Ancient Monuments

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Hill's Venture lead mine

A Scheduled Monument in Peak Forest, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.3102 / 53°18'36"N

Longitude: -1.8149 / 1°48'53"W

OS Eastings: 412431.137356

OS Northings: 379270.143958

OS Grid: SK124792

Mapcode National: GBR HZR5.W2

Mapcode Global: WHCCS.3214

Entry Name: Hill's Venture lead mine

Scheduled Date: 15 June 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017650

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30955

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Peak Forest

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Peak Forest and Dove Holes

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument lies on the brow of a hill, 1km east of the village of Peak
Forest. It includes the ruins, earthworks and buried remains of the Hill's
Venture lead mine.
The western part of the site includes part of a rake, or series of shaft
mounds sunk along the line of a lead-bearing vein. The end of the rake marks
the end of an important vein known as the Moss Rake, which is here interrupted
by an intrusion of dolerite. The Moss Rake was worked here from at least the
1670s to the mid-19th century, but may first have been mined in the mid-13th
century. Amongst the shaft mounds is a remarkably small shaft of approximately
0.3m diameter, an unusual feature which has been interpreted as a ventilation
In addition to these extraction features, which contain evidence of low-level
mining technology, a dressing floor survives in the eastern part of the site.
This area, where raw material from the mine was broken and washed to produce
increasing concentrations of lead, is partly enclosed by a low wall which is
included in the scheduling. Within this enclosure a variety of remains
including pits and shaftmounds, ruined structures and heaps of dressing waste
can be seen. In addition the area includes a crushing wheel. This was a
typical component of the dressing process in Derbyshire until the end of the
19th century. A wheel, in this case of gritstone, with a diameter of 1.2m and
thickness of 0.3m, rolled on an axle around a track of stone or iron to break
up pieces of ore. The crushing wheel is an extremely rare survival. Its
presence in situ on the dressing floor indicates that its associated track bed
will survive beneath the wheel as a buried feature, providing further evidence
for the form and technology of crushing.
All modern field boundaries are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath these features 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.
Lead rakes are linear mining features along the outcrop of a lead vein
resulting from the extraction of relatively shallow ore. They can be broadly
divided between: rakes consisting of continuous rock-cut clefts; rakes
consisting of lines of interconnecting or closely-spaced shafts with
associated spoil tips and other features; and rakes whose surface features
were predominantly produced by reprocessing of earlier waste tips (normally in
the 19th century). In addition, some sites contain associated features such as
coes (miners' huts), gin circles (the circular track used by a horse operating
simple winding or pumping machinery), and small-scale ore-dressing areas and
structures, often marked by tips of dressing waste.
The majority of rake workings are believed to be of 16th-18th century date,
but earlier examples are likely to exist, and mining by rock-cut cleft has
again become common in the 20th century. Rakes are the main field monuments
produced by the earlier and technologically simpler phases of lead mining.
They are very common in Derbyshire, where they illustrate the character of
mining dominated by regionally distinctive Mining Laws, and moderately common
in the Pennine and Mendip orefields; they are rare in other lead mining areas.
A sample of the better preserved examples from each region, illustrating the
typological range, will merit protection.

The Hill's Venture mine represents a rare and valuable example of a
small-scale lead mine and associated dressing floor including rare components,
and will retain evidence to illustrate technological development in lead
mining over a lengthy period. The mine's size and low levels of mechanisation
are characteristic of the industry in Derbyshire, and reflect its influence on
the landscape. The preservation of the crushing wheel and circle, within an
enclosed dressing floor, is particularly unusual and will contribute to our
understanding of lead ore processing techniques.

Source: Historic England

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