Odin Mine nucleated lead mine and ore works, 350m WNW of Knowlegates Farm
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- High Peak (District Authority)
- National Park:
- PEAK DISTRICT
- National Grid Reference:
- SK 13412 83493
Reasons for Designation
Nucleated lead mines are a prominent type of field monument produced by lead
mining. They consist of a range of features grouped around the adits and/or
shafts of a mine. The simplest examples contain merely a shaft or adit with
associated spoil tip, but more complex and (in general) later examples may
include remains of engine houses for pumping and/or winding from shafts,
housing, lodging shops and offices, powder houses for storing gunpowder, power
transmission features such as wheel pits, dams and leats. The majority of
nucleated lead mines also included ore works, where the mixture of ore and
waste rock extracted from the ground was separated ('dressed') to form a
smeltable concentrate. The range of processes used can be summarised as:
picking out of clean lumps of ore and waste; breaking down of lumps to smaller
sizes (either by manual hammering or mechanical crushing); sorting of broken
material by size; separation of gravel-sized material by shaking on a sieve in
a tub of water ('jigging'); and separation of finer material by washing away
the lighter waste in a current of water ('buddling'). The field remains of ore
works vary widely and include the remains of crushing devices, separating
structures and tanks, tips of distinctive waste from the various processes,
together with associated water supply and power installations, such as wheel
pits and, more rarely, steam engine houses.
The majority of nucleated lead mines with ore works are of 18th to 20th
century date, earlier mining being normally by rake or hush and including
scattered ore dressing features (a 'hush' is a gully or ravine partly
excavated by use of a controlled torrent of water to reveal or exploit a vein
of mineral ore). Nucleated lead mines often illustrate the great advances in
industrial technology associated with the period known as the Industrial
Revolution and, sometimes, also inform an understanding of the great changes
in social conditions which accompanied it. Because of the greatly increased
scale of working associated with nucleated mining such features can be a major
component of many upland landscapes. It is estimated that several thousand
sites exist, the majority being small mines of limited importance, although
the important early remains of many larger mines have often been greatly
modified or destroyed by continued working or by modern reworking. A sample of
the better preserved sites, illustrating the regional, chronological and
technological range of the class, is considered to merit protection.
Odin mine is a well preserved and well documented lead working site with a wide variety of mining and ore processing remains which include complex water management works and an extant crushing circle. Its importance is enhanced by its being a multi-period site and its unusually long period of continuous operation.
Odin Mine is located below Mam Tor on the interface between the sandstone and
shales to the north and west and the limestone plateau to the south. The
monument includes the area of the mine located on the limestone south east of
Mam Tor together with its associated ore works. Further workings of the Odin
Mine survive west of the core area but have not been included in the
scheduling due to their isolation. A group of mineworkings associated with
Engine Sough is the subject of a separate scheduling.
This part of Odin Mine is divided by the modern road from Castleton to Mam
Tor. The ore works lie to the east of the road and include dressing floors and
areas of dressing waste and a crushing circle used in the breaking down of
lead ore. The crushing circle comprises a gravel-bedded circular iron track
with a diameter of c.5.5m. The track itself is composed of eight segments,
each measuring c.5cm thick and c.37cm wide. The process of crushing was
carried out by a gritstone wheel which now lies to one side of the track. The
wheel measures c.1.8m in diameter and is c.30cm thick. It includes a 30cm
square pivot hole at the centre which retains part of a wooden shaft. The
wheel was shod round the edge with a 5cm thick iron tyre.
The mineworkings lie predominantly west of the road. However, a range of tips
and hollow ways also occur south and east of the ore works. These remains are
enclosed by a collapsed drystone wall which, on the north side, is paralleled
by a second wall. East of the dressing area, there are two shafts which share
a large shaft mound with platforms for winding gear. The winding platform for
the southernmost shaft retains parts of its circular stone track. The shaft
itself has a well preserved stone lining.
West of the road, the mineworkings include an impressive opencut (an open
working along a lead vein) which partly utilised a natural feature known as
Odin Gorge. Heaps of spoil from these workings occur north of the opencut.
A particular feature of this part of Odin Mine is its water management works
which include a leat or water channel running parallel to the opencut on its
north side. This was dug in order to divert the stream flowing west of Odin
Gorge round the head of the opencut which would otherwise have formed a
natural watercourse. The leat has a U-shaped profile and measures c.1m deep by
3m wide. It ends to the east on a dam and is believed to have been used to
direct water for the washing of lead ore. This is suggested by the occurrence,
above the dam, of a 0.75m wide rockcut channel feeding off it towards the ore
works. The channel is reveted by a wall on its south side.
Other rockcut channels traverse the mine in the vicinity of the opencut and
all appear to have directed water towards the ore works. In addition, north of
the leat and this network of channels, there are two large ponds divided by a
substantial dam measuring c.20m wide by c.3m high. The first pond lies west of
the dam where it was created by backing up water from several converging
natural and rockcut watercourses. It filled the second pond via a sluice at
the southern end of the dam. A channel leading south from the first pond above
the sluice was probably an overflow.
The second pond is still partly waterfilled and was enclosed to the east by
a second dam currently overlain by the modern road. East of the road, north of
the ore works, there are at least two further ponds divided from the ore works
by another dam. The scale of this water collection operation indicates that
full-scale washing and dressing of the lead ore was being carried out on site
Odin Mine is a multi-period mine of considerable longevity. Even if claims
that lead was mined during the tenth century are discounted, there remains
good documentary evidence for the use of the mine, under its present name
by 1260. Limestone was certainly being worked by 1600 and at least part of the
opencut can be proven to be in existence by 1660. The mine was in continuous
production from 1704 to 1867 and may have been worked continuously from at
least as early as 1660. In 1663 a drainage sough was driven westward from the
mine and was completed by 1670.
All modern fences, gates and stiles are excluded from the scheduling together
with the surface of the road and the modern drain beneath the road, although
the ground beneath these features is included.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Ford, D, Rieuwerts, JH , Lead Mining in the Peak District, (1968)
Rieuwerts, J H (ed), History and Gazetteer of the Lead Mine Soughs of Derbyshire, (1987), 3
Located in Chatsworth Estate Papers, Devonshire Collection MSS,
Located in John Rylands Library, Bagshawe Collection MSS,
Sheffield City Library, Bagshawe Collection MSS and Oakes Deeds,
Site: Derbyshire 15, Cranstone, David, The Lead Industry: Step 3 Recommendation, (1994)
Willies, Lyn (11/09/95),
Willies, Lyn (11/09/1995),
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing