Quite an adventure this one, not visited by that many its access is hard work, nature doesn’t want you there or the tunnel either judging by the state of it!
Some lovely colours some soggy clothing and a foot of Ochre!
A tunnel of around 480 yards close to the line’s summit approaching Caldon Low quarry. Trubshaw laid its first brick on 17th April 1844. The west portal is architecturally detailed, built predominantly in brick but with a masonry keystone and copings. Above the arch ring face – which is stepped and five bricks deep – is a stone string course. Generally the portal’s condition is poor, suffering the effects of vegetation blight and with two areas of loose/missing brickwork.
Towards its ends, the tunnel has a circular profile but this becomes egg-shaped through the middle section. Both ends suffer from flooding and thick mud, with water running at the toe of both sidewalls. Locally there are sizeable calcite deposits, stalactites and some accumulations of ochre. Two tall, deep but narrow refuges are provided, their bases being timber.
Near the middle of the tunnel, a short section of the lining comprises vertical brick pillars. Here a steel frame has been inserted with wooden packing above. It’s not clear whether this is strengthening to support Ellastone Road which passes above.
The east portal is similar in design to that at the west end although the arch ring face is only four bricks thick. It is almost entirely consumed by vegetation, as is its approach cutting.
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