Ancient Monuments

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Carrock End copper mine 230m and 490m south west of Linewath

A Scheduled Monument in Mungrisdale, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.6981 / 54°41'53"N

Longitude: -3.0071 / 3°0'25"W

OS Eastings: 335192.618342

OS Northings: 534135.905279

OS Grid: NY351341

Mapcode National: GBR 7GF3.SN

Mapcode Global: WH810.S57Q

Entry Name: Carrock End copper mine 230m and 490m south west of Linewath

Scheduled Date: 25 June 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019956

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34955

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Mungrisdale

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Caldbeck St Mungo

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes Carrock End copper mine together with the remains of
associated spoilheaps, dressing waste, a reservoir, hush, gin circle, rodway
and an enclosure which contains the remains of brick-built structures which
are considered to have formed part of the copper mining complex. It is located
at the eastern foot of Carrock Fell and lies either side of a minor road
between Mungrisdale and Caldbeck. The monument is divided into two separate
areas of protection.
Although mining here is reputed to have a 16th century origin, the earliest
documentary record considered to refer to Carrock End mine indicates that
mining was taking place here about 1700. The mine was worked periodically
during the late 18th century and the first half of the 19th century. Mining
here was generally on a small scale, with the most ambitious work being
undertaken in about 1840 when a 24 fathom (44m) deep shaft was sunk. The mine
finally closed in 1869.
The mine consists of three adits, a shaft and a prospecting trench or rake
from where the ore was extracted, together with adjacent spoilheaps. On the
hillside a short distance above these workings there is a hush which now
survives as a shallow channel running down the hillslope. A hush was a method
of exposing the mineral ore beneath the ground surface by stripping away the
vegetation cover using controlled releases of water. At the head of this hush,
at approximately NY35053415, there is a small reservoir which held the water
for this process. Close to the shaft there are the remains of a gin circle
complete with in-situ central bearing stone. This gin circle provided the
horse power for lifting copper ore and personnel out of the shaft. Water was
drained from the shaft by a waterwheel which was subsequently removed upon
closure of the mine. To the south lie the remains of a prospecting trench,
also known as a rake. On lower ground nearby are the remains of a small
dressing floor where the ore was processed, together with a rectangular area
of cobble flooring thought to mark the site of a timber structure. Also nearby
is the western end of a well-defined rodway trench with flanking earth banks.
The rodway was a means of transmitting power over considerable distances from
a waterwheel or steam engine using a set of reciprocating flat rods. The
rodway trench continues on the eastern side of the minor road where,
immediately north of its eastern end, there is a stone-banked enclosure
containing the remains of several brick-built structures which are considered
to have housed part of the ore processing function.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath
them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Copper was extracted in Britain intermittently from the Early Bronze Age
(about 2000 BC) until the early 20th century, after when the industry was
confined to by-product production and small scale reworkings of mines and
dumps. There is very limited evidence for copper mining before the 15th and
16th centuries, and most known sites are of later date, principally of the
industry's 18th and 19th century peak after it had been revitalised by
developments in smelting technology. In the 18th and 19th centuries, as
perhaps it had also been in prehistory, British production was important on a
European scale.
Nucleated copper mines are a prominent type of field monument produced by
copper 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 and power transmission features such as
wheel pits and leats. The majority of nucleated copper mines are of 18th to
20th century date, earlier mining being normally by rakes, opencuts and open
levels, and including scattered ore dressing features.
An essential part of a copper mining site is the 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 can be summarised as:
picking out clean lumps of ore and waste; hammering (breaking down lumps to a
smaller size by manual hammering or by mechanical crushing); jigging
(separation of gravel-sized material by shaking on a sieve in a tub of water;
and buddling (separation of finer material by washing away the lighter waste
in a current of water). Field remains of ore works include crushing devices,
separating structures and tanks and tips of distinctive waste from the various
processes, together with associated water supplies. Simple ore dressing
devices had been developed by the 16th century, but the large majority date
from the 18th to 20th centuries, when technology evolved rapidly.
During English Heritage's national evaluation of the copper industry, 130
sites were assessed. This is a highly select sample of the numbers of sites
that historically existed in England; although there are no national
estimates, for the south west alone an estimate has been made of over 10,000
sites. It is considered that protection by scheduling is appropriate for less
than 50, with alternative means of protection or management being considered
more appropriate for the other nationally important sites.

Carrock End copper mine, its associated spoilheaps, hush, reservoir, dressing
floor, gin circle, rodway, enclosure and remains of associated structures
survives well and remains an easily understood complex of mining and
processing features which have remained largely untouched since abandonment.
Stratigraphic evidence for the mine's early origins is expected to survive
within and beneath the spoilheaps.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Adams, J, Mines of the Lake District Fells, (1995), 83-4
Step Report, Hedley, I, Carrock End Mine, (1995)

Source: Historic England

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