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Bolton Parks Lead Mine and ore works

A Scheduled Monument in Castle Bolton with East and West Bolton, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.3328 / 54°19'58"N

Longitude: -1.956 / 1°57'21"W

OS Eastings: 402960.614793

OS Northings: 493028.405026

OS Grid: SE029930

Mapcode National: GBR GLSB.BK

Mapcode Global: WHB5J.XCR7

Entry Name: Bolton Parks Lead Mine and ore works

Scheduled Date: 16 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018712

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31344

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Castle Bolton with East and West Bolton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The monument includes the remains of a lead mine, its associated crushing
mill, dressing floors and settling tanks, other features and buildings and
an ambitious water management system. It is located on the south facing flank
of Wenslydale, approximately 1200m north of Castle Bolton.
Little is known of the history of the mine, although it is known to have been
in use from January 1849 when six named individuals were identified as share
holders. It is thought to have been closed in 1871. The mine and works formed
one of many small mines with dressing floors located in the North Pennines.
The mine itself takes the form of an adit, or tunnel, driven into the hillside
at the top, north side of the monument with the lead processing works located
on a series of terraces stepping down the slope. To the south west of the
mine, spoil from the mine works has been used to build a dam 2m high and 5m
wide at its base. East of the reservoir created by this dam the spoil forms a
long curving bank approximately 100m in length which is thought to be the
remains of an unfinished dam. It never retained a large amount of water as a
sluice, only operable from a low level, survives behind the dam. The outer
side of the dam has been revetted with stone. At the west end of the outer
face of the dam are a series of six stone built roofless chambers, known as
bouse teams, which were used to store the ore prior to crushing and dressing.
At the foot of the bouse teams is the first of a series of dressing floors.
Unusually this lay above the crushing mill which was located 50m to the south
east. Normally crushing took place first and the crushed ore was then moved
down slope to the dressing floors with the help of gravity to reduce effort. A
second dressing floor lies below the first and just below the level of the
crushing mill.
To the south west of this dressing floor is a large tip of fine spoil and
dressing waste, indicating that this area was used for fine dressing. The
crushing mill was fed by water from the reservoir on the hillside above. It
was powered by a water wheel, the wheel pit for which still survives.
On the hillside farther down the slope are at least two large settling tanks.
Thoughout the monument are leats and channels which carried water to various
processes in the works.
To the west of the bouse teams are the standing remains of a two storey,
rectangular stone built building measuring 8m by 5m which is still roofed.
Within the building are remains of the first floor, internal divisions and
fireplaces. Also preserved is some wall plaster bearing graffitti from both
the mining time and from soldiers exercising in the area during World War II.
The building is known as a mine shop, a building which served a number of
functions including administration, storage and shelter.
At the east side of the monument are the remains of a trackway extending to
the north east which provided access to the ore works.

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.
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 wheel pits, dams and leats. The majority of
nucleated lead mines also included ore works, where the mixture of ore and
waste rock extracted from the ground was separated ('dressed') to form a
smeltable concentrate. The range of processes used can be summarised as:
picking out of clean lumps of ore and waste; breaking down of lumps to smaller
sizes (either by manual hammering or mechanical crushing); sorting of broken
material by size; separation of gravel-sized material by shaking on a sieve in
a tub of water ('jigging'); and separation of finer material by washing away
the lighter waste in a current of water ('buddling'). The field remains of ore
works vary widely and include the remains of crushing devices, separating
structures and tanks, tips of distinctive waste from the various processes,
together with associated water supply and power installations, such as wheel
pits and, more rarely, steam engine houses.
The majority of nucleated lead mines with ore works are of 18th to 20th
century date, earlier mining being normally by rake or hush and including
scattered ore dressing features (a 'hush' is a gully or ravine partly
excavated by use of a controlled torrent of water to reveal or exploit a vein
of mineral ore). Nucleated lead mines 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 many upland landscapes. It is estimated that several thousand
sites exist, the majority being small mines of limited importance, although
the important early remains of many larger mines have often been greatly
modified or destroyed by continued working or by 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 mine and works at Bolton Parks survive well. Within the monument are the
remains of some rare technological processes including use of spoil to create
a dam, water flushing of material stored within the bouse teams and the
unusual location of a dressing floor relative to the crushing plant. Also
surviving is the mine shop which is the best preserved such building in the
area. The surviving remains at Bolton Parks offer important scope for
understanding the history and development of a small Pennine lead mine and
works. The site has therefore been added to the list of nationally important
lead mines identified through a comprehensive survey of the lead industry.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Dennison, E, Bolton Parks Lead works Survey, (1998)
Dennison, E, Bolton Parks Lead works Survey, (1998)
Spensley, I, Bolton Parks Mine, (1996)

Source: Historic England

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