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Cop Rake and Moss Rake lead mines 750m north east of Wheston House

A Scheduled Monument in Tideswell, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.317 / 53°19'1"N

Longitude: -1.8028 / 1°48'10"W

OS Eastings: 413233.81

OS Northings: 380023.4896

OS Grid: SK132800

Mapcode National: GBR HZV2.HN

Mapcode Global: WHCCL.8WSH

Entry Name: Cop Rake and Moss Rake lead mines 750m north east of Wheston House

Scheduled Date: 20 June 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019043

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29969

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Tideswell

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Bradwell St Barnabas

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument includes the earthwork, buried, standing and rock cut remains of
Cop Rake and Moss Rake, post-medieval lead mining complexes which include the
sites of Starvehouse Mine, New York Mine and Cop Mine. The monument is defined
in three areas of protection. 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. Cop Rake and Moss Rake are
aligned roughly east to west and follow the line of lead bearing veins which
cut across the Bee Low Limestones.

Cop Rake has been worked since at least the 13th century when there are
records documenting the working of Cop Rake, or Wardlow Cop as it was then
known. Parts of Moss Rake have been worked from at least the 1670s and
probably much earlier but work at both rakes had ceased by 1880 when the
Ordnance Survey map records these as areas of old lead mining.

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 are characterised by lengths of long, deep open cuts (veins
worked open to daylight) and 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, an engine
shaft and a gin circle.

At the western end of the monument, in the largest of the three areas of
protection, is a series of well preserved hillocks and open cuts. This area is
known as Starvehouse Mine and extends for approximately 160m east from the
western end of the monument. The characteristics of the hillocks and open cuts
continue to the east into the parish and liberty of Castleton. A liberty in
mining terms is a district in which the miner worked and was usually, although
not always, defined by parish boundaries. The liberty was governed by a set of
laws and customs. Bradwell, Peak Forest and Castleton liberties all converge
on Cop Rake in a section recorded as New York Mine and marked on the Ordnance
Survey map as Cop Round.

In Bradwell liberty the lead working remains are different in character. Here
a single, deep open cut vein dominates the rake and continues from the parish
boundary to the eastern end of the first protected area. The waste heaps from
lead mining along this section of the rake are set back from the edge of the
open cut vein. The form of these remains is very distinctive and is indicative
of 13th century workings. Centred at national grid reference SK13208003 is a
concentrated area of activity where surface remains include a number of small
climbing shafts, a bridge, sections of walling, an engine shaft and a gin
circle (remains of horse powered winding apparatus). This area of activity
represents later working of the lead vein and preserves important information
about the historical and technical development of the Cop Rake lead mines.
Traces of the open cut, and buildings relating to Cop Mine itself, are visible
beyond the edge of the protected area but there has been some relatively
modern reworking for fluorspar in this area which has caused degradation of
the earlier remains. This section is not therefore included in the scheduling.

In the second area of protection centred at national grid reference
SK13757997, is another area of Cop Rake which is again different in character
from that at the western end. Here the remains cover a broader area and are
less linear in form. The remains are characterised by very large waste
hillocks and two shafts, now covered. This difference in form may be
indicative of either another phase of lead working or of a variation in the
form of the lead vein itself, resulting in a different method of extraction.
A small section in the centre of the protected area has been subjected to
recent fluorspar exploration but despite material from this having been
deposited around the area, the majority of the lead mining hillocks are still
intact. Around the centre of this area of protection is also a concrete lined
dew pond which was marked on the 1880 Ordnance Survey map. This is presumed to
post date the abandonment of the mining when the land returned to agricultural

In the third area of protection centred at national grid reference SK13907980
are the lead mining remains of Moss Rake. At its eastern end the rake is
characterised by the main lead vein and a smaller subsidiary vein which
branches off to the south. The main vein has been worked as a long, deep open
cut similar in form to that at the western end of Cop Rake, with the waste
hillocks again set back from the edge of the vein. The smaller vein is marked
by a series of hillocks interspersed by shafts, one of which is capped, and
shallow open cut gullies. At the western end of this area of protection is a
small concentrated area of activity with unusual surface remains. These
features are situated on a terrace and have survived the modern open cast
fluorspar terrace and extraction which has removed other lead mining remains
to the west of the area of protection. One of these features is evident as
three concentric circles each marked by low banks and slight internal ditches.
The circle is approximately 8m in diameter and is interpreted as the remains
of a crushing circle. Although unusual in form two other similar crushing
circles have been recorded on Dirtlow Rake in Derbyshire. Crushing circles
were used to crush the ore ready for further treatment.

Just to the north west of the crushing circle is a rectangular sunken feature
which is defined by banks and sub-divided internally by another low bank. A
large ditch surrounds the feature but is divided by a row of stones. The
feature is interpreted as a slime pond. Slime ponds were used in the final
stage of ore processing in an attempt to prevent the escape of waste water
contaminated by lead.

All modern track surfaces, fences, stiles and gates, and the dew pond are
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features
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.

Cop Rake and Moss Rake lead mines 750m north east of Wheston House are well
preserved and include a diverse range of components relating to the mining of
these veins. Rake workings are now rare and this example is reasonably well
preserved. 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
mining and processing features combined with the historical documentation will
enable the development of the mine working and its chronological range to be
reconstructed. The rakes, 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.
The fact that three mining liberties converge at Cop Rake and each exhibits a
slightly different pattern of working is of particular note.

Source: Historic England


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,
Taylor, H, Wheston House Farm, Bradwell and Tideswell Archaeological Survey, 1997, Report held in Peak Park office
Taylor, H, Wheston House Farm, Bradwell and Tideswell Archaeological Survey, 1997, Report held in Peak Park office

Source: Historic England

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