Ancient Monuments

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Oxlow Rake lead mines

A Scheduled Monument in Peak Forest, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.3197 / 53°19'10"N

Longitude: -1.8082 / 1°48'29"W

OS Eastings: 412870.422515

OS Northings: 380322.617281

OS Grid: SK128803

Mapcode National: GBR HZT1.9P

Mapcode Global: WHCCL.6T6F

Entry Name: Oxlow Rake lead mines

Scheduled Date: 20 June 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019001

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29961

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 includes the earthwork, buried, standing and rock cut remains of
Oxlow Rake, a post-medieval lead mining complex. The monument is a linear
feature which includes the rake and a number of intermediate concentrations of
activity including Old Moor Mine and Clear The Way Mine. The term rake is
given to extraction and ore processing features which follow the line of a
lead bearing vein, this was a typical form of lead mining in the Peak

Oxlow Rake is aligned north east to south west on ground which gradually
slopes to the south west. Geologically, the rake follows the line of lead
bearing veins which cut across the Bee Low Limestones and outcrop to the west
of Oxlow Rake and Old Moor Mine.

Workings on Oxlow Rake have been documented from at least 1709 when it is
recorded that `John Bradley's Grove on Oxlow was in production'. However,
another branch of Oxlow Rake, known as Daisy or Deasy Rake was recorded on the
Castleton enclosure map of 1691 suggesting that lead working in this area
started before this date.

The mines would have been worked under the jurisdiction of the Barmote Courts,
the legal administrative unit governing Derbyshire lead mining. The Derbyshire
system of mining was largely based on local mining customs and consisted of
individual groups of miners or small mining companies working relatively short
lengths of the vein.

The monument survives as a series of earthwork, buried, standing and rock cut
remains which include belland yard walls (substantial walls built around
processing areas in order to prevent cattle straying and eating grass
contaminated by lead), ruined coes (stone built shelters or sheds), open cuts
(veins worked open to daylight), a bouse team (a bin into which ore was
stored before processing), water channels, washing floors, leats, buddling dam
(an earth dam used in the process of separating small sized ore from adhering
dirt (buddling)), crushing floor (an area where ore was crushed ready for
further treatment), gin circle (remains of horse powered winding apparatus)
and the remains of a horizontal winding engine.

Towards the eastern end of the monument are the remains of Old Moor Mine.
Here, a belland yard wall surrounds the remains of a crushing floor, a gin
circle and several shafts including the main engine shaft. The shaft mounds
are the result of extraction, but despite their long history suggest low level
mining technology.

Clear The Way Mine which is centred at national grid reference SK12908038, is
enclosed by another belland yard wall which surrounds an area of open cuts and
very large undisturbed hillocks of waste material. The remains of an engine
shaft which is known to be 330ft (100.5m) deep, survives just south of a
large bulge in the northern side of the belland yard wall.

To the south west of Clear The Way Mine, and continuing to the south west end
of Oxlow Rake, are a series of hillocks made up of limestone deads (waste
rock which contains no ore or insufficient quantities to warrant extraction)
and finely crushed vein material. The hillocks are particularly large and
virtually undisturbed. Steep sided open cuts are also a characteristic feature
of this section of the monument. At national grid reference SK12608010 the
well preserved remains of a bouse team associated with the remains of washing
floors and water leats are evident. Bouse teams are particularly rare in
Derbyshire and are more generally associated with 19th century lead workings
in the Northern Pennines. Included in this area of activity are the remains of
coes and ore bins and at national grid reference SK12157980 are the remains of
a late 19th century winding engine bed which is believed to have been used in
conjunction with a trial sinking beneath the Peak Forest Sill which outcrops
immediately to the west.

The modern track surface is excluded from the scheduling although the ground
beneath this 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 mining remains on Oxlow Rake are particularly well preserved and include a
diverse range of components relating to the mining of this vein. Rake workings
of such veins are now rare, and this example is one of the best preserved
examples in the Peak District. The standing, earthwork, buried and rock cut
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 which enable the
development of the mine working and its chronological range to be
reconstructed. The large rake, shafts, hillocks and other features provide
evidence for methods of extraction whilst other processing areas will contain
deposits showing the effectiveness of these techniques. The mining remains
also provide an insight into the Derbyshire Barmote Court system of mining and
the constraints this imposed on the miners of the area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Ford, D, Rieuwerts, JH (eds), Lead Mining in the Peak District, (1983), 9-55
Ford, D, Rieuwerts, JH (eds), Lead Mining in the Peak District, (1983), 11-55
Ford, D, Rieuwerts, JH (eds), Lead Mining in the Peak District, (1983), 11-55
Report held in Peak Park office, Rieuwerts, J H, Principle Mines and Veins Southwest from Dirtlow Rake Head,
Report held in Peak Park office, Rieuwerts, J H, Principle Mines and Veins Southwest from Dirtlow Rake Head,

Source: Historic England

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