Myers Head lead mine


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Myers Head lead mine
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Eden (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
NY 41630 12627

Reasons for Designation

Approximately 10,000 lead industry sites are estimated to survive in England, spanning nearly three millennia of mining history from the later Bronze Age (c.1000 BC) until the present day, though before the Roman period it is likely to have been on a small scale. Two hundred and fifty one lead industry sites, representing approximately 2.5% of the estimated national archaeological resource for the industry, have been identified as being of national importance. This selection of nationally important monuments, compiled and assessed through a comprehensive survey of the lead industry, is designed to represent the industry's chronological depth, technological breadth and regional diversity. 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 flat rod systems, transport systems such as railways and inclines, and water power and water supply features such as wheel pits, dams and leats. The majority of nucleated lead mines also included ore works where the ore, once extracted, was processed. The majority of nucleated lead mines are of 18th to 20th century date, earlier mining being normally by rake or hush (a gully or ravine partly excavated by use of a controlled torrent of water to reveal or exploit a vein of mineral ore). They 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 upland landscapes. It is estimated that at least 10,000 sites, exist the majority being small mines of limited importance, although the important early remains at many larger mines have been greatly modified or destroyed by continued working or modern reworking. A sample of the better preserved sites, illustrating the regional, chronological and technological range of the class, is considered to merit protection.

Myers Head lead mine is a well preserved small 19th century lead mine. It contains a variety of integral components including a shaft, adits, dressing waste, spoil heaps, a tail race, a gin circle and leats, but in particular it retains exceptionally well preserved launder supports and a wheelpit.


The monument includes the remains of Myers Head lead mine, a 19th century mine located approximately 800m south east of Hartsop at the confluence of Hayeswater Gill and Pasture Beck. The complex includes a mine shaft, two adits - that is horizontal tunnels driven into the hillside for access to the mineral vein - a wheelpit, the buried remains of a tailrace, a series of well preserved stone pillars which supported the launder used to carry water to power the wheel, spoil heaps, dressing waste, leats, and the site of a gin circle or horse-powered capstan for raising ore from the shaft. The shaft, now largely infilled, is situated on the west side of Pasture Beck opposite its junction with Hayeswater Gill. A 30 feet diameter waterwheel was set up by the side of the gill to work a Cornish pump for raising floodwater out of the mine and the lower courses of two support pillars for the driving rods for the pumps stand either side of Pasture Beck whilst the wheelpit survives well with walls still standing to a height of 3.5m. Approaching the wheelpit from the north are a series of 11 well preserved stone-built supports which carried a launder along which water ran from Hayeswater Gill to power the wheel; a short length of earthwork and rock-cut channel indicates the course of a leat from the gill to the upper launder support. Survey bt the Royal Commission of Historical Monuments for England in 1966 found a stone- lined and stone-capped tail race running underground; this took water from the waterwheel into Pasture Beck 37m downstream of its confluence with Hayeswater gill. To either side of the shaft are spoil heaps and dressing waste together with a stone spread which marks the site of a gin circle. There is also an earthwork marking the course of a leat which ran for c.100m from Pasture Beck in the direction of the shaft. Approximately 150m south east of the shaft, on the eastern side of Pasture Beck, are two adits with a spoil heap close by, and in the same area are several old pits, now filled up, which are thought to mark the site of pre-19th century workings of ore beneath the beck. About 1870 the Patterdale Mining Company commenced sinking the mine shaft from which galena, some zinc and a little chalcopyrite, the principle ore of copper, was extracted. The vein was porous, however, and the pump had considerable difficulty keeping the water in check. In the late 1870s the shaft was flooded after miners unexpectedly broke into a large cavity in the vein and the mine was subsequently abandoned after less than 10 years in production. All field boundaries are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath them 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
Shaw, W T, Mining in the Lake Counties, (1975), 98-100


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

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