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Cashwell hush and lead mining remains

A Scheduled Monument in Alston Moor, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.7165 / 54°42'59"N

Longitude: -2.4499 / 2°26'59"W

OS Eastings: 371113.775492

OS Northings: 535812.977539

OS Grid: NY711358

Mapcode National: GBR CFBX.D1

Mapcode Global: WH927.BQM4

Entry Name: Cashwell hush and lead mining remains

Scheduled Date: 16 May 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015838

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29023

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Alston Moor

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Kirkland St Lawrence

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument lies on the watershed between the River Tees and the South Tyne
on the north east side of Cross Fell. It includes the earthwork remains of an
opencut along Cashwell vein together with an adit, Cross Fell High Level, and
associated remains of small ore processing areas. The monument forms a core
area of well preserved features within a wider lead mining landscape. Remains
to the south west and north east have been disturbed by later activity. The
waste heaps were reworked for fluorspar earlier this century and there is a
stone quarry immediately to the north of the monument. These areas are not
included in the scheduling. The well preserved remains of Upper Slatesike
Mine, 0.5km to the south west, forms a separate scheduling.
Cashwell vein was worked from before 1778. In c.1800 a small smeltmill was
built at NY71653612 and later in the century, as the upper deposits became
worked out, a series of levels were driven from the north east. The smeltmill
and later levels are all poorly preserved for their date and thus have not
been included in the scheduling. Workings on the vein finally ceased with
the closure of Cashwell Mine in c.1921, however the workings within the
area of protection are thought to have ceased by the early 19th century.
The monument is bisected south west to north east by workings on the line of
Cashwell vein. The south western c.90m of the workings is in the form of an
opencut where the vein material has been removed leaving an irregular trench
approximately 1m wide. To the north east, and downhill, a wider area has been
excavated forming a round bottomed gully up to 10m wide and 2m deep. This is
the head of a hush (a feature left by the surface extraction of minerals using
controlled discharges of water to remove overburden and waste) which continues
c.0.5km beyond the boundaries of the monument to the north east. The portion
beyond the boundary of the area of protection has been modified by later stone
quarrying and is not included in the scheduling. Between the start of the
hush and the opencut lies the partly collapsed entrance to Cross Fell High
Level which was driven along the line of the vein south westwards. To the
north and downhill from the level entrance there is a small ore processing
area including a partly filled wheelpit standing to 0.5m and the footings
of a range of small buildings and small, c.3m, square stone flagged areas. The
wheelpit is thought to have powered an ore crusher and the area retains
partly grassed over spreads of ore processing wastes related to a range of
treatments applied to increasingly fine fragments of ore. After sorting by
eye, ore was processed using water to take advantage of the high relative
density of lead to concentrate the ore to a purity of 60-70 percent before it
could be smelted. To the south of the opencut there are further remains of
stone built structures and small, manually powered ore processing areas. This
area also retains evidence of a water management system, feeding water into
the hush.

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.
A hush is a gully or ravine excavated at least in part by use of a controlled
torrent of water, to reveal or exploit a vein of lead or other mineral ore.
Dams and leats to supply the water are normally associated, and some examples
show tips of waste from manual ore processing beside the hush itself. Shaft
and adit mineworkings sometimes occur in spatial association, though their
working will not have been contemporary with that of the hush. There is
documentary evidence for hushing from the Roman period on the continent, and
from the 16th century in England; however a high proportion of surviving
hushes are believed to be of 17th to 18th century date, the technique dying
out by the mid 19th century.
Hushes are a dramatic and very visible component of the lead mining industry.
They are common in the Pennines from Yorkshire northwards, and in parts of
Wales, but are rare in other lead mining areas. A sample of the better
preserved isolated examples and those which form part of more extensive lead
mining complexes, will merit protection.

The remains at Cashwell are a good example of those found on a dispersed lead
mining landscape, as opposed to those at nucleated mines which developed
through the 19th century. The monument forms a core area of well preserved
features within a wider landscape, and includes a wide range of remains within
a relatively small area. The survival of such a large number of structures
associated with hush and opencut workings is nationally rare, and as most of
these features are also believed to be of 18th century date this importance is
further enhanced.
The monument is adjacent to the Pennine Way and thus forms a public amenity
and educational resource.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Dunham, K C, 'Tyne to Stainmore' in Geology of the Northern Pennine Orefield, , Vol. Vol 1, (1990), 132-133
Fairbairn, R A, 'British Mining' in The Mines of Alston Moor, , Vol. No.47, (1993), 144-145

Source: Historic England

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