Ancient Monuments

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True Blue nucleated lead mine, 600m ESE of Magpie Mine

A Scheduled Monument in Ashford in the Water, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.2089 / 53°12'31"N

Longitude: -1.7348 / 1°44'5"W

OS Eastings: 417805.205867

OS Northings: 368009.136601

OS Grid: SK178680

Mapcode National: GBR 46D.S81

Mapcode Global: WHCD6.BL3W

Entry Name: True Blue nucleated lead mine, 600m ESE of Magpie Mine

Scheduled Date: 15 November 1985

Last Amended: 28 June 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014594

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27220

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Ashford in the Water

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Ashford-in-the-Water Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Derby


True Blue Mine is situated on the limestone plateau of Derbyshire on the
shelves south of the Wye valley. The monument includes a walled enclosure
containing the remains of a small 18th to early 20th century nucleated lead
mine comprising both mineworkings and associated ore works. Further lead
mining remains survive in the fields around the monument but have not been
included in the scheduling due to their isolation from the core area.
The monument includes a complex of earthworks which represent spoil heaps,
dressing waste and shaft mounds containing shafts with rubble caps. On the
north side of the enclosure, a sub-rectangular pit measuring c.3m x c.2m is
interpreted as a settling tank used in the separation of lead ore from
unwanted materials. On the east side, there is a circular pond. This pond was
not used for washing lead ore but is contemporary with an earlier phase of
mineworking characterised by a mixed mining and farming economy.
Throughout the site can be seen the collapsed remains of small drystone
structures known as coes. These include a pair of coes built against the
western boundary of the enclosure and a range of three coes, each measuring
c.3m square, extending east to west across the middle of the enclosure. Coes
were used for a variety of mine-related purposes but it is likely that this
range was used in ore processing as it occurs next to a level area which
extends to the pond and is interpreted as a dressing floor. The remains of
another coe survive against the north side of a circular enclosure located
near the south west corner of the monument. This feature, which has a diameter
of c.10m, represents a walled gin-circle and was originally the site of
horse-powered winding gear. A depression in the ground marks the centre post
of the gin while on the north side of the enclosure, there is a shaft capped
with concrete sleepers. The well preserved stone lining round the top of this
shaft is apparent through the sleepers. Between the gin-circle and the western
edge of the mine there is a hollow way which leads to the range of coes noted
Some of the mine workings indicate an 18th century date. However, some of the
buildings are documented as dating to the late 19th century when the mine was
worked by George Goodwin of Monyash. In 1913 the mine was taken over by
E Garlick and was worked by the Magpie and True Blue United Mining Company
until production ceased shortly afterwards. The mine does not exist in
isolation but is part of an extensive and important lead mining zone which
includes Magpie Mine to the west and Magshaw Mine to the east, mixed with a
pattern of field barns and smallholdings deriving from a mixed mining/farming
economy. One such field barn borders the mine on its east side but is not
included in the scheduling. To the north of the monument there is a walled
greenway called Trueblue Lane which served as a packhorse route. This lane
connects with tracks leading westwards towards Sheldon and eastwards towards
Magshaw Mine. A small enclosure opposite the junction of Trueblue Lane and
Kirkdale Lane occurs next to latter and may have served as a corral for

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.

True Blue Mine is a good and reasonably well documented example of a compact
enclosed lead mining operation which retains a wide variety of mining and
ore-working features. Its importance lies primarily in its completeness and
good state of preservation and in its survival within an extensive mining
landscape. Also important is its location in a mixed mining/farming landscape
consisting of smallholdings and field barns and also characterised by the pond
located in the mining area.

Source: Historic England


Cranstone, D, The Lead Industry, Step 3 Recommendation, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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