Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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How Grove Lead Mine

A Scheduled Monument in Castleton, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.3328 / 53°19'58"N

Longitude: -1.7785 / 1°46'42"W

OS Eastings: 414844.835155

OS Northings: 381785.722855

OS Grid: SK148817

Mapcode National: GBR JY0X.R0

Mapcode Global: WHCCL.NH8C

Entry Name: How Grove Lead Mine

Scheduled Date: 13 October 2011

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1402079

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Castleton

Built-Up Area: Castleton

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Castleton St Edmund

Church of England Diocese: Derby


How Grove is a small lead mine of mid-C18 to the early C20. It is situated on an island of preserved hillocks on Dirtlow Rake, Derbyshire.

Source: Historic England


The surviving area of How Grove lead mine measures approximately 126m long and up to 40m wide, and is enclosed on the northern and eastern edges by a ruinous, and partly buried, belland yard wall. To the south the edge of the scheduling is defined by a field track. The site comprises standing, buried and earthwork remains, which include a coe or miner's hut, dressing floors, a crushing circle, and ore dressing pits and channels, including a circular buddle and a water storage dam. A deep hollow near the coe may also be a run-in shaft. Much of the area was archaeologically excavated and conserved between 1998 and 2000, and many features remain exposed.

The rake runs roughly south-west to north-east, and is best described starting at the south western end. Here, the first most visible feature is a coe, a rectangular structure measuring approximately 4.5m by 2.9m internally, with a doorway in the south-east corner. It is built of mortared random limestone, with remnants of internal rendering, and is set within a high hillock on the north and west sides. The west wall stands to almost full height at circa 2m, but the east wall had collapsed to circa 0.6m and has been partly rebuilt. The southern wall has also undergone some conservation to provide long term stabilisation. In the north wall is a small fireplace, and a small iron grate was found amongst the collapse material. The coe is shown on the township map of 1819, but given the floor stratigraphy it is clear it continued in use into the late C19 and early C20.

Moving eastwards, there is a flat-topped dressing floor, which has been created by levelling waste heaps of tailings derived from previous ore dressing operations. Its centre is largely covered by a crushing circle and its surrounding horse track. The latter is directly linked to a narrow gateway through the northern belland yard wall by a carefully-made path with a stone retaining wall to one side, providing access for the horse from the fields to the site.

The crushing bed comprises a ring of 23 large limestone slabs with an outer diameter of c4.8m and a circular timber post c0.27m in diameter at the centre. To the south west of the crusher there is a series of channels and pits, together with a possible hard-standing and the top end of the water storage pond.

To the east of the crusher, built into the relatively steep side of the hillock, is a complex series of features associated with buddling, a process used for separating small sized ore from dirt by means of flowing water. The most prominent feature is a circular buddle. This measures c2.75m across, and its sides are constructed of a carefully constructed dry stone retaining wall of 4-6 limestone courses. At the centre is the stump of a circular post which probably supported a feeder launder.

Approximately 0.7m east of the circular buddle is a D-shaped pit that measures 1.8m by 1.8m and is 0.5m deep. This is also interpreted as a buddle. Both the circular and D-shaped buddles were fed by launders set on a narrow horizontal terrace and supported on a dry stone wall on the down slope side.

The earthen dam, for a large water storage pond, now filled with a modern hillock, survives just beyond modern disturbance. This is flat-topped, about 7m long, and built of a mixture of clay, tailings and small pieces of limestone and calcite. The 1899 Ordnance Survey map shows a pond at How Grove, the north eastern end of which matches the position of the dam.

The only visible shaft in this part of the rake is 95m to the north east of the coe.

The excavated structures at How Grove represent two main phases of activity. The first, of probably late C18 to mid-C19 date, has features typical of a medium sized Peak District mine, with a surviving, well-built, coe, horse drawn crusher, small dressing floor and water storage pond (later modified). The second, of late-C19 or early-C20 date, is a semi-mechanised plant, set up when the lead industry elsewhere had virtually collapsed.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Rarity: It is a rare survival of an exceptionally late lead mine with well preserved remains of individually rare features such as circular buddles which were more common in south-west England, north Pennines and Wales and D shaped buddles which may be unique to the area.

Survival: It is an exceptionally well preserved site displaying a diversity of surviving features, which are more often than not destroyed during later phases of mining activity.

Documentary Evidence: A relatively detailed and almost continuous picture of mining on Dirtlow Rake is available from the surviving Castleton Barmaster Books,

Group Value (association): How Grove sits within an area of well preserved mining remains the best surviving of which are designated as Scheduled Monuments. Combined these sites provide evidence for both the historical and technological development of what was once a far more extensive, multi-period and regionally distinct mining landscape.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J, Smith, K, The Peak District, (2004)
Barnatt, J, Penny, R, The Lead Legacy. The prospects for the Peak Districts Mining Heritage, (2004)
Ford, D, Rieuwerts, JH (eds), Lead Mining in the Peak District, (2000)
Barnatt, J, 'Mining History' in Excavation and Conservation at How Grove, Dirtlow Rake, Castleton, Derbyshire, (2002)
Cranstone, D, MPP The Lead Industry Step 1 Report, (1992)

Source: Historic England

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