#514 – Cononley Lead Mine 1


The tin mines of Cornwall, or more specifically the beam engine houses are a unique site around the county. The high walled engine houses and the tall chimneys were some of the first mechanised deep mines in the country and a site unique to the south west. Or so I thought…….

I was researching mining sites for a project and I stumbled across the excellent http://www.ukminingremains.co.uk website. A rummage round the sites in the north of England revealed Cononley Lead Mine, which was less than an hour from the sun drenched lowlands of Chorley where I live. In fact it was only 15 minutes over the Yorkshire border, and much nearer than I realised.

But while the geographical proximity was useful, what interested me was its position in the landscape, and the odd juxtaposition of a Cornish style mine in the North Yorkshire countryside. Further visual research on Flickr and Geograph suggested that the adjacent waste tips could make for a potentially interesting foreground. They reminded me of some of the bleak Polish industrial landscapes of Michal Cala.

A check of the weather forecast on the morning of my visit showed an overcast outlook which is ideal for the kind of skies I like in my photographs, but on arrival, the clouds were rapidly clearing and the sun was coming out. But you have to deal with the light that’s there, so I did what I could. Annoyingly, having left the mine on what was by then a sunny day, a check in the rear view mirror as I drove back across the moorland to Lancashire showed a now dark and cloudy sky again over the area I’d recently left. A revisit is definitely needed as I have a few photographs in mind, and unlike many places I photograph, it’s not going to be demolished anytime soon!

6 Comments Add yours

  1. The kind of photos I would love to take… Love ’em! It was nice to recall the Michal Cala photos as well (you know I went to see the exhibition in London…). The sky looks fine to me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. andy says:

      Thanks Katriina! My photos aren’t as dark as Michal Cala’s (which are dark even by my standards), but there’s something about the waste heaps that brought them to mind. If I can get back there on a really grim day I’m going to see what effect I can get.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hope you can revisit the site. I guess I know what kind of images you have in your mind.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love these shots, superb as always. The building is just right for that romatic industrial vibe, and your clouds are perfect. It’s been too sunny lately whenver we have ventured forth, no clouds. Thanks for the link to Michal Clal, I had never heard of him. Very absorbing and of course, amazing photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. andy says:

      Thanks Iain! The clouds aren’t what I had in mind, but I’ve managed to embellish the effect in post processing. Getting to locations when the weather is appropriate and when I have the time is a riddle only solvable in retirement, which is 20+ years off! Cala’s work is amazing, I managed to get hold of a copy of his book Slask, which is in Polish, but the photos are excellent.

      Like

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