Ancient Monuments

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Engine house at Ladywell lead mine, 850m north west of Shelve Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Worthen with Shelve, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.5865 / 52°35'11"N

Longitude: -2.9938 / 2°59'37"W

OS Eastings: 332765.652435

OS Northings: 299212.034285

OS Grid: SO327992

Mapcode National: GBR B6.B3MD

Mapcode Global: WH8C8.Z7KX

Entry Name: Engine house at Ladywell lead mine, 850m north west of Shelve Farm

Scheduled Date: 23 February 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018075

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21665

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Worthen with Shelve

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Shelve

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument is situated approximately 900m WNW of the village of Shelve and
includes the ruins, which are Listed Grade II, and buried remains of the
engine house at Ladywell lead mine.
The mine is believed to have been worked in the early 19th century but the
engine house and a new engine shaft were not constructed until the 1870s. The
mine, however, was never a large producer of ore, failing to make a profit,
and thus closed in c.1882.
The ruined engine house is built of roughly coursed stone rubble with brick
dressings to the corners and the window surrounds and is considered to have
housed an engine which could be used for both pumping and winding. A round
headed, vertical opening or slot in the south western or bob wall of the
building originally housed the flywheel which transmitted the motion of the
pumping engine into rotational movement for winding. Immediately adjacent to
the north west wall of the engine house are the partly infilled remains of a
stone-lined channel or pit where the winding drum would have been located.
This feature runs south westwards as far as the capped shaft which is also
included in the scheduling.
All fence posts 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.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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.

The engine house at Ladywell lead mine survives well and is a rare example in
Shropshire of an engine house which originally housed a dual-purpose rotative
engine. The interior of the building will retain buried deposits relating to
the technology employed at the mine and will thus contribute towards an
understanding of the operation of the mine. Ladywell mine forms part of a
larger landscape of lead mining features extending from Shelve Hill in the
east to Roman Gravels to the north and forms a prominent local feature that
can be viewed from a public highway.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Brook, F, Allbutt, M, The Shropshire Lead Mines, (1973), 29-31
Davies, T J, The Engine Houses of the Mines of South Shropshire, (1969), 43-6
Shropshire County Council, , South Shropshire Metal Mines - Planning and Reclamation Strategy, (1996)

Source: Historic England

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