Industrial Archaeology Recordings

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Ramsden Shaft, Bog mine

Mining History Feature

Bog magazine


In 1907, Bog Mines Ltd. re-opened the Bog mine to work it for baryte (barium sulphate). By the start of the First World War (1914-1918) it was being worked by Shropshire Mines Ltd. under Sir James Ramsden, who installed gas engines to provide electricity for pumping at Bunting's shaft on the main mine site.

In 1915 they sank a new shaft, about 440m south of Bunting's to intersect the Boat Level. "Ramsden" shaft is over 120m deep and it's lined throughout with concrete blocks (approximately 22cm high and 29cm wide).

Buntings Shaft c1960

Buntings Shaft c1960

Ore from Ramsden shaft was taken by tramway to the main site, where, from 1917, an aerial ropeway then carried it the 5 miles to the crushing mill at Minsterley.

However, by the mid 1920s the mine proved uneconomic and it closed in 1924.

Bog tramway embankment from Ramsden shaft to the main mine site

Preparing the winch headframe on the Ramsden shaft cover

In September 2007 the Shropshire Caving & Mining Club (accompanied by the I.A.Recordings MineCam Mk 5) made a winch descent of the shaft and managed to inspect some of the workings.

The shaft is capped with concrete, supported by iron girders and has a small galvanised bat grill bolted to it (the bat grill is on the left in the picture).

For the descent the SCMC erected a small headframe over the shaft cap to allow members to be winched 120m down the shaft.

About to descend Ramsden shaft

Descending Ramsden shaft

The shaft lining appears to be in good condition and has regular garland rings (iron rings set into the wall, and used to support the concrete blocks during construction).

Other features include a small-diameter (7cm) pipe on the south-west side of the shaft, brackets and chains.

Water running down the walls has stained the blocks white near the top then black lower down.

Descending Ramsden shaft

The triangular opening in the shaft, 74m from surface

At 74m depth is a stepped-triangular opening in the wall.

Just below it, several timbers cross the shaft, one of which was badly damaged and had to be removed for safety reasons during the descent.

Approaching the timbers across the shaft

Exit from the shaft, 120m from surface

At the bottom, 120m below the cap, the shaft is flooded and rubbish has accumulated.

There are two openings at the bottom, one to the North-east (70cm high, 30cm wide) and the main larger opening (2.3m wide, 1.5m above water) to the North-west

Looking back at the concrete shaft liining from the level, 120m from surface

Paul Thorne & Chris Andrews examining old bottles on the 120m level

The main opening gives access to flooded tunnels, which can be followed for several hundred metres to stopes. One passage splits and heads off in the direction of the Boat Level, but the water reaches the roof a short distance along it.

Paul Thorne exploring the 120m level in the direction of the Boat Level


National Grid Reference: SO 3559 9742

Key Dates:

1915: Ramsden shaft sunk and worked for baryte. First electric winding engine on a Shropshire mine installed here (not successful and replaced by a steam winder). The Shaft connected by tramway to main site. Bunting's shaft also used for pumping and winding.
1917: Aerial ropeway installed to carry baryte 5 miles for treatment at Minsterley.
1924: Bog mine closes.



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