Engine house at Ladywell lead mine, 850m north west of Shelve Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018075

Date first listed: 23-Feb-1998


Ordnance survey map of Engine house at Ladywell lead mine, 850m north west of Shelve Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Worthen with Shelve

National Grid Reference: SO 32765 99211


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.

The engine house at Ladywell lead mine survives well and is a rare example in Shropshire of an engine house which originally housed a dual-purpose rotative engine. The interior of the building will retain buried deposits relating to the technology employed at the mine and will thus contribute towards an understanding of the operation of the mine. Ladywell mine forms part of a larger landscape of lead mining features extending from Shelve Hill in the east to Roman Gravels to the north and forms a prominent local feature that can be viewed from a public highway.


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


The monument is situated approximately 900m WNW of the village of Shelve and includes the ruins, which are Listed Grade II, and buried remains of the engine house at Ladywell lead mine. The mine is believed to have been worked in the early 19th century but the engine house and a new engine shaft were not constructed until the 1870s. The mine, however, was never a large producer of ore, failing to make a profit, and thus closed in c.1882. The ruined engine house is built of roughly coursed stone rubble with brick dressings to the corners and the window surrounds and is considered to have housed an engine which could be used for both pumping and winding. A round headed, vertical opening or slot in the south western or bob wall of the building originally housed the flywheel which transmitted the motion of the pumping engine into rotational movement for winding. Immediately adjacent to the north west wall of the engine house are the partly infilled remains of a stone-lined channel or pit where the winding drum would have been located. This feature runs south westwards as far as the capped shaft which is also included in the scheduling. All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features 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: 21665

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Brook, F, Allbutt, M, The Shropshire Lead Mines, (1973), 29-31
Davies, T J, The Engine Houses of the Mines of South Shropshire, (1969), 43-6
Shropshire County Council, , South Shropshire Metal Mines - Planning and Reclamation Strategy, (1996)

End of official listing