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Authority English Heritage
Other Ref SM Cat. No. 421
Date assigned Monday, August 17, 1998
Date last amended


REASONS FOR DESIGNATION 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 lead mining remains of Rainslow Scrins survive well and its earthwork remains provide evidence for both the historical and technological development of what was once a far more extensive multi-period mining landscape. They incorporate a wide range of mining and processing features, allowing the development of the mine workings to be reconstructed. The site includes the scrins themselves, a type of extraction feature particularly worthy of protection since they are very rarely preserved. In addition there are later shaft mounds, earthworks, ruined structures and buried remains. Together these features constitute a wide chronological and typological range, and are expected to include valuable technological evidence, in addition to evidence which will help in the establishment of a dating sequence. DETAILS The monument lies on and around the brow of a hill 0.8km south of the village of Elton, on either side of a minor road. It includes all the earthworks and buried remains of the Rainslow Scrins lead mining area. The monument is characterised by well-preserved opencuts and shaft mounds, showing successive exploitation of lead-bearing veins. The remains to the north of the road retain clear evidence for the sequence of workings. Spatial and chronological relationships, such as shaft mounds overlying spoil from opencuts and shafts sunk directly into opencuts, demonstrate that opencuts were succeeded by small vertical shafts exploiting the same veins. Amongst opencuts in this northern area are most of the scrins which give the site its name. These are deep, narrow opencuts now visible as open trenches. A series of ten or more roughly parallel scrins are visible in the north west part of the site, on a roughly north west-south east alignment. Shaft mounds in this northern area are small, typically 1.5m high and 8m wide, and show no evidence of earthworks associated with horsepower or other mechanisms to power winding or drainage. A low level of mechanisation is typical of Derbyshire, where geology and topography (shallow veins in hilly limestone) often made water power or other systems difficult to install, or uneconomic on quickly exhaustable shallow veins. The northern part of the site also includes a well-preserved array of embanked dressing floors. In these areas raw ore was processed to retrieve lead, using water to separate the heavier lead particles from other minerals. Here and elsewhere in the northern area there remain heaps of dressing waste, the residue from processing. South of the road are further scrins and shaft mounds, and this area is less intensively worked than the northern part. The earthworks to the south of the road are believed to include a dressing area. In addition, two stone structures survive in the south east part of the site. One, a circular drystone wall of 1.5m height and 3m circumference with an opening in the north, encloses a shaft. The other, a small ruined building of 2.5m by 3m with thick bonded walls, is believed to have been a coe (storage building). The lead mining remains of Rainslow Scrins provide evidence of continuous lead mining from an early date. Lead miners may have been working in the area by 1541, and many ventures were under way in the vicinity by the mid-17th century. Modern field walls, the surface of the road and the triangulation pillar are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included. SELECTED SOURCES Book Reference - Title: Rainslow Scrins - Type: SMR - Description: Ref: DR 5335 Book Reference - Author: J Barnatt with J Rieuwerts - Title: The Lead Mine Affected Landscape of the Peak District - Date: 1995 - Page References: 55-57 - Type: DESC TEXT - Description: Report commissioned by EH

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Sources (1)

  • Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1998. Scheduling Notification: Rainslow Scrins 470m south-west of Leadmines Farm. List entry no. 1017749. SM Cat. No. 421.



Grid reference Centred SK 2215 6017 (413m by 439m)
Map sheet SK26SW

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Record last edited

Aug 30 2013 2:12PM

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