A 19th-century cobalt mine containing a number of near-pristine artefacts, including workers’ equipment and personal objects, has been discovered at Alderley Edge in Cheshire.
The mine, believed to have been abandoned c.1810, is one of several in the area, all of which are now owned by the National Trust. Since the 1970s, however, the Trust has leased the mines to the Derbyshire Caving Club, whose members maintain access to them while searching for long-lost areas of mining.
Leather shoes, clay pipes, a metal button, and an enigmatic clay bowl are among the items that the club found in the newly discovered mine last autumn. Inscriptions written in candle soot were also identified, alongside discarded pieces of mine machinery.