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Carsington Pasture, Nickalum, Perserverance, West Head, Break Hollow and other small mines and medieval field boundaries

A Scheduled Monument in Carsington, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.0825 / 53°4'56"N

Longitude: -1.6361 / 1°38'9"W

OS Eastings: 424471.716485

OS Northings: 353976.526393

OS Grid: SK244539

Mapcode National: GBR 59D.M6F

Mapcode Global: WHCDT.VS29

Entry Name: Carsington Pasture, Nickalum, Perserverance, West Head, Break Hollow and other small mines and medieval field boundaries

Scheduled Date: 22 March 2013

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1412922

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Carsington

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Carsington St Margaret

Church of England Diocese: Derby


Multi-period lead mining remains on Carsington Pasture, including Nickalum and Perseverance Mines and linear enclosure banks and ditches of medieval date.

Source: Historic England


The monument includes the earthwork, buried and standing remains of a series of lead mines on Carsington Pasture and on land between the pasture and the village of Brassington (from here on called Carsington Pasture). Mining in this area of the ore field may date from the Roman period, although the most visible surface remains are likely to represent multiple phases of mining activity. The mining earthworks stand to varying heights, but survive up to 3m in many places. Also included are a series of linear, low banks and ditches which serve to enclose parcels of the landscape and represent a progressive sub-division of the pasture dating potentially from the medieval period.

Carsington Pasture is an extensive tract of largely unimproved upland lying at the south margin of the Carboniferous Limestone plateau of the Peak District. The plateau lies between approximately 310m and 330m above Ordnance datum, while the scarp drops steeply to the south to 240-250m. This limestone scarp forms part of the southern end of the Pennine spine of England and the southern limit of the White Peak lead mining area.

The mines lie within the Brassington and Carsington Liberties (the district within which the miners worked, governed by a set of laws and customs). Carsington Pasture is characterised by the remains of many rakes (a vertical fissure filled with lead ore and associated mineral waste material) and scrins (a minor form of a rake usually less than two feet wide) in the form of lines of grassed hillocks, with shaft hollows and many accessible but capped shafts. There are localised areas of more intense workings in the form of closely spaced hillocks and grassed hollows but not necessarily showing any particular form of alignment. One such concentration is at Brecklow mine (SK 2467854305) where the remains of two coes (a stone built shed, shelter or store) and belland yard (stone walls built around areas of working to prevent cattle from straying and eating grass contaminated by lead) survive as ruinous structures. One coe contained a covered climbing shaft, the other, larger coe until the early C21 retained a fireplace with chimney but the latter has collapsed but is still evident.

Perseverance mine (SK 2440353920) is another concentration, here there is a large coe containing a shaft, a second coe, a stone-lined buddle (a basic feature used for separating small sized ore from adherent dirt by a means of a stream of water), a gin circle (a circular feature representing a horse powered winding apparatus), buddle dam and a settling pond.

Flaxpiece Rake (SK 2475854032) is a linear row of well-defined earthwork hillocks leading down slope to the trackway on the southern side of the pasture. Here two small belland yards enclose a coe and settling pond. The coe covers a climbing shaft offering protection to the access. At Wester Head Mines (SK 2402754297) two coes have been recorded but numerous large shafts and hillocks also survive in the area.

Towards the western extent of the monument a number of well defined features survive including a walled dressing floor with coe and walled pond (SK 2368553999), buddle dams and the remains of Nickalum mines. Much of the surface remains of Nickalum have been cleared in the early C21, but the ruined belland yard is still evident.

Each concentration of features is interlinked by rows and groups of hillocks, shafts (mostly capped) and dressing areas representing the full process flow of extraction and dressing of minerals for the purpose of extracting lead ore. Other names of mines or rakes associated with the monument include Water Holes, Blazing Star Rake, Swang, Children's Fortune, Hard Holes, Stillingtons and Cow and Calf. Although there were a large number of mines they were each generally on a small scale, with individual meers often being given names for recording and management purposes. Names changed as ownership changed, however, and can lead to confusion in the documentary records.

No systematic archaeological survey has been carried out underground within the scheduled area although the Wirksworth Mines Research Group has investigated and recorded over 250 shafts and bought this work together in advance of a planning proposal for four wind turbines on the northern half of the pasture (May 2006, unpublished). The report, although not intentionally archaeological in content, does indicate the level of survival beneath the ground and the potential for further archaeological investigative work. Graffiti, artefacts and phasing of some shafts have been documented.

The monument is defined by two area of protection; one on Carsington Pasture and the other on land between the pasture and the village of Brassington.

Area of protection 01

This is the largest of the two areas and aims to protect the earthwork, standing, buried and rock-cut remains of lead mining, medieval field boundary banks and ridge and furrow. Given the open nature of the landscape, only part of the area of protection is defined by fixed points on the ground, the northern edge particularly is identified by a series of National Grid References.The constraint line begins at the southern-most tip of the area of protection at SK 2523353494. From here the line follows the field boundary to the north-east along the northern edge of Carsington Wood, before turning to the north-west, again following the field boundary which now seperates the parishes of Carsington and Hopton. It continues until it reaches SK2508354132, where it turns to the east, crossing the Pasture until it intercepts with a line of pylons at SK2471254156. Here the line turns to the north-west and continues in this direction before turning to the west around the northern edge of Break Hollow Mine, the line then continues west to SK2407754288. At this point it runs north along a field boundary, following it around to the north-west to SK2387754531 at which point the line cuts across the field to the south where it meets another field boundary. It then follows the boundary to the south to a boundary junction where it turns to the south-east and continues until it joins the corner of the field. The line follows the field boundary to the south to SK2396053946 where it turns to the south-west to follow another field boundary. From here the southern boundary of the monument is defined along the entire length by a field boundary passing along the base of the scarp and around the northern edge of the village of Carsington, until it meets with the southern-most tip of the area of protection.

Area of Protection 02

This area of protection aims to protect the concentration of surviving earthwork, standing, buried and rock cut remains of lead mining, particularly centred at Nickalum mines, and medieval ridge and furrow. The area is defined by extant field boundaries on the east, south and west sides. The northern boundary starts at the northern end of Wester Lane at SK2390354165 from here the line runs to the north-west across the field to the south-east corner of a small enclosure where it skirts around the south and west side of the enclosure to meet a field boundary which it then follows to the west and then to the north. At the junction with another field boundary, the line follows it to the west for 38m before turning south to cut across the field for 86m to the northern edge of a rake working. The line then follows this edge of the rake to the south-west until it meets the eastern edge of the area of protection at SK 2349354164.

Further lead mining remains lie outside both areas of protection but the main concentrations of surface remains are encompassed. Within these areas all modern field boundaries and signage are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath these is included.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The mining remains at Carsington Pasture, Nickalum, Perserverance, West Head, Break Hollow and other small mines, which together provide evidence of multi-period mining activity dating to at least the medieval period, and the medieval field boundaries and ridge and furrow, are scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Survival: it is well-preserved site displaying a diversity of both common and rare features;
* Rarity: dating of mining sites is notoriously difficult but the palimpsest of archaeological features on Carsington Pasture provides the incredibly rare opportunity for relative dating and contributes significantly to the national importance of this particular site;
* Diversity: the site retains a diverse range of features representing the complete extraction process. Such a range has the potential to enhance our knowledge and understanding of the full industry, the methods used, the chronological depth of the site and the place it held in the wider economic and social landscape;
* Documentary Evidence: the historical context of mining on Carsington Pasture is provided by mining records dating from the mid-C15 to the mid-C18. This is further enhanced by the unique socio-economic perspective offered by Daniel Defoe's writing in the mid-C18;
* Group Value: the clustering of mine complexes within the monument adds group value and enhances the national importance of this site. The sum of the whole is even more significant than the individual components and provides an example of what was once a far more extensive, multi-period and regionally distinct mining landscape. The group value of the site is further enhanced by the association with other designated and undesignated archaeological features lying within and around the mining remains;
* Potential: the diverse range of components represented by the mining remains on Carsington Pasture have the potential to explain the development of the mine working and its chronological range, as well as contribute to the understanding of the historical and technological development of lead mining in Derbyshire.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J, Smith, K, The Peak District, (1997)
Barnatt, J, Penny, R, The Lead Legacy. The prospects for the Peak Districts Mining Heritage, (2004)
Barnatt, J, Smith, K, The Peak District Landscapes Through Time, (2004)
Defoe, D, A Tour Through The Whole Island Of Great Britain, (1986), 462-468
Ford, D, Rieuwerts, JH (eds), Lead Mining in the Peak District, (2000)
Rieuwerts, JH, Lead Mining in Derbyshire: History, Development and Drainage in 4 volumes, (2007)
Rieuwerts, J H, Lead Mining in Derbyshire: History, Development and Drainage. Volume 2 Millers Dale to Alport and Dovedale, (2008)
Rieuwerts, JH, Lead Mining In Derbyshire:History, Development and Drainage, (2010)
Rieuwerts, JH, Lead Mining In Derbyshire: History, Development and Drainage 4: The Area South of the Via Gellia, (2012)
Willies, L, Parker, H, Peak District Mining and Quarrying, (2004)
Barnatt, J, 'Mining History' in Excavation and Conservation at How Grove, Dirtlow Rake, Castleton, Derbyshire, (2002)
Barnatt, J, Bevan, B , 'Antiquity 76 pp.50-56' in Gardoms Edge: A Landscape Through Time, , Vol. 76, (2002), 50-56
Barnatt, J, 'Mining History' in High Rake Mine, Little Hucklow Derbyshire excavation and conservation at an important C19 mine, (2011)
Willies, L, 'Bulletin of Peak Mines Historical Soc, 12' in Roads, Agricultural Features and Mines on Carsington Pasture, (1995)
Barnatt, J, The Lead Mine Affected Landscape of the Peak District, 1995, Report commissioned by EH
John Barnatt, Lathkill Dale National Nature Reserve Archaeological Survey, 2005,

Source: Historic England

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