Lathkill Dale and Mandale mines and soughs
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1016755
Date first listed: 24-Feb-1998
Date of most recent amendment: 16-May-2013
Location Description: Lathkill Dale National Nature Reserve, Over Haddon nr Bakewell, Derbyshire
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Location Description: Lathkill Dale National Nature Reserve, Over Haddon nr Bakewell, Derbyshire
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Derbyshire Dales (District Authority)
Parish: Over Haddon
District: Derbyshire Dales (District Authority)
National Park: PEAK DISTRICT
National Grid Reference: SK1923465968
A multi-phase lead mining complex.
Reasons for Designation
Lathkill Dale and Mandale Mines and soughs are scheduled for the following principal reasons. * Rarity: Lathkill Dale and Mandale mines are rare survivals of mining activity dating from at least the C16 through to the late C19, with well-preserved remains of individually rare features such as the remains of shafts, coes, gin circles, stopes, engine houses and other buildings, crushing circles, ponds and buddles, in addition to water management structures such as the aqueduct and aqueduct leat; * Survival and Diversity: It is an exceptionally well-preserved site displaying a diversity of multi-phased surviving features; * Documentary and Archaeological Evidence: the 2005 archaeological survey of Lathkill Dale and Mandale mines in addition to the documentary research into the mine adds considerably to its national importance; * Group Value (association): the mines are located within an area of well-preserved mining remains, the best surviving of which are designated as scheduled monuments. Together, these sites provide evidence for both the historical and technological development of what was once a far more extensive, multi-period and regionally distinct mining landscape; * Potential: the diverse range of components represented at Lathkill Dale and Mandale mines have the potential to explain the development of the mine working and its chronological range as well as contribute to the understanding of the historical and technological development of lead mining in Derbyshire.
Lead mining in Derbyshire may have begun as early as the Late Bronze Age as indicated by the discovery of lead artefacts at MamTor and Gardoms Edge, but no archaeological evidence for mining, ore processing or smelting at this time has been recorded (Barnatt, Bevan and Edmonds, 2002). In the Roman period, the presence of a major national lead industry is attested both by classical references and by numerous finds of lead 'pigs' (ingots of smelted metal). The distribution and inscriptions of the pigs indicate production in the Mendips, South Shropshire, Derbyshire and the Yorkshire Pennines. The mines themselves are elusive as later mines have cut through the earlier shallow workings (Barnatt and Smith 2004, p49) and the range of mining and ore processing features on Roman sites cannot yet be specified.
Medieval mining is almost equally elusive in the archaeological record. 'Lead works' were mentioned in the Domesday Survey but it is not clear if this meant mining. There is documentary evidence of mining at Nestus, Matlock Bath in C14 and there are also many Bole Hills (a primitive smelting furnace) in the area with abundant slag remains where lead was smelted. Two major pieces of evidence dating from the medieval period are of fundamental importance; the earliest written laws of lead mining from the Ashbourne Inquisition of 1288 and the carving of a medieval miner in Wirksworth church (moved from Bonsall church in C19), which is probably even earlier.
In medieval times a royalty of a thirteenth of all ore mined (known as a 'lot') was paid to the Crown and a tenth (or 'tithe') was paid to the church. The Peak was made a free mining area with wide and unusual privileges and the 'free' miners were allowed to work by very liberal laws which enabled them to search for lead ore in the 'liberties'; anywhere but churchyards, gardens, orchards and highways. The miners had right of access, water and space to both mine and dump their waste without regard to the land users or owners wishes. To control mining, mineral courts were set up with a Steward and Barmaster representing the Duchies, including Devonshire, Rutland and Lancaster, and other landowners as lords of their own liberties and a Grand Jury of 24 men (12 since 1851-52) appointed for six months to control each of the different areas. The laws were not fully listed until the mid-C17 when Thomas Manlove, a Barmoot Steward, wrote them down 'in metre'.
The mining laws were formalised in 1851-52. The court still sits regularly today, made up of men who have a wide knowledge of the miners and mining field.
During the C12 and C14 documentary sources provide evidence of 11 and possibly 12 mining sites of one or more workings in Derbyshire; most if not all would have been worked opencast (veins which were worked from the surface to a depth of c30-40 feet). The development of the ore field after c1450 was governed by a number of factors including the miners’ ability to work the ore. The miners themselves had a progressively improved understanding of the nature and location of ore-bearing beds from the medieval period, but by the mid-C18 mine agents and overseers rather than miners had acquired enhanced geological knowledge.
The evidence for mining during the C15 and C16 comes primarily from the written versions of the laws and customs existing between 1288 and 1525. Once the nature of wide and deep horizontal deposits was understood by the mid-C16, meers (a linear measurement along a vein irrespective of its width or depth) were measured in squares rather than the usual linear measurement along the vein. As knowledge of ore deposits increased many more mines were worked; 64 are individually named but many groups of miners could be at work along a single vein. Technological development moved apace with the first evidence of firing rock underground, drainage using horse-powered pumps (c1579-1581) and a long drainage adit all appearing in contemporary documentation.
The C17 witnessed rapid expansion in both geological knowledge and technical advance. Improvements in smelting technology during the last quarter of the C16 allowed smaller size ore to be smelted in the new ore-hearth furnaces. As a consequence many large-scale opencast mines were worked. The use of gunpowder blasting for rock breakage from the C17 exploited mines to a greater depth, requiring more efficient ventilation by sinking air shafts at regular intervals into deeper workings and soughs.
Technological advancement continued in the C18. At the beginning of the C18, shafts and workings were at a depth of 700ft, but by the end of the century shafts were in excess of 900ft deep. The first Newcomen engine was installed between 1716 and 1719 and a 40ft diameter water wheel was recorded in 1747. Haulage was also transformed in the C18; boxes carried by boys were gradually superseded by the introduction of small, plain wheeled wagons running along two parallel planks. Haulage to the surface continued to use traditional stows (a wooden windlass used for winding materials and water) although horse gins were also in use in most medium to large mines. Longer, deep level soughs and deeper mine workings demanded improved methods of ventilation.
In the C19 profitable sources of ore became scarce and increased competition from other ore fields led to a decline in the importance of, and production at, the Peak District mines. With the exception of Millclose mine at Darley Bridge, which worked until 1939, little profitable mining was carried out from the beginning of the C20 onwards. From the early C20 to the present, lead mining sites have been extensively reworked for minerals originally discarded by the lead miners. Those of economic worth are primarily fluorspar, barites and calcite, while lead ore is still a valuable by-product.
The mining history and archaeological remains of Lathkill Dale and Mandale have been extensively researched by Rieuwerts (2008) and John Barnatt. In addition to the Lead Legacy publication, Barnatt with others from the Peak District National Park Authority, completed a detailed archaeological survey of the Lathkill Dale National Nature reserve and published the results in a report of 2005. The case details for the site are informed by the archaeological survey, but will not repeat in detail the survey results or historical information already published.
The history of the Lathkill Dale and Mandale Mines are entwined, presenting a detailed and complex history of mining activity in a discrete landscape. Mining at Mandale Rake, in the eastern part of the Dale and area of protection, is first documented in the C13, and recorded on the north and south sides of the River Lathkill from 1495, although the exact location of these early workings is unknown. Mandale Rake was mentioned in 1585 as containing `the beste orre in the peke' and by 1615, the mine’s excavations were over 300ft deep. Water drainage was a continual problem, however. To aid drainage and increased ore extraction, the excavation of the Mandale Sough was begun in 1798, but production was slow and by 1836 work had virtually ceased. A long stretch of the river to was canalised in the late 1830s by the insertion of walls along its length, aiming to restrict the river to its bed and prevent flooding in the mine workings of both mines. The track from Over Haddon Milll westwards along the valley bottom was probably remodelled at this time. In 1839, a new company was formed. The Mandale Mining Company’s main strategy was to erect a steam engine and waterwheel to drain the mine below the sough by pumping water from below into it. The wheel was erected adjacent to Lodge shaft in 1841. As part of the water drainage system, the Company extended the aqueduct leat at Lathkill Dale Mine and constructed an impressive aqueduct which carried the water by launder (supported wooden channels) across the river. The portal to Mandale Sough was remodelled and an incline level was driven linking to it, resulting in increased ore output. The waterwheel became inadequate for the task and a steam Cornish pumping engine was erected in 1847. The venture was short-lived however, as rising costs led the Company to wind up activities in 1851 and offer equipment for sale in early 1852. Mandale Rake continued to be worked small-scale by individual miners until 1867.
Lathkill Dale Vein and Mine, located in the western part of the Dale, may have been exploited in the medieval period, but is known to have been worked at around 1700 and is referenced in Barmote Court documentation of 1703. An estate map of 1720-7 shows two waterwheels with associated coes installed to allow the extraction of ore below river level. In the C18, an early drainage sough known as ‘Over Haddon Sough’ enabled greater exploitation in Lathkill Dale. The driving of Lathkill Dale Sough in 1743 enabled more successful mining activity. The sough followed the Lathkill Dale Vein from the eastern boundary of the assessment area westwards to the mine, and was started either by local men or by a Bristol company of Quakers. By 1750, the sough had been driven beneath the river to its south side. The title to the vein and sough was taken over in 1764 by the London Lead Mining Company, who drove the sough further, allowing rich ore and a greater output to be mined. A mine plan of 1826 references an ‘old watercourse’ and ‘old engine’ suggesting that the Company may have built additional structures to facilitate water management and ore extraction. A drop in ore yield prompted the London Lead Mining Company to put the mine up for sale in 1777. Little work took place on the vein until 1825 when Thomas Bateman and John Alsop bought the mine. Intense activity followed, including the construction of a new leat (known as the aqueduct leat) and feeder pond and installation of pumps in an underground shaft at sough level powered by an unusual engine type, an early form of water turbine designed by the Daykeyne brothers and patented in 1830. A building covered the shaft, a measure to prevent industrial espionage it is said, which was converted in 1835 to a dwelling known as Bateman’s House where the mine agent lived. New shafts were sunk at the mine in the 1830s and the leat was widened to accommodate a larger waterwheel upriver from Bateman’s House, said to be ‘the largest except one in the Kingdom’. Several buildings ware constructed close to the waterwheel including an ore dressing coe, a smithy and a workshop and, to the west, a powder house. Water management problems continued, however, and Lathkill Dale Mine ceased large-scale extraction in 1841-2; the wheel was offered for sale in 1847 and removed by 1861.
Lathkill Dale is a National Nature Reserve. In 1998 the remains of mining activity at Lathkill Dale and Mandale Mines were scheduled as an ancient monument.
The monument includes the standing ruins, earthworks and buried remains of the Lathkill Dale and Mandale mines.
At the eastern extent of the scheduled area is the stone-lintelled portal or outlet of Mandale Sough. The Sough goit (man-made ditch), probably built in 1840, is about 320m long and has drystone walled sides; it lies adjacent to, and lower than, the river, terminating at approximately SK20006615. To the north-west of the Sough outlet is a wheelpit, built to house a large waterwheel in the 1840s, visible at the foot of a steep drop. Above it to one side there is a leat, arched-over with ashlar stonework to allow mine tubs to pass above it to the outlet for the water supply to the overshot waterwheel. South-east of the wheelpit, the rectangular, limestone and sandstone-built Mandale Mine Cornish engine house survives to 6m in height, the northern bob wall on which the beam of the engine was supported being the best preserved. The below-ground remains of the boiler house lie adjacent; it is recorded as containing two Cornish boilers. Other mine entrances in addition to the sough are visible: a capped shaft between the waterwheel pit and the engine house, an inclined adit entrance 20m further north-west, with a capped shaft nearby with adjacent gin platform which links with the shaft below, and an adit entrance on a side vein to the west called Aqueduct Level. Halfway up the daleside are the remains of a circular chimney with a section of a flue with an arched roof. A number of hillocks and terraces survive in the vicinity of these remains; one terrace behind the boiler house had a small possible building, perhaps the documented mine smithy, while to the south there is a very large but badly robbed hillock, a surviving part of its flat dressing-floor top retains paving. Nearby there is ruined coe (miner's hut). The header launder terrace continues east from its arched outlet and is preserved in its entirety except where it crossed the river. Visible as an earthwork until the steep drop interrupts it, water was carried by wooden launders (supported water channels) from its meeting with an aqueduct whose ruined stone piers survive in good condition by a bend in the river at SK19526660. The aqueduct has six rectangular piers with walled abutments to either end, all of which have been reduced to some extent. The remains of complex mining activity pertaining to the Lathkill Dale Mine extends from SK18836580 at the west end eastwards for approximately 600m n the north side of the river to the Bateman's House complex at the east end (see below) centred at SK19436584 on the south side of the river. An extensive area of amorphous hillocks and shallow open cuts remain between the north bank of the river and the track. A prominent hillock, about 3m high, and a shaft, marks the location of the main shaft at the mine. This hillock has a flat top which may have supported a gin engine. Further shafts and the remains of coes are apparent along the vein, whilst relict walling may mark belland yards. The position of the waterwheel lies at the east end of these workings close to the river bank at approximately SK19166578. A large stone wheelpit approximately 2.5m and at least 4m deep indicates the position of the wheel installed in 1836 and dismantled by 1861. The structures associated with the waterwheel on the north side of the river are no longer extant, but their foundations will survive as buried features. The waterwheel probably powered both winding and pumping. Near to the waterwheel are ruins of the mine’s smithy and ore house. Further to the east on the north side of the river is the ruin of the stone-built powder house, positioned approximately half-way between Bateman's House and the mine workings.
On the south side of the river, opposite the wheel pit, is the breast wall for the launder for the waterwheel constructed of coursed limestone block and standing to a height of approximately 5m. To either side are buttresses with fair walled faces to the river; at the top of the wall is a level platform for the launder, fed by the aqueduct leat running immediately to the south. For the most part, this 1400m leat survives as a deep depression with drystone walling along a terrace on the south side of the river. It is fed by a pond towards the west end of the dale at SK18506577. The pond is approximately 30m wide and 60m long and is held back by a 1m high weir with sluices. On the south side of the river, near to the pond, a retaining wall supports a short funnelled extension to the pond which leads to the aqueduct leat. The sluices on the north side of the pond have been replaced with concrete structures.
Bateman’s House is located at SK19436584. The building is constructed with coursed limestone and is roofless and ruinous, but was of two storeys with stone mullion windows; it was consolidated several years ago by English Heritage and Natural England. It was enlarged in two phases in the mid C19. The shaft beneath the house, accessed via a second adjacent shaft top, was associated with the Dakeyne engine that used to lie below ground at sough level. EXTENT OF SCHEDULING The scheduled area aims to include all the earthworks, ruins and buried remains of the Lathkill Dale and Mandale mines. The line is therefore drawn from the point at which the Mandale Mine sough enters the river at SK20006615 and follows the line of a modern wire fence on the north side of the track to a steep sided valley. It then follows the eastern upper edge of the valley. When the valley narrows to approximately 10m the line crosses to the other side, following the upper edge of an outcrop south and south-west, dropping south at the outcrop's end to a footpath and trackway. This line is intended to protect the remains of shafts and earthworks, the Mandale engine house and wheelpit, its leat and aqueduct, canalised riverbank, mining remains of Lathkill Dale Mine to the aqueduct feeder pond at the west end of the site at approximately SK18476576, and diverting to the north side of the track to take in the ruined powder house and pond of Lathkill Dale Mine. At the west end of the feeder pond, the monument boundary crosses to the southern riverbank and extends 40m south of it to protect the remains of the aqueduct leat and associated earthworks, the remains of the waterwheel structures, the ruins of the Bateman's House complex and associated shafts and earthworks. The boundary of the monument runs eastwards parallel to the leat to the aqueduct piers when it crosses the river to run along the north bank of the river, terminating at the point where the goit enters into it. Modern fences and the surface of the modern trackway are not included in this scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 30944
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Barnatt, J, Penny, R, The Lead Legacy. The prospects for the Peak Districts Mining Heritage, (2004)
Barnatt, J, Smith, K, The Peak District, (2004)
Ford, D, Rieuwerts, JH (eds), Lead Mining in the Peak District, (1983)
Rieuwerts, J H, Lead Mining in Derbyshire: History, Development and Drainage. Volume 2 Millers Dale to Alport and Dovedale, (2008)
Barnatt, J, Bevan, B , 'Antiquity 76 pp.50-56' in Gardoms Edge: A Landscape Through Time, (2002)
Barnatt and Rieuwerts, The Lead Mine Affected Landscape of the Peak District, 1995, Report commissioned by EH
English Nature, Lathkill Dale National Nature Reserve: History, 1996, Pamphlet
John Barnatt, Lathkill Dale National Nature Reserve Archaeological Survey, 2005,
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