Perry's Dam


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015859

Date first listed: 03-Jul-1997


Ordnance survey map of Perry's Dam
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Eden (District Authority)

Parish: Alston Moor

National Grid Reference: NY 78544 41610


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 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.

Perry's Dam is an important survival of the formerly extensive water management system of the Nenthead lead mining area. It contributes towards the understanding of the development of the mines in the early 20th century, when drilling became based on compressors powered by an integrated high pressure water system.


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


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of Perry's Dam which lies near the watershed between the Nent Burn and Ash Gill, 2km south of Nenthead village. The Veille Montagne Zinc Company held the lease for the Nenthead lead mines between 1896 and 1937, and between 1903 and 1915 introduced a system of hydraulic compressors to power drilling machinery. Perry's Dam was an integral part of the water management system employed at this time. Water from the dam was fed via a 0.3m diameter high pressure pipeway to Bogg Shaft, 450m to the north. The pipe was then fed 120m down the shaft to Caplecleugh Low Level and then upwards to the Caplecleugh High Level. Holes in the pipeway allowed air to be carried with the water for ventillation. Water was also used to drive a Pelton Wheel for the compressor house at Middlecleugh mine, the subject of a separate scheduling. A pipeway was also built to supply the Smallcleugh mine but no compressors were installed. The dam itself consists of a substantial earthen bank, 600m long by 4m high by up to 25m wide, with an edge-laid drystone revetment on the internal side. A section of high pressure pipe and pipeway survive at the north west corner and together with a sample of the pond floor, is included in the scheduling. All modern fenceposts are excluded from the scheduling, although 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: 28907

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Critchley, M F, 'Bulletin of the Peak District Mines Historical Society' in The History and Workings of the Nenthead Mines, Cumbria, , Vol. Vol 9, (1984), 24-25

End of official listing