Getting a deeper understanding

...the mine shafts at Winsford

Getting to the mine workings is a lot easier now than it was in the 19th century. Shafts 1 and 2 were used for almost 130 years until they were sealed in the 1970s. Originally miners were lowered into these shafts by bucket!

Over the years shafts 1 and 2 were replaced by three more shafts.

No 3 Shaft

3.05m in diameter and 150m deep, was installed in 1941 and was used as a production shaft until the 1970s. Today it has a self-service lift and is used for personnel access.

No 4 Shaft

4.88m in diameter and 189m deep, is the down cast shaft. This means it is used to draw air into the mine. It is about a mile from No. 3 shaft and was installed in 1963 with a two-tier lift consisting of a cargo compartment and a personnel carrier. The cargo compartment is 7 metres high, 2.4 metres wide and 4 metres deep and brings all the materials and engineering equipment underground. It can carry 15 tonnes. The bigger mechanical items are dismantled to fit into the lift and, once reassembled underground, never leave the mine.

No 5 Shaft

4.88m in diameter and 164.5m deep, was the last shaft to be installed in 1973. It is used to bring the finished rock salt to the surface, which it does in a series of 9 tonne skips. It takes just over a minute to get one skip of rock salt from the mine to the surface.

Read about how fresh air reaches the mine

Download the Winsford Rock Salt Mine Shafts

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