Florence Ullcoats Mine, Egremont, West Cumberland

Welcome to the last of the classic West Cumberland Iron mines. I hope that the pictures and information here will give you a little insight to Florence - it's a lot more than just a mine - more a memorial to generations of local people who lived their whole lives to break the iron hard ground and produce ore for the hungry smelters owned by the local gentry. Pity the mineral Lords never had to swing a pick and get covered in red mud - perhaps they would have put more back into the community if they had...

You just wouldn't believe what went on here, all those years ago....

   

 

Florence - West Cumberland fells in the background - Drygill's not that far away..!!

 

A tired, but famous headframe

Entrance to the decline

 

View from the top of the headframe - decline in background, Lake District beyond..

 

My favourite place for a bottle of beer..

 

Those wheels... the stories they can tell..

 

The winder room ..

 

... and the controls..

 

And this is what it's all about..

 

My knee for scale, with hammers..

 

Loco and rake of trucks picking up specimens - Ike Wilson in background..

 

Collecting specularite from fresh rock face.. Ike Wilson in action..

 

Stoped area - huge kidney cavities in roof

 

Driving out - in the tubs behind the loco on main drive

 

Bottom of the decline with Gary and Ike

 

The long, slow walk up to daylight...

 

The plat - main shaft

 

Checking one of the massive pumps

 

Coming out with the days specimens..

 

Rake of trucks.. Ike trying to persuade Gary to part with one to put outside his house...

 

Gary at the controls

 

Unloading all those specimens..! A very happy Ike..
Looking up the shaft from the pump plat The mine yard

 

 

And as for specimens... here's a selection, both old and recent, all from my collection..

 

 

Large kidney - pencil for size. Victorian specimen

 

Very large kidney - self collected in Beckermet in the 1970's - 18" long

 

Kidney with specularite - 11" across. Self collected in Beckermet, 1970's

 

Dolomite on haematite. Self collected in the 1970's - 7"

 

Quartz and specularite, with dolomite. Given by Beckermet miner, 1970's - 2"

 

Smoky quartz on specularite - old Victorian collection - 3 x 4"

 

Smoky quartz on specularite - old Victorian collection - 5"

 

Specularite on kidney - Beckermet - self collected in the 1970's - 7"
 

 

Quartz and specularite - Beckermet - given by miner in the 1970's