I would like to get some photos of the quarry, it's a real impressive place! The entrance is where the "Level (Stone)" is.
  11. Shaft Location, LAT 53° 29' 27.30" N, LONG 2° 44' 14.78" W.
  12. I'd like to see this post hit 50 pages! Has anyone visiting Crank come across this before? It's a shaft most definitely, or else may have been a well I suppose, filled in but is bricked with stone all round, currently about 6 feet deep and there are remnants of corrugated steel, probably once used to cover it and remnants of a steel bar or tube which once crossed the mouth of the shaft. I remembered a remark about a shaft on the forum so went up there today specifically to try and find it. I'd never seen it before and it doesn't look like it's been disturbed in a long while! I traced the direction of the gated entrance tunnel and came across this! There are also two large pits in the ground next to the track in the vicinity which I initially thought were shafts but maybe not. They do also seem to be lined with stone though but look more recent.
  13. Hello again, good to see this is still going although slowing off a bit I think! I've been working out of the UK for four years now, would love to get back and see those caverns again, lived in Rainford for 28 years. There was only ONE way into the deeper workings there, through the infamous mouse hole which is now well and truely deliberately blocked, and grown over I'd imagine! I was only a kid when it got filled in by the local farmer who backed his tractor up and filled it in, supposedly to stop his own kids going in there! The main caverns used to connect to these tunnels however they either caved in or where blocked off deliberately a VERY long time ago, before any of us where here put it that way! The tales of pot holers disappearing for hours - that's where they went into. There must be other ways, after all there is some interconnection there. The lower gated entrance doesn't go far, I think everyone knows that as a ten minute circle however I've experienced the severe cold wind out of there - wind out - wind in - somewhere! There might be a small hole somewhere and believe me, experienced pot holers would put bricks / stones in it to hide it from sight. Anyway if you want to get into those deep tunnels where the underground lake 'supposedly is' and the underground church 'supposedly is' then that's the only entrance and the way down to these supposed features. The mouse hole was between the main caverns and the existing gated entrance, up the hill face nearly at field level, nearer to the main caverns. It was steel mesh gated and beside a big rock slab. It lead down to the area behind the main caverns - and onwards! Real tight crawl for about 30 feet even for a kid! I know it's there but I couldn't pin now it within 20 yards. That's the only way in and has been for many many years. I'm still bemused as to why so long ago they'd dig a tunnel so far underground? For a pillar and stall mine why dig those tunnels? Why dig the gated entrance tunnel - even to sound out good stone that's some effort! I know a few pot holers, they like to keep things safe - and secret for obvious reasons. People on here definitely know where it is / was, reading some of the posts this is almost certain. Find the lost mouse hole!
  14. The mouse hole is definitely not there any more. Like I say it was deliberately blocked up years ago but it used to be gated. Any hole with a wind coming out was once a possible way in but the wind may be blowng through stone pieces which block the original entrances. Also that wind must be coming from a good distance away tp be so cold! I experienced this from the lowet gated entrance when I went up there, like I say about 8 years ago. I have been there since and there was no wind, very eery though! The mouse hole is gone blocked up by soil and dirt. It was the only way in hence it was blocked due to the number of people who had pretty much gone missing in there, I think everyone recently was recovered. Parr is a or was a counciller for the Rainford area and I have no doubt that local pressures put on him as well as the fact his kids used to go on missions up there led him to fill the mouse hole in. Rainford really is an interesting geological area, coal, sandstone etc. When coal and sandstone exist so close together usually great folds exist in the underlying land. The coal and sandstone exist from many thousands of years difference. Voids can form between the two, natural openings which may have been intercepted by man made digs. Who knows! Interesting though! Keep looking I'll keep trying to get in touch with the guy who has been in there, it's been a long time! Good luck!
  15. The first memory I have of the caverns was a very long time ago, I was still in primary school, One of the Parrs was one of my best mates at the time and I used to go over to the farm quite often. I remember him asking his mam one day if we could all go up to the CAVES, she bollocked him and as you can guess we didn't go. Years passed, I never heard much about them but I knew about them. A really good mate of mine took me up there about 8 years ago, he used to go there often and used to go down there alot spending a whole day in there. While we were walking around by the main caverns he told me that they don't go far anymore neither does the bottom gated entrance although on that summer day a freezing cold wind was blowing out of it. He said years past rockfalls and man made blockages had sealed the deep caverns down to lower levels which could at one time be accessed from the lower gated entrance. They used to haul stone from a shaft at the bottom of the woods and the workings were several levels deep. The small tunnels were I think dug to source fresh stone. When he used to go in and we're talking probably 20 years ago, there was only one deep entrance which was called the mouse hole. This was above the main caves. I don't know exactly where but I was told by him and another mate of mine that farmer Parr used to back his tractor up by the caverns and fill soil into the mouse hole as the land is his responsibility. People used to unblock it as it was the only entrance to the deeper workings. Eventually farmer Parr got his way and the hole was blocked for good, more soil went on top and it is now well and truly grown over, you probably would never find it! I confirmed this with another friend of mine who told me the exact same story. We're all from Rainford and they used to go up regularaly. Bearing in mind that the mouse hole can't be far from the main caverns and that a tractor can be driven close enough to tip soil onto it gives you an indication of where it was. It led down to the caverns behind the main caverns now blocked by rockfalls and quite possibly blocked deliberately. Noone has ever described this on this site except Winchman who described it on wikipedia. My mate said it was more easily accesable from the field as you would imagine if a tractor could be backed up to it able to dump soil on top. It dropped in at a 45 degree angle and very tight to get through. I work and live in China now, have done for nearly 2 years but I read this site with great interest. I am trying to get in touch with both lads who knew where the mouse hole was but nothing yet. If I hear anything IT WILL go on this site! If I won the lottery I would definitely hire experts to excavate the caves! My mate who took me up there I've known since god knows when! I hope he can get in touch again and let me know. Please if your reading this Winchman where did you get your info on Wikipedia from? Also what happened to the cavemaster with all the maps? I also knew a lad with maps but god knows where he is now and I doubt he ever had them. VERY little info exists on these caverns but I believe what my mate told me. He apparently went to the lake, one tunnel leads out onto a stone shelf with nothing but darkness in front. throwing stones returns splashing noises. The torch he had did not reveal what lay beneath! Also to note, look between crank caverns and Fairfield hos. There are old sandstone workings there that are now filled with water. Very close too! Clearly seen on Google earth! Keep lookin until I get back!! Al.
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