Sike Head shaft, on the slopes of Bolt's Law, a windswept hill rising more than 1,600 feet on the vast, open moors of the North pennines.
Dangerous walking, with very deep shafts and unforgiving bogland.
Sike Head was one of numerous lead mines in the area that had been forced to close in the early 20th century. Because, from the early 20th century onwards, lead, silver and other precious metals, (mined in these parts since Roman times), could be imported more cheaply from abroad.
A very different feel to my usual walks, in the pretty farming hills and valleys of Northumberland, only a few miles to the North!
These moors of Durham are equally beautiful, but stark, depressing, with a feeling of pessimism, maybe the echo of the long-gone,spirits of the back-breaking, lead mining workers...
....yet an irresistible place for the occasional brave, solo hiker/painter/photographer.