Search on for missing mineshaft

PUBLISHED: 09:01 15 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:34 25 May 2010

PUZZLED archaeologists are asking for help to find an old mine dug into a Congresbury hill.

PUZZLED archaeologists are asking for help to find an old mine dug into a Congresbury hill.

The confused group surveying Cadbury Hill has a key to access a shaft, but they have no idea where it is.

Yatton, Congresbury, Claverham & Cleeve Archaeological Research team have the metal item, which resembles a manhole cover opener, and the search is now on for the pit.

Group member Brian Bradbury, aged 77, said: "What we expect to find somewhere on the hill is a concrete cap that leads to horizontal shaft that has been driven into the mine.

"Some people in Congresbury and Yatton remember the mine, but they don't know exactly where it is and we want to locate it with a view to exploring it."

The key was kept in Congresbury Parish Office and some residents say the mine, which it is thought has a 12 sq ft opening, was operating as recently as 30-40 years ago.

Mr Bradbury, a retired engineer from Mendip Road, said it was likely iron ore was being taken from the hill down to the Yeo and eventually shipped from the Severn Estuary to South Wales.

He said: "It's possible that somebody in the area will know where the cap is so we can try to get it open.

"Once we are in, we'll be able to survey it and it could lead to some interesting discoveries."

Last year, the group started work to survey the hill after receiving a grant of £341,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which was used to buy specialist equipment.

Mr Bradbury said Cadbury Hill is a nationally-significant Iron Age hill fort that was inhabited in Roman times.

However, it is now better-known as the home of Cadbury House Hotel, a four star luxury venue.

Anybody with information about the area's mining past or where the shaft might be should call Mr Bradbury on 01934 838018 or Chris Short on 01934 833764.

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