Sir Francis Level – Mine Works

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Scattered throughout the North of England are hundreds of abandoned mine workings, leftovers from the Victorian Period, when the Industrial Revolution, transformed Britain into a modern technology driven country that needed raw materials from anywhere they could be found to satisfy the demand. Lead, silver, coal and much more besides was extracted from small private mine working throughout the hills, employing thousands. The relics of this period can still be found and some mines, armed with appropriate skills and equipment can be entered, to reveal a wealth of industrial heritage. The St Francis Level contains a unique water powered lift, to raise and lower miners to different levels is one such example, and like almost all of them, is sadly decaying. With public funds unavailable to preserve these unique items the North Yorkshire Dales National Park (NYDNP), requested Commendium to record the mine workings in 3D so they could be preserved on one medium for future generations.
The NYDNP commissioned Commendium to visit St Francis Level and create a full colour digital model of the mine workings for their heritage records. This included visual representations to enable people, for whom a trip down a deep cold mine would not be attractive, to appreciate the work of the Victorian miners as well as models suitable for architectural and historic studies. Over a series of 5 trips to the mine, Commendium staff laser scanned the mine workings with state of the art LIDAR laser scanning equipment and took over 5000 photographs, from which a highly detailed, colour digital model was built.
Commendium constructed a detailed digital 3D model of the workings in the St Francis Level. From this a short film was made that can be viewed on Youtube, which is shown in the Dales Museum in Hawes. The models have been archived and have been used for Historical Studies as well as driving an application for further funds to preserve these items and other like them. The format of the model was made so that it is be available to Computer CGI applications, architectural packages and historical documentation. Most recently Commendium has been asked to contribute to a BBC film featuring the mine including an interview by Paul Rose and the supply of graphics and 3D models to feature in the film.