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Boulby

High on the wind swept cliffs overlooking the villages of Cowbar and Staithes

A view of Cleveland Potash mine taken from Boulby taken from Boulby

Boulby is a secluded little village sited on the route of the Cleveland Way. Once a thriving community, many of the original properties have long since been demolished.
The ancient remains of the alum quarries carved out of the cliff at Rock Hole Hill are well worth a visit, but be aware of the dangers of being in such a place. Other attractions are a walk along the Cleveland Way, Three Crosses Well, a First World War Zeppelin listening post, and the nearby National Trust property near the Warren
Alum mining is probably the reason for the existence of Boulby, with quarrying being the original method of extraction from the ground. Times have a moved as they say and now a modern mine known as "Cleveland Potash" extends over a distance of 15 kilometres from north to south, and has roadways underground used by maintenance vehicles and transit vans are used to transport personnel to and from their working places.
Cleveland Potash produces approximately one million tonnes of potash for agricultural uses and over half a million salt (halite) used for de-icing roads in winter. The potash, salt and other evaporite minerals encountered at Boulby Mine were deposited in the late Permian age, some 230 million years ago. The minerals were deposited as a result of evaporation of the Zechstein Sea and the potash is located at depths between 1,200 and 1,500m in a seam of up to 20m but averaging 7m in thickness. The deposits include nodules of boracite and associated mineral sized up to 1 metre in diameter which are found in a bed just above the base of the potash deposit. Boracite also occurs in a variety of forms from single crystals to aggregates. The rarer hilgardite is occasionally found, whilst magnesite occurs sparingly as transparent plates.
The company employs approximately 850 people and has annual sales of £90 million, however despite all this industrial activity, Boulby Mine is discreetly located with the chimney being the only prominent landmark.
If you have any further knowledge or have information about local history, folklore, Geology & Archaeology which you think would be of interest to others please contact us.

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