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"SS Castle" - Eston Hills Traditional Geocache

Hidden : 10/09/2011
2 out of 5
3.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   small (small)

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Geocache Description:

The Guibal Fan House was built circa 1870 and stands as one of the most prominent reminders of the ironstone mining that once took place here. The fan will have measured around 30 feet in diameter and was used to help ventilate the vast network of mines within the hills. This worked by exhausting the air within the mine, causing fresh air to be drawn in from the various mine openings (some of which can still be seen today). The reason behind the local nickname “SS Castle” becomes obvious as soon as you look at the building.

The discovery of iron ore within Eston Hills soon transformed the entire area now known as Teesside. From 1850 when partners Bolckow & Vaughan purchased the right to mine from the Wilton Estates, followed 99 years of ore extraction (reaching in excess of 60 million tons).

Previously the pair had opened a foundry in Middlesbrough which processed pig iron imported from Scotland. After this they were able to produce their own pig iron, with an ironworks at Witton Park (20 miles west of Middlesbrough) and ironstone mined from Grosmont (near Whitby). However, finding the raw materials in such close proximity to Middlesbrough eradicated much of the transportation costs and from this point the local industry really boomed.

During this time of prosperity, Bolckow and Vaughan acquired coal mines, gas works, limestone quarries and machine works and are widely recognised as the founding fathers of Middlesbrough, respectively becoming the town’s first and second mayors.

People familiar with the area may choose a different route to the cache, but I would recommend parking at N54°34.026 W001°07.114 and starting the journey from there. Walk up the path (away from the direction you car should be facing) and turn right up the steep bank. Eventually the path will split into three directions, but continue on the middle one. At the top you will reach some steps going down on your right. Follow these down and head left through the tunnel. This path leads directly to the site of the cache.

My GPS jumped around a little bit, so check out the clue if you get stuck

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Tb yrsg hc gur cngu cnfg Znttfl'f snibhevgr gerr

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)