Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Snake Mine nucleated lead mine, 275m SSW of Hopton Quarries

A Scheduled Monument in Middleton, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.0961 / 53°5'45"N

Longitude: -1.6105 / 1°36'37"W

OS Eastings: 426176.653704

OS Northings: 355504.15847

OS Grid: SK261555

Mapcode National: GBR 597.TY2

Mapcode Global: WHCDV.7FBT

Entry Name: Snake Mine nucleated lead mine, 275m SSW of Hopton Quarries

Scheduled Date: 30 May 1979

Last Amended: 28 June 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014592

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27218

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Middleton

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Middleton-by-Wirksworth Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Derby


Snake Mine is located on the western edge of Middleton Moor in the south
eastern uplands of the limestone plateau of Derbyshire. The monument includes
a walled enclosure containing the remains of a small 19th century nucleated
lead mine which comprise both mineworkings and associated ore works. The
remains include an oval shaft mound revetted on all sides by drystone walling.
The mound measures c.30m by c.20m and is terraced into the hillside on its
north east side where there is a ramped access onto the top of the mound. On
the mound there is the main shaft, a climbing shaft, a gin-circle, and a
ruined building or `coe'. Horse-powered winding gear would have occupied the
gin-circle and it is likely that lead ore coming up out of the shaft was
broken up in the coe.
Next to the coe is a ramp leading off the mound to a terrace which runs round
the west face of the shaft mound. This terrace has a slight gradient and
probably served as a washing floor for separating ore from waste materials.
Built into the side of the mound on this terrace are the remains of another
coe which contains a tunnel giving horizontal access to the shaft and may also
have been used as a site office. There is, in addition, a settling tank also
used in ore separation.
Excluded from the scheduling are a single and two double telegraph poles, and
modern fencing round the boundaries of the enclosure, although the ground
beneath these features is included together with the field boundary walls
which are integral to the site.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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.

Snake Mine is a good and reasonably well preserved example of a small enclosed
19th century lead mining operation which retains a good variety of mining and
ore-working features.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Ford, D, Rieuwerts, JH , Lead Mining in the Peak District, (1968), 111-112
Cranstone, D, The Lead Industry, Step 3 Recommendation, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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