About a week ago, I cleared as much weed from the inside of the arch as I could — not easy when you’re working blind.
Yesterday I tested my new makeshift underwater light with two car headlight bulbs and a lead acid battery. My new light proved ineffective at penetrating the gloom behind the arch and not as effective as the small on-camera flash which unfortunately makes tiny particles in front of the lens look like floating dinner plates.
There is still weed to be cleared but I can tell by counting bricks that the chamber behind the arch is at least 1.4 metres deep. The width is the same as the arch at just under 2 metres. The height is unknown but the weed seems to be growing down from above the arch and during my recent clearing operation, I managed to push a stick up vertically behind the top of the arch to a distance of 1 metre — at least, I think that’s what was happening.
I did manage to get some better images of the 5 inch pipes and the small iron pipe around 1 inch in diameter.
The two 5 inch pipes above the arch were the first to be found in the early stages. Note how the photo of the left pipe has caught a black circular shape that looks like it has entered a void — the chamber behind the Arch ? — mmm . . . could be the end of the cattle trough theory.
I am assuming these pipes are ceramic/clay but I must remember to take a magnet up some day to check if they are iron.
The clay pipe on the opposite side from the arch is about the same depth but has a much rougher look to the workmanship. The spigot end was not flush with the brickwork and protruded at a slightly awkward angle. It was not at right angles to the tangent of the circumference — it was squint!
The small iron pipe is at a similar depth to the Arch. A line from the centre of the Arch, through the iron pipe, lines up with the man hole at eleven metres from the edge of the Pool.
The next step is still to get a better understanding of the chamber behind the Arch. I don’t yet know if I have an arched tunnel heading for Quarter Colliery.
If the back wall of the chamber has a large pipe of 8 or 10 inches diameter, then the water tank theory could be getting a dusting off. If the chamber has no openings (other than up) then the charcoal kiln theory could be getting another look.
Clearing the weed with such awkward access will take some imagination. I can confirm that the visual distortion caused by looking through water means that what you see is not actually what you get and working with poles at 5 metres plus in deep water gives a very poor feedback of what is happening at the business end.
It’s unlikely that I will be doing any underwater industrial archaeology for the next two months as I am fully committed over the summer. So as they say in the good ol’ U S of A — Happy Holidays.