Red Scar lead mine and ore works, Gate Up Gill, 350m south east of Tag Bale Hill

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015820

Date first listed: 17-Apr-1997

Map

Ordnance survey map of Red Scar lead mine and ore works, Gate Up Gill, 350m south east of Tag Bale Hill
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Craven (District Authority)

Parish: Appletreewick

County: North Yorkshire

District: Craven (District Authority)

Parish: Hebden

National Park: YORKSHIRE DALES

National Grid Reference: SE 05580 66585

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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 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.

Red Scar Mine is an exceptionally well preserved single phased mine. It retains the complete layout of a typical small scale mine and ore works. The shaft, adit and wheelpit are all complete and although the two buildings are ruined, they retain information allowing their functions to be interpreted. The standing remains and earthworks of the ore works, together with the buried archaeological deposits will provide evidence for ore processing techniques.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes the standing and earthwork remains of a small lead mine with an associated dressing floor which was worked by the unsuccessful Grimwith Lead Mining Company between 1863 and 1878. Lying within a small gill in an area of heather moorland, the site is well preserved, retaining the complete layout of a small, late 19th century lead mine. The monument includes an intact adit portal, with an 1863 date stone, driven eastwards from the valley floor. This is still open and issuing water. Approximately 100m to the north east, on the valley side, there is an uncapped 2m diameter shaft with a fine dressed stone lining. This was first sunk in 1867 when the mine was suffering from flooding. The shaft incorporates a small `bob' pit for a pump, powered by a waterwheel c.80m to the south. The pit is partly infilled with rubble, but is otherwise intact, and the free standing wheelpit (which measures c.9m by 3m by 4m high, with a second bob pit immediately to its south west) is also complete. Between these two bob pits are the remains of four wooden posts that are believed to have supported a flat rod system linking the waterwheel to the pump. A leat enters the monument from the north. This runs past the shaft and across a small dressing floor (ore processing area), to end to the west of the wheelpit where it was fed across to the waterwheel via a wooden launder carried on posts. The wheelpit is complete and would have enclosed a wheel c.0.75m wide and 8m diameter to axle height. Where the leat crosses the dressing floor it feeds through a 6m long, 1m wide pit which is thought to be the remains of a `running buddle' (a simple device which used running water to separate out the heavier particles of ore from the lighter waste particles). A few metres to the north there is a single 3m square bouse team (a stone built storage bay for holding unprocessed ore) and a 2m square stone built platform which was used as a knocking stone. On this stone, lumps of ore were hammered by hand to remove some of the waste rock before the ore was processed further. Around the platform there is a spread of knocking waste, and further to the south and east there are spreads of both jigging and buddling waste together with the low earthwork remains of other features. These are thought to include the bases of the hand operated ore separation machinery which produced the different waste heaps. These all took advantage of the high relative density of lead ore with jiggers agitating gravel sized particles on sieves in tubs of water with finer particles often being treated in buddles using streams of running water. To the north and west, and included within the scheduling, mine spoil spills down the valley side from the shaft. The broad level area formed on top of the spoil next to the shaft is thought to mark a horse gin circle. A horse walking around a circular track would have been connected to a winding drum allowing ore and spoil to be raised up the shaft, and materials to be lowered. The scheduling also includes the remains of two buildings: a two storey house built into the hillside uphill from the wheelpit; and a smaller building at the foot of the slope close to the adit. The two storey building has a single lower room with a double doorway and single window. Above this is a room with a large fireplace facing a partly collapsed oriel window. This unusual window would have given a good view of the entire mine complex as well as the trackway to the site. Access to this room is via a windowless room to the rear, which, being built into the hillside, is at ground floor level. The ruinous building has the remains of a slate roof. The second building is a single room 5m square, surviving to a maximum of 1.5m, and contains a small fireplace. The drystone wall which crosses the monument and the modern fencing around the shaft are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 29002

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Raistrick, A, Lead Mining in the Mid Pennines, (1973), 79

End of official listing