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Scheduled Monument: MAURY MINE AND SOUGH (1412310)

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Authority English Heritage
Other Ref SM Cat. No. 544
Date assigned Friday, March 22, 2013
Date last amended


SUMMARY OF MONUMENT Maury Mine and Sough, lead workings dating from the mid-C17 to the late C18. REASONS FOR DESIGNATION Maury Mine and Sough, lead workings dating from the mid-C17, is scheduled for the following principal reasons: * Survival and Diversity: it is a well-preserved site displaying chronological depth and illustrating process and technological change through its diversity of features, the surviving earthworks of which have a defining presence in the landscape; * Documentary Evidence: historical documents provide detail on the chronology of the site and the continuing efforts over more than 250 years to manage it as a going concern. In combination with good physical preservation, good documentary evidence also presents an opportunity for insight into the social and economic context of lead mining and its impact on Derbyshire communities; * Rarity: Maury Mine illustrates well the distinctive Derbyshire mining tradition, reflected in the range and character of surviving features; * Group Value: Maury Mine sits within an area of well-preserved mining remains, with the west end of Lees Rake within the scheduled area. This is contiguous with the scheduling of Lees and Doves Rakes, illustrating the extent and intensity of exploitation of this regionally distinct mining landscape; * Potential: this diverse range of surface remains and buried archaeological deposits contain the potential to make a substantial contribution to our understanding of the extraction of the mineral, its on-site processing and, more broadly, to the historical and technological development of lead mining in Derbyshire. HISTORY Lead mining in Derbyshire may have begun as early as the Late Bronze Age indicated by the discovery of lead artefacts at Mam Tor and Gardoms Edge, but no archaeological evidence for mining, ore processing or smelting has been recorded (Barnatt, Bevan and Edmonds 2002). In the Roman period written sources provide evidence for a national industry, while inscriptions on lead 'pigs' (ingots of smelted metal) and their distribution indicate production in Derbyshire, the Mendips, South Shropshire, and the Yorkshire Pennines. Again, the mines themselves are elusive and remain so into the Medieval period. 'Lead works' mentioned in the Domesday Survey may refer to mining or smelting, but there is documentary evidence of mining at, for example, the Nestus Mines, Matlock Bath and Tideslow Rake. At Tideswell there are also many Bole Hills (a primitive smelting furnace) with vestiges of slag remaining where lead was smelted. Two other pieces of evidence dating from the medieval period are of fundamental importance: the earliest written laws of lead mining from the Ashbourne Inquisition of 1288, and the carving of a medieval miner in Wirksworth church (moved from Bonsall Church in the C19), which is probably even earlier. In the Middle Ages a royalty of a thirteenth of all ore mined (known as a 'lot') was paid to the Crown and a tenth (or 'tithe') was claimed by the church. The Peak was a free mining area with wide and unusual privileges and the 'free' miners were allowed to work by very liberal laws which enabled them to search for lead ore in the 'liberties'; anywhere but churchyards, gardens, orchards and highways. The miners had right of access, water and space to both mine and dump their waste without regard to the land users or owners wishes. To control mining, mineral courts were set up with a Steward and Barmaster, representing the Duchies, including Devonshire, Rutland, and Lancaster, and other landowners as lords of their own liberties, as well as a Grand Jury of 24 men (12 since 1851-52) appointed for six months to control each of the different areas. The laws grew in complexity through time and were not fully listed until the mid-C17 when Thomas Manlove, a Barmoot Steward, wrote them down 'in metre'. The mining laws were formalised in 1851-52. The court still sits today, made up of men who have a wide knowledge of the miners and mining field. Documentary sources dating to the C12 and C14 provide evidence of 11 and possibly 12 mining sites of one or more workings in Derbyshire. Work would have started as opencasts (veins which were worked from the surface to a depth of c30-40 feet) and would eventually have gone further underground. In reality there were probably many more mines for which no documentation survives. The evidence for mining during the C15 and C16 comes primarily from the written versions of the laws and customs between 1288 and 1525, and from an increasing number of specific mines for which we have documentary evidence, often in the form of court case records. As knowledge of ore deposits increased many more mines were worked and in excess of 100 are individually documented, although many groups of miners could be at work along a single vein. Evidence in contemporary documents of technological development includes the underground use of gunpowder to break rock (1660s), drainage using horse-powered pumps (c1579-1581) and long drainage soughs (1627 onwards). Extensive archaeological evidence shows that firesetting using coal was commonly practiced in the C16 and C17, with its use overlapping with gunpowder from the 1660s to early 1700s. The C17 witnessed rapid expansion in both geological knowledge and technical advance. As a consequence of improvements in smelting technology during the last quarter of the C16 the old underground workings and surface hillocks of many large mines were extensively reworked. The use of gunpowder blasting for rock breakage from the late-C17 made working mines to a greater depth easier, but these required more efficient ventilation, gained by sinking shafts at regular intervals. The driving of soughs to dewater mines was crucial and these became common. The depth of workings and shafts increased through the C18 from up to 700ft to in excess of 900ft in some cases. The first Newcomen engine was installed between 1716 and 1719 and a 40ft diameter water wheel was recorded in 1747. Haulage was also transformed in the C18; baskets and sleds were gradually superseded at larger mines by the introduction of small, plain wheeled wagons running along wooden rails. Iron railed tramways became relatively common in the C19. Haulage to the surface continued to use traditional stows, although horse gins were also in use in most medium to large mines. In the C19 profitable sources of ore became scarce and increased competition from other orefields led to a decline in the importance of, and production at, the Peak District mines. A series of expensive ventures using steam engines to enable work at depth were launched but most were not economically sustainable. As with all previous centuries, small scale underground production by miner-farmers and other part-time workers, and low-paid reworking of hillocks for residual lead ore, continued. With the exception of Millclose Mine at Darley Bridge, worked until 1939, little profitable mining was carried out from the 1880s onwards. From the early C20 to the present, lead mining sites have been extensively reworked for minerals originally discarded by the lead miners. Those of economic worth are primarily fluorspar, barites and calcite, while lead ore is still a valuable by-product. A mine at Maury is first recorded in 1637 in the will of Francis Hullie, miner, which refers to 'a grove at Mawree', with workings here described in 1653 as 'a certayne Rake or veyne or stringe commonly called Mawley or Mawrey Rake'. Throughout the late C17 and the C18, mining operations seem to have been hindered by poor drainage, with a high level sough in existence by 1653. It seems this was never completed, and by 1674 mining had ceased here, the vein remaining unworked for the next twenty years. In 1694 a new sough was begun but production seems to have been intermittent, and when a third sough was finally completed in 1774, the mine was found to be 'much plundered' and productivity remained disappointing. Despite this, work started here again in 1868 when Edward Wass obtained the title to the mine and drove a level into the outcrop of the Upper Millers Dale Lava. The site of his run-in level and its associated dressing floors survive, as do the engine shaft and other variously dated features on the hill top. The scheduling also includes a section of Lees Rake, first documented in the early C18. This continues to the east of the scheduled area of Maury Mine as a separate scheduling. DETAILS The scheduling includes the earthwork, buried, standing and rock cut remains of Maury Mine and Sough. The area includes Maury Vein as it runs from the south of Priestcliffe Lees, at about SK1448272897, for about 67 metres north-east to the River Wye, as well as all surviving features associated with Maury Mine on the hill top. The evidence for lead mining here survives as a series of earthworks, buried and standing remains, which include shafts and shaft mounds, a capped engine shaft, walled gin circle (a horse powered winding arrangement), waste hillocks, open cuts (vein working open to daylight), belland yard walls (walls built around contaminated land, the belland yard, to keep out stock), possible ponds, dressing floors and pits, coes (a hut for storage or shelter) buddle dams and possible buddling trough (buddling is the process of separating lead ore from other matter). Most of the features on the hill top are concentrated within an irregular but roughly square area on the south edge of Priestcliffe Lees, enclosed by walls on three sides but open to the north. To the south-west of this area these walls form two sides of a belland yard filled with hillocks, in the south-west corner of which is a possible pond. On the north side of the belland yard is a well-preserved walled gin circle, the site of winding gear for the capped shaft immediately to the south, next to which is a small capped climbing shaft. This is immediately to the east in a line of about four deep circular hollows. Close to these features there is also a possible ore bin as well as ruined coes, a buddle dam and possible pond. Immediately to the east of the belland yard, but continuing into its south end, is a line of shaft mounds, capped shafts, and, further east, open cuts, marking the west end of Lees Rake. To the north of the belland yard is an area of hillocks, at the north edge of which is a very prominent, probably C19, reprocessing site, with large waste heaps, buddle dam and a possible buddling trough. Immediately to the north-west of this complex, two separate lines of hollows and shaft mounds converge on an open cut just above the point where the hillside falls away steeply. Both contain closely spaced shafts. A wall around the top end of the cut forms a belland yard. Down slope, the ground levels out to form a flat working area containing a reprocessing dressing floor and dressing pits, as well as traces of stone-lined features. Near the bottom of the hill, above the Monsal Trail (the old railway line), is the collapsed entrance to the level, a tramway bed, dressing floor, ruined coe, buddle dams, large hillocks and traces of a ruined belland yard wall. Below the old railway line, next to the river, there is the walled sough tail, two partially-restored coes, and a hillock. Nearby there is a lidded shaft giving access to underground workings along Maury Sough. EXTENT OF SCHEDULING The scheduled area includes a field, walled on three sides, south, west and east, enclosing the main area of the hilltop mine workings. The south-west corner of the field is at SK1443672802. The field forms a roughly square area about 280 metres by 225 metres at its maximum extents. To the west, south and east the scheduling is defined by field boundaries, the line following the outer edge of the walls. To the north, the line leaves the west field boundary about 240 metres from the south corner of the field, at SK1448073000, travelling east for about 104 metres before curving south and east, excluding the cairn to the north (scheduled monument NHLE 1020086). At a point about 214 metres east of the west field boundary, at SK1469172960, at the top of the slope before the land falls away sharply to the north, the scheduling boundary turns north-east, and the scheduling continues as a corridor containing the rake as it runs down the hillside and the ore processing area. The corridor is about 84 metres wide at the top of the slope, broadening to about 114 metres at its widest, and about 96 metres where it meets the old railway line, the Monsal Trail. Here the scheduled area expands to the south-east, taking in an area about 188 metres long between the south-west side of the Monsal Trail and the river, the south boundary of this section following the line of the south railway embankment, the east boundary following the line of the footpath to the river, the most north-easterly corner meeting the footbridge. The point where the north-west scheduling boundary meets the river is at SK1502973168. All modern structures, fence and gate posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included. The small irregular field immediately to the west and the field attached to its south-west corner containing a small number of isolated features are not included within the scheduled area. SELECTED SOURCES Book Reference - Author: Barnatt, J and Smith, K - Title: The Peak District - Date: 2004 Unpublished Title Reference - Author: Cranstone, D - Title: MPP The Lead Industry Step 1 Report - Date: 1992 Book Reference - Author: Barnatt, J. and Penny, R. - Title: The Lead Legacy. The prospects for the Peak District's Mining Heritage. - Date: 2004 Article Reference - Author: Barnatt, J., Bevan, B. and Edmonds, M. - Title: Gardoms Edge: a landscape through time - Date: 2002 - Journal Title: Antiquity 76 pp.50-56 Book Reference - Author: Willies, L and Parker, H. - Title: Peak District Mining and Quarrying - Date: 2004 Book Reference - Author: Rieuwerts, J. H - Title: Lead Mining in Derbyshire: History, Development and Drainage in 4 vols - Date: 2007 Article Reference - Author: Barnatt, J and Heathcote, C - Title: The Maury and Burfoot Mines, Taddington and Brushfield, Derbyshire - Date: 2003 - Journal Title: Mining History 15.3

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Sources (1)

  • Scheduling record: English Heritage. 2013. Scheduling notification: Maury Mine and Sough. List entry no. 1412310. SM Cat. No. 544.



Grid reference Centred SK 1480 7295 (735m by 409m)
Map sheet SK17SW

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Record last edited

Aug 21 2013 3:27PM

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