Bolton Parks Lead Mine and ore works


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018712

Date first listed: 16-Jul-1999


Ordnance survey map of Bolton Parks Lead Mine and ore works
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Richmondshire (District Authority)

Parish: Castle Bolton with East and West Bolton


National Grid Reference: SE 02956 93023


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 wheel pits, dams and leats. The majority of nucleated lead mines also included ore works, where the mixture of ore and waste rock extracted from the ground was separated ('dressed') to form a smeltable concentrate. The range of processes used can be summarised as: picking out of clean lumps of ore and waste; breaking down of lumps to smaller sizes (either by manual hammering or mechanical crushing); sorting of broken material by size; separation of gravel-sized material by shaking on a sieve in a tub of water ('jigging'); and separation of finer material by washing away the lighter waste in a current of water ('buddling'). The field remains of ore works vary widely and include the remains of crushing devices, separating structures and tanks, tips of distinctive waste from the various processes, together with associated water supply and power installations, such as wheel pits and, more rarely, steam engine houses. The majority of nucleated lead mines with ore works are of 18th to 20th century date, earlier mining being normally by rake or hush and including scattered ore dressing features (a 'hush' is a gully or ravine partly excavated by use of a controlled torrent of water to reveal or exploit a vein of mineral ore). Nucleated lead mines 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 many upland landscapes. It is estimated that several thousand sites exist, the majority being small mines of limited importance, although the important early remains of many larger mines have often been greatly modified or destroyed by continued working or by 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 mine and works at Bolton Parks survive well. Within the monument are the remains of some rare technological processes including use of spoil to create a dam, water flushing of material stored within the bouse teams and the unusual location of a dressing floor relative to the crushing plant. Also surviving is the mine shop which is the best preserved such building in the area. The surviving remains at Bolton Parks offer important scope for understanding the history and development of a small Pennine lead mine and works. The site has therefore been added to the list of nationally important lead mines identified through a comprehensive survey of the lead industry.


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


The monument includes the remains of a lead mine, its associated crushing mill, dressing floors and settling tanks, other features and buildings and an ambitious water management system. It is located on the south facing flank of Wenslydale, approximately 1200m north of Castle Bolton. Little is known of the history of the mine, although it is known to have been in use from January 1849 when six named individuals were identified as share holders. It is thought to have been closed in 1871. The mine and works formed one of many small mines with dressing floors located in the North Pennines. The mine itself takes the form of an adit, or tunnel, driven into the hillside at the top, north side of the monument with the lead processing works located on a series of terraces stepping down the slope. To the south west of the mine, spoil from the mine works has been used to build a dam 2m high and 5m wide at its base. East of the reservoir created by this dam the spoil forms a long curving bank approximately 100m in length which is thought to be the remains of an unfinished dam. It never retained a large amount of water as a sluice, only operable from a low level, survives behind the dam. The outer side of the dam has been revetted with stone. At the west end of the outer face of the dam are a series of six stone built roofless chambers, known as bouse teams, which were used to store the ore prior to crushing and dressing. At the foot of the bouse teams is the first of a series of dressing floors. Unusually this lay above the crushing mill which was located 50m to the south east. Normally crushing took place first and the crushed ore was then moved down slope to the dressing floors with the help of gravity to reduce effort. A second dressing floor lies below the first and just below the level of the crushing mill. To the south west of this dressing floor is a large tip of fine spoil and dressing waste, indicating that this area was used for fine dressing. The crushing mill was fed by water from the reservoir on the hillside above. It was powered by a water wheel, the wheel pit for which still survives. On the hillside farther down the slope are at least two large settling tanks. Thoughout the monument are leats and channels which carried water to various processes in the works. To the west of the bouse teams are the standing remains of a two storey, rectangular stone built building measuring 8m by 5m which is still roofed. Within the building are remains of the first floor, internal divisions and fireplaces. Also preserved is some wall plaster bearing graffitti from both the mining time and from soldiers exercising in the area during World War II. The building is known as a mine shop, a building which served a number of functions including administration, storage and shelter. At the east side of the monument are the remains of a trackway extending to the north east which provided access to the ore works.

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: 31344

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Dennison, E, Bolton Parks Lead works Survey, (1998)
Dennison, E, Bolton Parks Lead works Survey, (1998)
Spensley, I, Bolton Parks Mine, (1996)

End of official listing