This mine is situated in Coalbrookdale, at the head of a side valley that runs north off the Ironbridge Gorge, on the south side of Telford (a new town whose development started in the 1960's). Coalbrookdale was famous in the 17th Century for its experiments in smelting iron with coal.
The Walker's Earth Mine tunnel, (Coalbrookdale) is probably late 18th/early 19th century, although no information on its history has been located. It appears to be on the Wenlock Shale/Limestone separation and it is believed to have been worked for 'Walkers Earth' (a 'clay' formerly used in washing, and soothing babies bottoms, and ladies face powder etc.).
It is shown as 'Mouth of Level' on an 1849 Tithe Map of the area, more recent maps show the entrance as 'Old Level', 'Well', and 'Washhouse' (the remains of a building were still present in the 1960's).
The Remains Today
In the 1960's virtually the whole length was flooded to about 0.8m depth. Recently a dam at the entrance has been breached and the adit is now almost dry.
- "Underground in the Ironbridge Gorge", I.J.Brown, I.A.Review Vol. III, No.2 Spring 1979
Report & Sketch: Ivor Brown
Bad Air - mainly Oxygen deficiency has been recorded in this adit. Explosive gases are also possible due to the proximity of coal seams.
Local residents reported seeing bats in the area, and some were found in the tunnel length examined. They could well survive in the fissures and beyond the limits of exploration. DO NOT disturb them, particularly during the hibernation season.