Ancient Monuments

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Lady's Rake lead mine

A Scheduled Monument in Forest and Frith, County Durham

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Latitude: 54.7032 / 54°42'11"N

Longitude: -2.3025 / 2°18'9"W

OS Eastings: 380603.004436

OS Northings: 534287.427715

OS Grid: NY806342

Mapcode National: GBR DGC1.9T

Mapcode Global: WH92H.L1SR

Entry Name: Lady's Rake lead mine

Scheduled Date: 16 May 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015834

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29017

County: County Durham

Civil Parish: Forest and Frith

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham

Church of England Parish: Forest and Frith

Church of England Diocese: Durham


The monument lies on the north side of Harwood Beck, to the north west of the
dispersed settlement of Harwood. It includes the remains of the water powered
pumping and winding system of Lady's Rake Mine, which was one of the last
mines operated by the London Lead Company, the earthworks of a dam, courses of
a pipe run and incline, settings for machinery together with iron fittings
and the in situ iron rising main with its pumping spear. The monument does not
include the mine spoil heap to the south or the remains of ancillary buildings
to the south and east, as these have been seriously affected by later
activity. The small mineshop (lodging house for miners) survives, but has been
converted to agricultural use and this too has not been included in the
Lady's Rake Mine was developed by the London Lead Company from 1868, to work
the south west to north east orientated vein of the same name. The vein was
known and worked before this date, as there is a mine plan dated 1828 that
shows two levels close to the site, but the visible remains date to the late
19th century. The London Lead Company ceased operations in 1902, but Lady's
Rake continued in production until final closure in 1909, initially run by a
syndicate of local miners, and then by the Teesdale Mining Company. In the
north east part of the site lies the grassed over embankment of a c.3m high
dam. At the foot of this dam, next to the in situ water release valve, is
the c.4m by 2m by 1.2m high stone and concrete base for machinery associated
with a water balance incline which was used to raise material up the shaft. A
wheeled water tank, running on rails on an incline that runs south west from
the dam, was connected by wire rope to a cage in the shaft at the foot of the
incline. The cage assembly was heavier than the empty water tank, so at rest,
the cage remained at the bottom of the shaft with the water tank at the top of
the incline. However when the tank was filled from the reservoir, it was heavy
enough to run down the incline and raise the cage up the shaft to the surface
with a full load of ore. This incline is also included within the scheduling.
Running parallel and to the south of the incline from the valve is the course
of a pipe run which supplied water to a turbine at the foot of the slope. This
powered a set of Cornish spear pumps in the shaft to drain the mine workings.
The brick and concrete settings, together with iron holding down bolts for the
pumping machinery remain in situ, and protruding c.2m from the shaft is the
0.3m diameter iron rising main which still contains the pump spear. To the
south of the shaft and the machine settings there is a level area of made
ground which still has some of its original revetment wall standing to c.2m.
This area contains low earthwork remains which will retain evidence of the pit
head arrangement. From this level area extending into the hillside, c.10m east
of the shaft, there is the collapsed entrance to Wigram's Level which was
started in 1868 and pre-dates the shaft. Also included within the scheduling
is a second, rubble filled shaft which lies uphill and immediately to the
south of the dam.
The ruined drystone wall that crosses the dam is excluded from the monument,
but the ground beneath is included.

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 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.

Lady's Rake was one of the last mines to be operated by the London Lead
Company, which was for many years the most important lead mining company in
the north Pennines. It retains the complete layout of a water powered pumping
and winding arrangement, once a common feature of lead mining sites, but now
nationally rare, together with in situ remains of a rising main and pump
spear, which are very rare survivals in themselves.
The monument lies beside a public road and thus forms an educational resource.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Raistrick, A, Jennings, B, A History of Lead Mining in the Pennines, (1983), 331
Beadle, H L, 'The Cleveland Industrial Archaeologist' in Lady's Rake Lead Mine, , Vol. No 7, (1977), 17-23
Dunham, K C, 'Tyne to Stainmore' in Geology of the Northern Pennine Orefield, , Vol. Vol 2, (1990), 240

Source: Historic England

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