Ancient Monuments

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Rainslow Scrins 470m south west of Leadmines Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Elton, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.1383 / 53°8'18"N

Longitude: -1.6698 / 1°40'11"W

OS Eastings: 422187.629219

OS Northings: 360183.074082

OS Grid: SK221601

Mapcode National: GBR 58R.BN1

Mapcode Global: WHCDM.BC3X

Entry Name: Rainslow Scrins 470m south west of Leadmines Farm

Scheduled Date: 17 August 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017749

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30952

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Elton

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Elton All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument lies on and around the brow of a hill 0.8km south of the village
of Elton, on either side of a minor road. It includes all the earthworks and
buried remains of the Rainslow Scrins lead mining area.
The monument is characterised by well-preserved opencuts and shaft mounds,
showing successive exploitation of lead-bearing veins. The remains to the
north of the road retain clear evidence for the sequence of workings. Spatial
and chronological relationships, such as shaft mounds overlying spoil from
opencuts and shafts sunk directly into opencuts, demonstrate that opencuts
were succeeded by small vertical shafts exploiting the same veins. Amongst
opencuts in this northern area are most of the scrins which give the site its
name. These are deep, narrow opencuts now visible as open trenches. A series
of ten or more roughly parallel scrins are visible in the north west part of
the site, on a roughly north west-south east alignment. Shaft mounds in this
northern area are small, typically 1.5m high and 8m wide, and show no evidence
of earthworks associated with horsepower or other mechanisms to power winding
or drainage. A low level of mechanisation is typical of Derbyshire, where
geology and topography (shallow veins in hilly limestone) often made water
power or other systems difficult to install, or uneconomic on quickly
exhaustable shallow veins.
The northern part of the site also includes a well-preserved array of embanked
dressing floors. In these areas raw ore was processed to retrieve lead, using
water to separate the heavier lead particles from other minerals. Here and
elsewhere in the northern area there remain heaps of dressing waste, the
residue from processing.
South of the road are further scrins and shaft mounds, and this area is less
intensively worked than the northern part. The earthworks to the south of the
road are believed to include a dressing area. In addition, two stone
structures survive in the south east part of the site. One, a circular
drystone wall of 1.5m height and 3m circumference with an opening in the
north, encloses a shaft. The other, a small ruined building of 2.5m by 3m with
thick bonded walls, is believed to have been a coe (storage building).
The lead mining remains of Rainslow Scrins provide evidence of continuous lead
mining from an early date. Lead miners may have been working in the area by
1541, and many ventures were under way in the vicinity by the mid-17th
Modern field walls, the surface of the road and the triangulation pillar are
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is

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 lead mining remains of Rainslow Scrins survive well and its earthwork
remains provide evidence for both the historical and technological development
of what was once a far more extensive multi-period mining landscape. They
incorporate a wide range of mining and processing features, allowing the
development of the mine workings to be reconstructed. The site includes the
scrins themselves, a type of extraction feature particularly worthy of
protection since they are very rarely preserved. In addition there are later
shaft mounds, earthworks, ruined structures and buried remains. Together these
features constitute a wide chronological and typological range, and are
expected to include valuable technological evidence, in addition to evidence
which will help in the establishment of a dating sequence.

Source: Historic England


Barnatt and Rieuwerts, The Lead Mine Affected Landscape of the Peak District, 1995, Report commissioned by EH
Ref: DR 5335, Rainslow Scrins,

Source: Historic England

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