Brightside lead mine, 80m south west of Brightside Cottage
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1018688
Date first listed: 24-Jul-1998
Date of most recent amendment: 02-Dec-1998
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Derbyshire Dales (District Authority)
National Park: PEAK DISTRICT
National Grid Reference: SK 22924 73256
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
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 Brightside mine is considered to be the best remaining example of its type in Derbyshire and displays an unusually complete assemblage of mining components. Its ore bins or wash kilns are believed to be the only original examples left in the Derbyshire orefield. Building ruins and associated features are well preserved, whilst buried features will preserve technological information and details of features dating to the early life of the mine. The range of archaeological components clearly illustrates the technological transition from horse power to steam power in a small Derbyshire mine and the further transition of steam power, from lead mining only to a more diverse role incorporating a sawmill. The remains also indicate the sequence of lead ore processing through the site, from mine to ore hoppers to dressing floor; and in addition, the arrangement of power systems.
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
The monument is situated on a steep wooded slope and includes the ruined
buildings, earthworks and buried remains of the Brightside lead mine. The
mining complex is considered to be the best remaining example of its type. It
is typical of workings once common in Derbyshire lead mining and is remarkable
for the survival of an unusually complete range of components. This array
includes particularly distinctive features such as a range of ore bins or wash
kilns believed to be the only original examples left in the Derbyshire
orefield. Building remains are well preserved and the surviving stratigraphy
is expected to preserve details of further structures and technological
The Brightside mine was in operation from at least 1853, when a steam engine
was ordered for pumping and winding. Steam was also used for a sawmill, and
possibly for crushing ore in the early stages of processing. However, a well
preserved adit (a horizontal tunnel giving access to the mine) and portal
testify to an earlier beginning. The arrangement of features shows that horses
were initially used to pull ore to the surface, with an adit giving access to
the mine. Horsepower later gave way to a steam engine driving winding gear to
haul ore out of a vertical shaft.
Located in the northern part of the site, immediately south of a small wooded
area, the well preserved portal or archway forms the entrance to the stone-
lined adit. This is thought to be the adit known as the Newcastle Way. Its
size and horseshoe shape, tapering at the bottom, demonstrate that horses were
used to transport ore. West of the adit, a partially collapsed shaft survives.
Immediately south of the shaft the ruin of an engine house is visible as a
substantial earthwork of approximately 5m by 10m, with a well preserved square
chimney base at its western corner.
From the shaft, ore was carried across a revetted track and tipped into ore
hoppers (sometimes known as wash kilns) which stood in a range of at least
four immediately below the track. These are in a good state of preservation,
and are thought to be unique survivals in Derbyshire. They are sub-circular
stone structures of around 1.5m diameter and height each open at the top and
with a small opening to the south east. Ore would be washed here, and the
water reused to serve a dressing floor immediately in front of the wash kilns.
The dressing floor, where ore was further treated to separate lead-bearing
particles from other materials, partially survives as an accumulation of
dressing waste. A portion of the dressing floor, and possibly other remains,
have been lost by landscaping. The southern portion of the site is dominated
by a large ruined building or buildings south of the track, with walls
standing in places to 2.5m, and earthworks representing collapsed walls. This
is thought to be a sawmill used during the later life of the mine, but early
dressing floors or shallow extraction features are believed to be concealed
beneath it. The sawmill used the mine's steam engine, and was therefore
closely associated with the mine.
Buried remains, such as dressing areas and features of the pre-steam engine
complex, will be preserved underneath subsequent remains at the site and will
add to the substantial technological and historical information already
available from visible remains.
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: 30939
Legacy System: RSM
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