Fairplay Iron Mine

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SMDB Image 043

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OS Grid Reference: SO658168

The most extensive remains of fairplay Mine are of a Cornish underbeam engine house over a masonry shaft about 350 feet deep. They are extremely well built and are well preserved, standing up to about 15 feet above ground level (photo). The date of construction of the engine house is uncertain, but sinking of the deep pit appears to have begun by 1856. About 100 yards to the east are the filled-in remains of an air shaft with a draught opening or flue connecting the shaft to the base of an associated ventilation chimney, complete with hearth. These were conserved in 1980 and now stand about 6 feet high (photo). To the south of the shafts are three small reservoir ponds for boiler water, now nature resrves. The object of the venture appears to have been to exploit iron ore in the Drybrook Sandstone or Crease Limestone, but there is no evidence for any significant production. The mine machinery was sold in 1907.

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