Ancient Monuments

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Faucet Rake lead mines 870m south west and 930m south east of Oxlow House

A Scheduled Monument in Castleton, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.3377 / 53°20'15"N

Longitude: -1.7995 / 1°47'58"W

OS Eastings: 413444.8758

OS Northings: 382326.6979

OS Grid: SK134823

Mapcode National: GBR HYWV.67

Mapcode Global: WHCCL.BCBM

Entry Name: Faucet Rake lead mines 870m south west and 930m south east of Oxlow House

Scheduled Date: 14 March 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019005

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29966

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Castleton

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
Faucet Rake, a post-medieval lead mining complex which is defined by two areas
of protection and includes a number of important surface features. 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
District. Faucet Rake is aligned roughly east to west on high limestone
moorland north of Rowter Farm. Geologically, the lead bearing vein cuts across
the Bee Low Limestones for approximately two miles terminating at the
shale/limestone boundary north of Snels Low.
Faucet or Foreside Rake as it is sometimes known, has been worked since at
least 1680 but was at its peak of production between approximately 1750 and
1850. The rake 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 is linear in plan and survives as a series of earthwork, buried,
standing and rock cut remains which can be traced throughout its length by
lines of hillocks (mounds of waste rock which either contain insufficient
quantities of ore to warrant extraction, or waste from ore crushing activity)
interspersed with the remains of mining shafts, open cuts (veins worked open
to daylight), an engine shaft, gin circle (a type of horse powered winding
gear) and ore processing features.
Centred at national grid reference SK13448232 is `Rowter Hole' part of a
natural cave system which was modified by miners. Rowter Hole is now visible
on the surface as a capped engine shaft with a gin circle immediately to its
south. A low mound surrounding the gin circle marks the line of an enclosing
stone wall and both the shaft and gin circle sit on the top of a large,
levelled terrace. It is believed that Rowter Hole was formerly known as
Foreside Rake Engine, a feature which is commonly referred to in 18th century
mining documents.
In the westernmost area of protection, centred at national grid reference
SK12208215 is the site of the Oxlow Maskill caverns, the deepest natural
caverns in Britain. These were known to the miners as `The Opens' or Rackety
Mine and Maskill Mine. Here, underground washing floors (areas where ore was
washed to separate it from other debris) have been recorded. Between 1850 and
1860 it is documented that John and Joseph Jackson, two Castleton lead miners,
proposed clearing out and re-stempling the shafts at Rackety Mine (stemples
were wooden bars which served as ladder rungs in a climbing shaft). The idea
was to open the place to visitors although this does not appear to have
Extending from Rackety and Maskill Mines to the west of the monument are
hillocks interspersed with the remains of coes (stone built shelters or
sheds), belland yard walls (walls built around extraction and processing areas
in order to prevent cattle straying and eating grass contaminated by lead) and
shafts. Lines of hillocks and large open cuts also characterise the remainder
of the monument. These remain largely untouched although a field to the south
of Oxlow House Farm has undergone pasture improvement which has resulted in a
small section of the rake being levelled. This section is not included within
the area of protection.
The remains are extensive and clearly illustrate the level and methods of ore
extraction and processing which were employed along the rake. In some areas
very fine detail relating to the exploitation of the rake survives. At
national grid reference SK13798236, for example, a large open cut retains rope
grooves and notches for a bunning (a wooden plank which was placed between the
walls of the worked vein and upon which waste rock was piled). The side of the
vein here is also inscribed with the initials `RD'.
All modern track and road surfaces, fencing, stiles and gates are excluded
from the scheduling although the ground beneath these 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 Faucet Rake are particularly well preserved. Rake
workings are now rare and this is one of the best preserved 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. The wide range of
extraction and processing features combined with the historical documentation
will enable the development of the lead working and its chronological range to
be reconstructed. The long rake, shafts, hillocks and other extraction
features provide evidence for successive 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

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