Seeing Beneath the Moor...

Evidence of coal mining is abundant across Baildon Moor. The circular depressions visible across the moor are anecdotally referred to as ‘bell pits’, however it is likely that they represent shafts. Documentary sources point to mining concerns on the moor during the nineteenth century and whilst a colliery plan exists, it has not been possible to identify its precise location.

For his Masters Degree research in Archaeological Prospection at the University of Bradford, Ron Organ undertook a study to try and locate the underground galleries between the circular depressions visible on the surface of the moor.

Ron used a piece of equipment new to archaeological geophysics, the FlashRes-64, that has the potential to probe deeper and more quickly than more traditional resistivity equipment. He first trialled the equipment at Standedge, where the canal and railway tunnels are known voids below ground. He then applied the technique to Baildon Moor where, with the help of volunteers from the Riches of the Earth Project, he was able to detect the location of tunnels between circular depressions. He was able to conclude that the depressions within the study area are likely to be interconnected.