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New Providence lead mine and ore works, 350m south of Moor End, north west of Kettlewell

A Scheduled Monument in Kettlewell with Starbotton, North Yorkshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.1501 / 54°9'0"N

Longitude: -2.0727 / 2°4'21"W

OS Eastings: 395345.224032

OS Northings: 472698.886911

OS Grid: SD953726

Mapcode National: GBR FNZG.12

Mapcode Global: WHB68.4Y7B

Entry Name: New Providence lead mine and ore works, 350m south of Moor End, north west of Kettlewell

Scheduled Date: 8 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015821

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29003

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Kettlewell with Starbotton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Details

The monument, which is within two areas of protection, includes the earthworks
of rake and shallow lead hush workings with associated water management
features, together with the ruins of an ore works and a series of shafts with
large spoilheaps. It lies adjacent to the edge of a limestone plateau within
enclosed sheep pasture, and forms a focus of activity in a more extensive lead
mining landscape.
The monument contains two east-west workings, each including a hush (man made
gully) up to 10m wide and 4m deep with a number of associated shafts forming a
band of workings up to 40m wide. Either side of the gullies, and in some
places within them, there are low earthworks and spreads of waste. These are
considered to be the remains of small scale ore processing, carried out by
hand before the construction of the ore works to the north. At the west
(uphill) end there are a series of small dams and channels surviving as
earthworks up to 0.5m high. These workings are thought to have been started
around 1820 by men from Old Providence Mine in nearby Dowber Gill. It is known
that the first parcel of ore from the workings was sent to Starbotton
smeltmill in 1821, and by 1858 output was about 40 tons a year. To the north
of the northern hush there are a number of additional shafts with larger
surrounding spoil heaps up to 30m in diameter which are also included within
the scheduling. One of these shafts (thought to be the shaft at NGR SD
95047272) is the main shaft sunk before 1859 under the name of New Providence
Mine. By this date the ore works and a waterwheel for shaft winding had been
built, of which significant and well preserved remains still survive. Ten
metres north of the main shaft, is a nearly complete, rubble filled wheelpit,
c.5m by 2m, with a 2m by 3m setting for a winding drum on its west side. This
was supplied by a c.50 by 20m reservoir (which is marked on the 1:10,000 map)
c.20m to the west. The main shaft is surrounded by an extensive spread of mine
spoil which is revetted on the north side by a 2m high wall which includes two
well preserved 3m diameter wash kilns (stone built hoppers) which would have
held bouse (unprocessed ore). These wash kilns face a level dressing (ore
processing) area formed from hand picked and jigger waste (waste produced from
hand sorting and coarse sieving in water respectively), a finger tip of which
leads north eastwards forming a tub run to a second wheelpit and crushing mill
(where rock was crushed to reduce it to gravel). This second wheelpit is
larger (c.8m by 3m) than the example uphill c.60m to the south west, and drove
a crushing mill of Cornish design using two rollers. This crushing machinery
is thought to have been removed after the mine's closure in 1877. Immediately
to the south of this wheelpit there is a revetted area forming a second
dressing floor, downhill from which there is an extensive spread of jigger and
handpicked waste. Twenty metres south of the crusher are the ruins of a three
roomed building of c.10m by 4m, surviving to a maximum height of 1.2m with
rubble built rendered walls. The west room has a small fire place; the east
room has the remains of a small smithing hearth; and the central room (which
gives sole access to the other two rooms) has a 2m wide doorway facing north.
Downhill, and to the east of the ore works, there is a single collapsed level
with an intact portal. This is thought to be the remains of Charlton Level
which was c.485m long by 1870, but was never completed. It was intended to
allow drainage of the main shaft workings. The mine closed in 1877 because of
falling lead prices (not because of exhaustion) after being worked from 1869
by the Wharfedale Mining Company.
The drystone walls and all modern fencing are excluded from the scheduling,
but the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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.

New Providence Mine retains features of both a nucleated mine with ore works
and of a concentration of technologically more primative hush and shallow
shaft workings. The monument is a good example of a typical small lead mine
which intensified its operations over time as the workings developed. The ore
works are particularly well preserved with largely intact stone built
structures and tips of dressing wastes allowing the identification of
different ore preparation processes.
A hush is a gully in which controlled torrents of water were used to remove
overburden and waste either to aid exploitation of a vein or to prospect for
new veins. Known from documentary evidence from the Roman period on the
continent, and from the 16th century in England, they are a component of many
Pennine mines, with their networks of associated dams and other water
management features. The low earthworks and spreads of waste both around and
within the hushes at New Providence are considered to have resulted from the
small scale, hand processing of ore before the construction of the ore works,
and provide an important component of the monument. The hushes are good
examples of northern English small scale surface workings. The network of
small dams and drainage channels are also well preserved, and form an integral
part of the monument.
The monument has free public access and is an educational resource and public
amenity.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Raistrick, A, Lead Mining in the Mid Pennines, (1973), 136

Source: Historic England

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