Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Thornhill's lead level, 500m north of Kiplings Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Bewerley, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0785 / 54°4'42"N

Longitude: -1.8271 / 1°49'37"W

OS Eastings: 411411.667935

OS Northings: 464744.193924

OS Grid: SE114647

Mapcode National: GBR HPP8.7Q

Mapcode Global: WHC7W.XR46

Entry Name: Thornhill's lead level, 500m north of Kiplings Cottage

Scheduled Date: 29 September 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018231

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30932

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Bewerley

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The monument is situated 500m north of Kiplings Cottage, and includes the
remains of an 18th century lead level. Thornhill's (also known as Hammond or
Jackass) level is thought to date to the mid-18th century. In around 1790 a
property dispute noted the driving of Thornhill's level by the previous lessee
Mr Thornhill. This places the date of construction of the level to around
Thornhill's level, which is driven into a coarse gritstone crag situated on
the east bank of the Sandy Beck, takes the form of a narrow rock-cut slit. The
entrance measures 1.5m high by 0.6m wide and has a coffin-shaped outline
internally. The survival of tool marks at the entrance and characteristic
herring-bone tool marks on the walls of the interior indicate that the level
was entirely hand dug and thus represents a late use of relatively primitive
mining technology at a time when the use of gunpowder in mining was
commonplace. The level continues to emanate water and is accessible.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 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.

The mid-18th century Thornhill's level represents a late use of a relatively
primitive manual mining technology at a time when gun powder was commonplace
within the industry. In addition, tool marks on walls of the entrance
illustrate the methods employed in driving the level, and surviving evidence
of this nature is now very rare within the industry.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Raistrick, A, Lead Mining in the Mid Pennines, (1973), 26-7,34
Raistrick, A, Jennings, B, A History of Lead Mining in the Pennines, (1983), 7
Dickinson, J M, Gill, M C , 'British Mining No.21' in The Greenhow Mining Field: An Historical Survey, (1983)

Source: Historic England

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