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Hidden for a hundred years: Mine which has laid untouched for a century discovered

The hidden mine lets you time travel back 100 years - take a look around how tough the job was a century ago

The miners could, for all the world, have just walked off shift.

For everything in the old Rastrick quarry tunnel is pretty much as it was around 100 years ago.

There are the roof props, telegraph poles, wall pegs for hanging up lamps – even beer bottles.

But this peek into the past won’t be around for long. And, unfortunately, it’s not safe enough for the sandstone quarry owners to arrange visits to the site.

So Rand and Asquith Stone Sales are working on a photographic record of the tunnel they have unearthed at Gledhill’s Quarry in Lower Edge Road.

Mineshaft discovered at Gledhill's quarry off Lower Edge Road, Rastrick

Director Paul Rand said: “We have always known the site was mined, but this tunnel is in really good shape.

“It’s just as if the miners walked out yesterday.”

The 70ft-deep tunnel first came to light a few months ago.

“But it has become more interesting as we have got deeper into it,” said Mr Rand, whose firm has owned the site for almost 20 years.

Inside the mine

“Sadly, we haven’t found anything much other than a few beer bottles and have been unable to put a precise date on those. But I would say the tunnel is at least 100 years old. The roof is still propped up, there are telegraph poles and pegs in the walls for hanging up lamps.”

The quarry is used for mining flag rock, ideal for paving purposes.

“Mining started here a long time ago,” said Mr Rand. “We are going to have to take the tunnel down eventually as it is on top of so much valuable stone.

Take a look inside the mine - and an earlier one discovered in the quarry.

“But it would be nice to have a photographic record before this happens. It isn’t safe for visits unfortunately and that’s a shame as it would be interesting for such as school parties to see. So we can’t do much with it.

“We have found smaller tunnels but you could almost drive a vehicle down this one. It’s quite a size.”

Mineshaft discovered at Gledhill's Quarry off Lower Edge Road, Rastrick. Director of the company, Paul Rand at the entrance of the mine at the quarry
Paul Rand at the entrance of the mine at the quarry

Mr Rand said the tradition of making paving from the stone hasn’t changed down the decades.

“It’s just that these days we have heavy machinery to help us get it out of the ground.”

EXTRA: How we used to live - more stunning images of Huddersfield in 1960s and 1970s revealed

He said the tunnel might bend for up to a year. “Then it will be gone for good,” he said.


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