Cashwell hush and lead mining remains


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015838

Date first listed: 16-May-1997


Ordnance survey map of Cashwell hush and lead mining remains
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1015838 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 22-Jan-2019 at 19:13:00.


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

County: Cumbria

District: Eden (District Authority)

Parish: Culgaith

National Grid Reference: NY 71128 35840


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. A hush is a gully or ravine excavated at least in part by use of a controlled torrent of water, to reveal or exploit a vein of lead or other mineral ore. Dams and leats to supply the water are normally associated, and some examples show tips of waste from manual ore processing beside the hush itself. Shaft and adit mineworkings sometimes occur in spatial association, though their working will not have been contemporary with that of the hush. There is documentary evidence for hushing from the Roman period on the continent, and from the 16th century in England; however a high proportion of surviving hushes are believed to be of 17th to 18th century date, the technique dying out by the mid 19th century. Hushes are a dramatic and very visible component of the lead mining industry. They are common in the Pennines from Yorkshire northwards, and in parts of Wales, but are rare in other lead mining areas. A sample of the better preserved isolated examples and those which form part of more extensive lead mining complexes, will merit protection.

The remains at Cashwell are a good example of those found on a dispersed lead mining landscape, as opposed to those at nucleated mines which developed through the 19th century. The monument forms a core area of well preserved features within a wider landscape, and includes a wide range of remains within a relatively small area. The survival of such a large number of structures associated with hush and opencut workings is nationally rare, and as most of these features are also believed to be of 18th century date this importance is further enhanced. The monument is adjacent to the Pennine Way and thus forms a public amenity and educational resource.


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


The monument lies on the watershed between the River Tees and the South Tyne on the north east side of Cross Fell. It includes the earthwork remains of an opencut along Cashwell vein together with an adit, Cross Fell High Level, and associated remains of small ore processing areas. The monument forms a core area of well preserved features within a wider lead mining landscape. Remains to the south west and north east have been disturbed by later activity. The waste heaps were reworked for fluorspar earlier this century and there is a stone quarry immediately to the north of the monument. These areas are not included in the scheduling. The well preserved remains of Upper Slatesike Mine, 0.5km to the south west, forms a separate scheduling. Cashwell vein was worked from before 1778. In c.1800 a small smeltmill was built at NY71653612 and later in the century, as the upper deposits became worked out, a series of levels were driven from the north east. The smeltmill and later levels are all poorly preserved for their date and thus have not been included in the scheduling. Workings on the vein finally ceased with the closure of Cashwell Mine in c.1921, however the workings within the area of protection are thought to have ceased by the early 19th century. The monument is bisected south west to north east by workings on the line of Cashwell vein. The south western c.90m of the workings is in the form of an opencut where the vein material has been removed leaving an irregular trench approximately 1m wide. To the north east, and downhill, a wider area has been excavated forming a round bottomed gully up to 10m wide and 2m deep. This is the head of a hush (a feature left by the surface extraction of minerals using controlled discharges of water to remove overburden and waste) which continues c.0.5km beyond the boundaries of the monument to the north east. The portion beyond the boundary of the area of protection has been modified by later stone quarrying and is not included in the scheduling. Between the start of the hush and the opencut lies the partly collapsed entrance to Cross Fell High Level which was driven along the line of the vein south westwards. To the north and downhill from the level entrance there is a small ore processing area including a partly filled wheelpit standing to 0.5m and the footings of a range of small buildings and small, c.3m, square stone flagged areas. The wheelpit is thought to have powered an ore crusher and the area retains partly grassed over spreads of ore processing wastes related to a range of treatments applied to increasingly fine fragments of ore. After sorting by eye, ore was processed using water to take advantage of the high relative density of lead to concentrate the ore to a purity of 60-70 percent before it could be smelted. To the south of the opencut there are further remains of stone built structures and small, manually powered ore processing areas. This area also retains evidence of a water management system, feeding water into the hush.

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: 29023

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Dunham, K C, 'Tyne to Stainmore' in Geology of the Northern Pennine Orefield, , Vol. Vol 1, (1990), 132-133
Fairbairn, R A, 'British Mining' in The Mines of Alston Moor, , Vol. No.47, (1993), 144-145

End of official listing