Glossary of terms

ADIT – horizontal mine entrance or access passage.
BACKFILL – to fill an abandoned mine cavity with waste rock.
BED – layer of rock in the ground.
BELLPIT – shallow shaft with one or two chambers at bottom.
BOREHOLE (1) hole drilled with a hollow tube that removes sections of rock for identification.
BOREHOLE (2) – narrow hole sunk as a water supply.
CAP – covering to a shaft.
CAVE – natural cavity.
CHAMBER – underground cavity either natural or mined.
CONDUIT – underground passage for conducting water.
CROSS CUT – access passage linking two parallel adits.
DAY FALL – where mine workings have collapsed at the surface.
DIP – angle at which strata differs from the horizontal.
DRIFT – same as ADIT.
FACE – furthest working part of a mine.
FAULT – large fissure which displaces strata.
GALLERY – horizontal working area in coal or iron mine.
GROTTO – artificially decorated chamber.
GRUB – to remove woods or field boundaries.
INFILL – material thrown into a shaft to fill it up.
JOINT – fissure in rock, especially chalk.
KILN – structure which roasts chalk or limestone to make lime.
KNAPPING – to hit a flint so that flakes break off.
LEVEL – same as ADIT.
MINE – cavity excavated to extract rock or mineral.
MINE AGENT – man in charge of a mine.
ORE – rock in which a metal occurs.
OUTCROP – point where strata is exposed at the surface.
PILLAR – section of rock left to support the roof.
ROCK SHELTER – small cavity in a cliff face.
SALLY PORT – door for defenders to make surprise attacks from.
SEAM – layer of coal or iron in the ground.
SHAFT – vertical entrance to a mine or well. Separate shafts can be sunk for pumping, ventilation or winding up rock.
SMELTING – process of roasting ore to product metal.
SPOIL – waste rock brought to the surface and left in heaps.
STEINING – shaft or well lining made of bricks or flints.
STRATA – same as BED.
SUMP (1) – drainage hole at the base of a shaft
SUMP (2) – cave passage flooded to the roof.
TIMBERING – wooden roof props in levels or walls in shafts.
TRAMWAY – rails laid for wagons to be pushed along.
TUB – mine wagon.
UNDERCUT – to excavate underneath rock so that it fails down.
VEIN – underground deposit, usually of ore.
WINDLASS – small hand winch for winding in shafts.
WORKINGS general term for all mine passages.

Kent Underground Research Group