Hudgill lead mine bingsteads, 200m north east of Hudgill Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017449

Date first listed: 29-Jan-1998


Ordnance survey map of Hudgill lead mine bingsteads, 200m north east of Hudgill Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. 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 - 1017449 .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 09-Dec-2018 at 23:37:06.


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 75223 46276


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.

Ore produced by metal mines had to be processed or `washed' to remove some of the waste minerals and to concentrate the ore to about 60-70% purity for lead, 60% for tin and 5-15% for copper before it could be smelted. This processed ore was often stored in special areas called bingsteads ( a bing was the standard unit of weight for processed ore, being approximately 8cwt or just over 400kg) where it was weighed and bagged before transportation to the smeltmill. Leases given to mining partnerships and companies normally specified a fixed royalty based on the amount of processed ore produced, and this typically amounted to a duty of between a fifth and a tenth. Large mineral rights owners sometimes built their own royalty bingsteads to store the duty ore until there was a sufficient quantity to transport to the smeltmill. Two main types of bingsteads have been identified nationally; those associated with individual ore works; and those sited on their own next to transport links, collecting ore from a number of ore works, normally for the mineral rights owner. Bingsteads are an uncommon, but characteristic component of the non-ferrous metal mining industries, which demonstrate the increasing organisation of the industries from the 18th century onwards. Examples integral to ore works of national importance will merit protection, whilst those examples of bingsteads sited away from oreworks which display the highest level of preservation nationally, or which demonstrate a distinctive regional variation, should also be protected. The Hudgill bingsteads are well preserved, retaining the complete original layout of a royalty bingstead complex with ore chutes, storage bays, count house and working area. It is one of the best preserved bingstead complexes known in northern England and is also associated with the richest mine known to have been worked in the Alston area.


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


The monument lies on the north side of the B6294, half way between the River Nent and the A689 Alston to Nenthead road. It includes the standing structures of a set of lead ore storage bays built by the owners of the mineral rights to Alston Moor. It also includes a walled courtyard and a pair of small buildings. The estates of the Earl of Derwentwater were forfeited to the Crown for his part in the 1715 Jacobite Rebellion. In 1735, these estates, which included the mineral rights around Alston, were assigned to the Greenwich Hospital. The Hospital's Commissioners leased mines to various companies which in turn paid a proportion of all ore raised as a rent. This duty ore was collected at bingsteads, where it was weighed and bagged before being transported to the smeltmill. It is thought that the Hudgill bingsteads were built around 1817 by Greenwich Hospital, mainly to store the large quantities of duty ore being produced from Hudgill Mine. The Hospital also had bingsteads at Alston and Nenthead. In 1833 the Hudgill Mill Company was formed to smelt the large quantities of ore being produced by the mine. This company leased Greenwich Hospital's Langley Smeltmill in Northumberland, and also started buying and smelting the Hospital's duty ore. It is believed that use of the Hudgill bingsteads passed to this new company at this time. The monument includes a set of six storage bays built against and revetting the road embankment. Each one is approximately 5m by 4.5m deep with a 1m wide chute, set centrally in the 4.5m high rear wall, which terminates about 2m above the floor level. The north western three bays are complete with a stone slab roof that extends from the rear wall down to about 2m at the open north east ends of the bays. The side walls of the south eastern three bays survive to around 1m below eaves level. The rear wall of the storage bays forms one side of a stone walled courtyard measuring approximately 16m square. Just over half of this enclosure, the south western half, which includes the storage bays and a further 4.5m beyond their side walls, is paved with large stone slabs. The remainder of the courtyard (beyond a raised stone curb) is grassed. In the east corner of this grassed area is a single storey building, approximately 3m square, with a gabled, single pitched roof retaining most of its slates. With a single doorway and window on the south west side, it is interpreted as a tool store. Central, and extending beyond the north west wall of the courtyard, is a single storey building, approximately 3m by 4m with a gabled roof which is also nearly complete with slates. This has an opening in the north west gabled wall allowing access to the roof space, and a single door and window in the north east wall next to the only gateway into the enclosure. This building, with obvious control over access into the bingstead compound, is interpreted as the count house (office). Between the rear wall of the storage bays (which extend about 1m above the ground surface to the south west) and the road, the partially grassed-over stone slabs that cover the chutes into the bays can be identified. The modern roadside fencing is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

Legacy System number: 29020

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Raistrick, A, Jennings, B, A History of Lead Mining in the Pennines, (1983), 226&248
Sopwith, T, Account of the Mining District of Alston Moor, Weardale, (1984), 122-124
Dunham, K C, 'Tyne to Stainmore' in Geology of the Northern Pennine Orefield, , Vol. Vol 1, (1990), 138-139
Flush, D, (1996)
Forbes, I, (1996)

End of official listing