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Two lead mines known as Winster Pitts and Drummer's Venture

A Scheduled Monument in Winster, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.1392 / 53°8'21"N

Longitude: -1.6322 / 1°37'55"W

OS Eastings: 424700.58758

OS Northings: 360294.596342

OS Grid: SK247602

Mapcode National: GBR 58T.84D

Mapcode Global: WHCDM.WCY7

Entry Name: Two lead mines known as Winster Pitts and Drummer's Venture

Scheduled Date: 2 January 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010810

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27211

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Winster

Built-Up Area: Winster

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Winster St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument is located on the limestone hillside south of Winster village and
includes the core areas of two distinct but immediately adjacent nucleated
lead mines known as Winster Pitts and Drummer's Venture. Further mining
remains survive outside the area of the scheduling and include shaft mounds
and spoil heaps in surrounding fields. Although forming part of Winster Pitts
and Drummer's Venture, these are not included in the scheduling due to their
isolation from the core areas. Together Winster Pitts and Drummer's Venture
form a complex lead mining landscape whose surface remains comprise both mine
workings and associated ore works and the foundations of structures such as
coes (small storage and processing buildings) and a possible counting house.
Included in the mine workings are a number of discrete shafts with associated
winding shafts, platforms for winding gear, a gin circle, and both intact and
reworked spoil heaps. The ore works include dressing waste heaps, leats,
ponds, a washing floor and a complex of approximately 20 buddles used in the
separation of lead ore from other unwanted materials.
Both Winster Pitts and Drummer's Venture were worked from the mid-17th to the
mid-19th centuries, although the main period of use appears to have been
during the latter half of the 18th century when Winster was one of the most
important mining centres in the Derbyshire orefield. Although adjacent, the
two mines were entirely separate concerns worked by the people of Winster and
Bonsall parishes respectively. This is demonstrated by the fact that an
underground adit common to both is gated on the parish boundary. Lead ore from
both mines appears not to have been smelted on site but to have been carted
eastward to the area round Matlock, Ashover and Chesterfield. This may have
been via the partly paved packhorse route which passes south eastward from the
mine site to Bonsall.
A series of electricity pylons crossing the monument are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground underneath them is included. The fences and
drystone field walls bounding and crossing the monument are specifically
included in the scheduling as their removal would jeopardise the continued
survival of a number of important mining earthworks.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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.

Winster Pitts and Drummer's Venture together form a well preserved and well
documented nucleated lead mining complex, the importance of which lies
primarily in its completeness and largely intact condition. Several important
mine components are represented, including a well preserved gin circle and the
greatest number of buddles surviving on any site in the Derbyshire orefield.
In addition, there are the remains of several coes which are rare outside
Derbyshire and thus important when they survive. The importance of the site is
enhanced by its inclusion in a landscape of field barns and smallholdings
generally held to be indicative of a mixed mining-farming economy. Both mines
also form an important part of a vast regional mining network which is of
itself considered to be of international historical importance.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Ford, D, Rieuwerts, JH (eds), Lead Mining in the Peak District, (1983)
Kirkham, N, Derbyshire Lead Mining through the Centuries, (1968)
Wager, F, Conservation of Historic Landscapes in the Peak D. Nat. Park, (1981), 56-62
Wager, F, Conservation of Historic Landscapes in the Peak D. Nat. Park, (1981), 56-62
On EH file, Cranstone, D., Site assessment, (1991)
On EH file, Rieuwerts, J.H. and Smith, K.R., Evaluation report, (1990)
On EH file, Shackleton Hill, Angela, Photograph showing remains, (1994)
On EH file, Shackleton Hill, Angela, Photographs showing remains and areas of removed field walls, (1994)
On EH file, Smith, K.R., Letter ref. KRS/C/P.6165/P.1469 dated 19 May, (1994)
On EH file, Smith, K.R., Letter ref: KRS/C/P.6165/P.1469 dated 19 May, (1994)
Step 2 and 3 reports, Stocker, D., Monuments Protection Programme: the Lead Industry, (1991)
Step 2 and 3 reports, Stocker, D., Monuments Protection Programme: the Lead Industry, (1991)
Telephone: Lynn Willies and Angela Shackleton Hill, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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