Peakshill or Oden sough


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017751

Date first listed: 24-Feb-1998


Ordnance survey map of Peakshill or Oden sough
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Dec-2018 at 11:33:04.


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

County: Derbyshire

District: High Peak (District Authority)

Parish: Peak Forest

National Park: PEAK DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: SK 11723 82953


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. Lead rakes are linear mining features along the outcrop of a lead vein resulting from the extraction of relatively shallow ore. They can be broadly divided between: rakes consisting of continuous rock-cut clefts; rakes consisting of lines of interconnecting or closely-spaced shafts with associated spoil tips and other features; and rakes whose surface features were predominantly produced by reprocessing of earlier waste tips (normally in the 19th century). In addition, some sites contain associated features such as coes (miners' huts), gin circles (the circular track used by a horse operating simple winding or pumping machinery), and small-scale ore-dressing areas and structures, often marked by tips of dressing waste. The majority of rake workings are believed to be of 16th-18th century date, but earlier examples are likely to exist, and mining by rock-cut cleft has again become common in the 20th century. Rakes are the main field monuments produced by the earlier and technologically simpler phases of lead mining. They are very common in Derbyshire, where they illustrate the character of mining dominated by regionally distinctive Mining Laws, and moderately common in the Pennine and Mendip orefields; they are rare in other lead mining areas. A sample of the better preserved examples from each region, illustrating the typological range, will merit protection.

The Peakshill or Oden sough is an unusual dual-function mining feature and a well-preserved example of responses to the drainage and geological problems faced by lead miners in the early 18th century. The monument will preserve valuable technological information in its earthworks and buried remains, contributing to an understanding of mining technology employed during this period in Derbyshire.


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


The Peakshill or Oden sough lies on gently sloping ground below the steep ridge called Rushup Edge. The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of the sough, a drainage tunnel serving the Oden lead mine. The Oden or Odin mine, as it is sometimes spelt, is one of the oldest in the region, possibly having been worked as early as the 13th century. It was particularly plagued by drainage problems caused by local geology. Here, as in other Peak District mines, the hilly terrain made the driving of soughs a feasible and relatively economic solution to drainage problems, and the Oden mine had several. The Peakshill sough was driven between 1726 and 1729, a time of particularly high productivity for the mine. Whilst a fine example of a drainage tunnel, it is thought also to have been intended as an exploratory level to locate northern reaches of the Oden lead-bearing vein. In fact it did not reach lead-bearing strata, since the workable vein dips beneath the cover of Rushup Edge immediately north of the sough. The sough is visible as a linear series of well-preserved shaft mounds, 10m- 30m apart, which mark its route. These are the remains of ventilation shafts, which were sunk along the course of the sough to provide air for the miners cutting it. The mounds are large, ranging between 8m and 15m across and 1m-3m height. The larger mounds are located at the north and south ends of the sough, with smaller ones generally in the centre, where the proximity of some mounds gives the appearance of an undulating bank with intermittent depressions. All modern field boundaries are excluded from the monument, 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: 30954

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Rieuwerts, J H (ed), History and Gazetteer of the Lead Mine Soughs of Derbyshire, (1987)
Ref: DR 11627, Oden or Peakshill sough,

End of official listing