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Scheduled Monument: GAUTRIES RAKE (1412938)

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Authority English Heritage
Other Ref SM Cat. No. 548
Date assigned Thursday, March 21, 2013
Date last amended


SUMMARY OF MONUMENT Gautries Rake, near Chapel-en-le-Frith in Derbyshire is an extremely well-preserved example of a linear sequence of lead mine workings exemplifying the lead mining and ore processing techniques developed from the medieval period to the late C19 in the Derbyshire orefield. REASONS FOR DESIGNATION Gautries Rake, a lead mine worked from at least as early as the late C17, is scheduled for the following principal reasons: * Survival: Gautries Rake is an exceptionally well-preserved site displaying a diversity of surviving features, many of which have been destroyed by later phases of mining activity on similar sites in Derbyshire; * Diversity: the site retains a diverse range of features representing the extraction and ore processing stages of lead mining in Derbyshire. Such features have the potential to enhance our knowledge and understanding of the county’s nationally significant lead mining industry, of the chronological depth of the site in question and of the place it held in the wider economic and social landscape; * Documentary Evidence: the historical context of mining at Gautries Rake is provided by Barmote Court records, with more specific details relating to the establishment and operation of the Peak Forest Mining Company; * Group Value: the group value of the many different features contained within the site enhances its national significance. The sum of the whole transcends the significance of individual components and provides an example of what was once a far more extensive, multi-period and regionally distinctive mining landscape; * Potential: the diverse range of features represented at Gautries Rake have the potential to explain the development and chronological range of the mine working at the site, as well as to contribute to the understanding of 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 as indicated by the discovery of lead artefacts at Mam Tor and Gardoms Edge, but no archaeological evidence for mining, ore processing or smelting at this time has been recorded (Barnatt, Bevan and Edmonds 2002). In the Roman period, the presence of a major national lead industry is attested both by classical references and by numerous finds of lead 'pigs' (ingots of smelted metal). The distribution and inscriptions of the pigs indicate production in the Mendips, South Shropshire, Derbyshire and the Yorkshire Pennines. The mines themselves are elusive as later mines have cut through the earlier shallow workings (Barnatt and Smith 2004, p49) and the range of mining and ore processing features on Roman sites cannot yet be specified. Medieval mining is almost equally elusive in the archaeological record. 'Lead works' were mentioned in the Domesday Survey but it is not clear if this meant mining or smelting. There is documentary evidence of mining at for example the Nestus mines, Matlock Bath and Tideslow Rake at Tideslow and there are also many Bole Hills (a primitive smelting furnace) in the area with vestiges of slag remains where lead was smelted. Two major 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 C19), which is probably even earlier. In medieval times 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 Duchy and 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. During the C12 and C14 documentary sources provide evidence of 11 and possibly 12 mining sites of one or more workings in Derbyshire; work would have started as opencast (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 miners progressively improved their practical understanding of the nature and location of ore-bearing beds from the medieval period onwards, but by the mid-C18 mine agents and overseers rather than miners had acquired enhanced scientific geological knowledge. The evidence for mining during the C15 and C16 comes primarily from the written versions of the laws and customs existing between 1288 and 1525 and from an increasing number of specific mines for which we have documentary record, often in the form of court case records. Once the nature of wide and deep horizontal deposits was understood by the mid-C16, meers (a linear measurement along a vein irrespective of its width or depth) were measured in squares rather than the usual linear measurement along the vein. As knowledge of ore deposits increased many more mines were worked; in excess of a hundred are individually named in documents but many groups of miners could be at work along a single vein. During the C15 and C16 technological development moved apace with the first evidence of drainage using horse-powered pumps (c1579-1581) and a long drainage adit all appearing in contemporary documentation. The C17 witnessed rapid expansion in both geological knowledge and technical advancement. Improvements in smelting technology during the last quarter of the C16 allowed smaller size ore to be smelted in the new ore-hearth furnaces. As a consequence many large mines had their old underground workings and surface hillocks extensively reworked. The breaking of rock underground using gunpowder (from the 1660s) 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 (1627 onwards) to dewater mines was crucial and these became common. Technological advancement continued in the C18. At the beginning of the C18, shafts and workings were at a depth of 700ft, but by the end of the century some shafts were in excess of 900ft deep. 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 (a wooden windlass used for winding materials and water) although horse gins were also in use in most medium to large mines. Longer, deep level soughs and deeper mine workings demanded improved methods of ventilation. In the C19 profitable sources of ore became scarce and increased competition from other ore fields 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 mostly failed to produce viable ore over sustained periods. 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 apace. With the exception of Millclose Mine at Darley Bridge, which 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. It is not known when Gautries Rake was first worked, but documentary evidence indicates that lead mining was taking place there in the late C17, when a dispute was heard in the Barmote Court (the legal administrative body governing lead mining in Derbyshire) in 1671. The dispute concerned a mine ‘on the Sun side of Cawthridge’ which is thought to be Gautries Rake. The rake was extensively worked from the C17 to the C19. C19 activity included both mining and the re-working of earlier hillocks, with three named locations ‘Fortunate Mine’,’Vergin Mine’ and ‘Fairtrial Mine’ known to have been worked within the rake area. Parts of Gautries Rake were surveyed by the Peak District National Park Authority, cataloguing the identified archaeological features, and a general assessment was made during the Lead Legacy survey. No invasive archaeological investigations have taken place. DETAILS The area of protection includes the earthwork, buried, standing and rock-cut remains of Gautries Rake, an extensive lead mining complex dating from at least the late C17. The site is located in the Peak Forest Liberty (the district within which the miners worked, governed by a set of laws and customs), on the southern side of Gautries Hill, in the northernmost sector of the Derbyshire ore field. It is some four kilometres to the east of Chapel-en-le-Frith, close to where the Carboniferous limestone landscape of the White Peak and the gritstone landscape of the Dark Peak meet. The area of protection is centred on SK 10066 80803. It is linear in shape and extends from east to west for approximately 1.1 kilometres from the western side of the Perryfoot Road at SK1061980818 to SK0597380838, the westernmost end of the area of mining activity. The workings cover an area of six hectares, and are wholly contained within a belland yard plantation (woodland occupying an area of former lead mine activity enclosed within substantial drystone walls, erected to prevent livestock grazing on contaminated ground). They are continuous along the line of the vein, which in some areas was split into two, necessitating parallel extraction and processing areas. The mining of the site developed incrementally along a rake vein; the earthwork, buried and standing remains representing the surviving elements of this activity. The area of protection is made up of a series of earthwork, buried and surface remains which include numerous shafts, open cuts (a vein worked open to daylight) dressing floors (primary lead ore processing areas) buddles (shallow pits, sometimes lined, in gently sloping ground used to separate lead ore from adherent soil by means of gently flowing water) buddle dams (a large earth dam into which was deposited the sludge resulting from buddling), water storage, ore dressing and settling ponds, extensive hillocks (mounds of spoil produced by excavation and dressing and crushing processes) and lengths of retained tramway and mine road. The area is enclosed within long, near parallel belland yard walls, breached in two areas by wall-lined crossings giving access from one side of the rake to the other from adjacent fields. Gautries Rake extends upwards on Gautries Hill in an easterly direction from Perry Dale at SK1061980785, the first evidence of workings being a retained pond, above which is believed to be a collapsed adit entrance (a horizontal opening by which a mine is entered or drained). Beyond this point the land rises steeply to a substantial retained embankment with visible areas of stone-rubble retaining wall along its southern flank. The area at its top (west) end is thought to be a loading platform associated with the early re-working of adjacent hillocks. At SK1035980771 a track bounded by low parallel drystone walls crosses the rake, giving access to fields immediately to the north and south, and to a track running parallel to the belland yard north wall, then in a north-westerly direction downhill to Perryfoot Farm and the Sparrowpit to Castleton road (henceforth referred to as ‘the road’), crossing Coalpithole Rake during the descent. 50 metres to the west of the walled crossing is a dressing floor sited upon a backfilled section of the rake. There are low re-worked hillocks to the south-west of the dressing floor and a capped shaft to the east. Extending approximately 150 metres further west are a series of four shafts with associated low hillocks and spoil heaps extending towards the belland yard south wall. In this area, the rake vein appears as a pair of parallel excavations, the southern part of which is visible as a wide opencut with a capped shaft at its eastern end. Approximately 60 metres further west is a second walled crossing, at which point, on its north side, the track beyond the belland yard north wall commences. For the next 180 metres west of the crossing, sections of the rake vein are visible, the southern one wider than that to the north. A section of mine roadway running between the belland yard south wall and the rake is also visible at this point. At the end of this section at SK0987980790 is a dressing floor with a small circular water storage pond of approximately 0.6 metres depth, and three further ponds, those to the east and centre near circular in shape, whilst the pond furthest west is near-rectangular with a 1 metre earth embankment to the south. These are linked by short leats (an open watercourse taking water away from to and from mine workings or water mill sites) and are believed to be ore processing ponds associated with the dressing floor to the south, which has its edge defined by a steep earthwork surviving up to 2 metres in height. North of the westernmost ore processing pond is an L-shaped rubble bank, surviving up to 0.6 metres in height, to the east of which is a short length of stone-lined channel thought to be a trunk buddle (a variant form of the means of separating lead ore from adherent material). To the north-east of the water storage pond is an oval hollow aligned with the rake vein, believed to be the remains of a collapsed engine shaft. 30 metres west of the dressing floor and ponds is a section of mine road which extends westwards for 200 metres to the western end of the belland yard enclosure. Midway along the section of road, to the north, is a dressing floor with an elongated buddle dam, delineated on its south side by a well-defined earthwork bank surviving up to 1.5 metres in height. On the dressing floor is a stone-lined buddle approximately 2 metres in length and the remains of another stone lined feature, thought possibly to be a second buddle of the type previously described. Also associated with the dressing floor are a circular pond and the remains of walls and rubble banks. On the north side of the rake vein are a series of shafts extending both east and west of the dressing floor area and its associated ponds and banks. This section of the rake was known in the C19 as ‘Fortunate Mine’ and the concentration of features in this area is thought to include its main shaft and dressing floor areas. The western end of the belland yard widens northwards and then returns to a short section of walling which extends south-eastwards to meet the end of the belland yard south wall at SK0957380838. EXTENT OF SCHEDULING The area of protection is almost entirely defined by drystone belland yard walls. From the eastern end of the protected area at SK1061980818 the line steps inside the field boundary wall and extends south for a short distance, then turns to follows the line of the mine workings to the belland yard wall defining the southern limit of the area of protection westwards to a junction of boundary walls at SK0918980800. Here it steps southwards for a short distance, still following the line of the belland yard wall, then continues westwards to SK0959380806, where it turns north-westwards to SK0957380838, then north-eastwards before curving back in an easterly direction, following the line of the belland yard wall to define the remaining extent of the area of protection on its northern boundary to SK1053280791, where it turns to the north-east to meet the Perrydale road at SK1061980818. All modern post and wire fences, road and track surfaces and signage are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath all these features is included. SELECTED SOURCES Article Reference - Author: Barnatt, J - Title: Excavation and Conservation at How Grove, Dirtlow Rake, Castleton, Derbyshire - Date: 2002 - Journal Title: Mining History Book Reference - Author: Barnatt, J and Smith, K - Title: The Peak District - Date: 2004 Book Reference - Author: Barnatt, J. and Penny, R. - Title: The Lead Legacy. The prospects for the Peak District's Mining Heritage. - Date: 2004 Book Reference - Author: Rieuwerts, J.H - Title: Lead Mining in Derbyshire: History, Development and Drainage. Vol.2 Millers Dale to Alport and Dovedale - Date: 2008 Book Reference - Author: Rieuwerts,J.H. - Title: Lead Mining In Derbyshire: History, Development and Drainage. 4. The area south of the Via Gellia - Date: 2012 Unpublished Title Reference - Author: John Barnatt - Title: Lathkill Dale National Nature Reserve Archaeological Survey - Date: 2005 Article Reference - Author: Barnatt, J. Bevan, B and Edmonds, M. - Title: 'Gardoms Edge: a landscape through time. - Date: 2002 - Journal Title: Antiquity Article Reference - Author: Barnatt, J - Title: High Rake Mine, Little Hucklow Derbyshire excavation and conservation at an important C19 mine. - Date: 2011 - Journal Title: Mining History Book Reference - Author: Rieuwerts, J - Title: Lead Mining In Derbyshire:History, Development and Drainage - Date: 2010 Unpublished Title Reference - Author: Chitty, G - Title: Monuments Protection Programme: The Lead Industry Step 4 Report - Date: 1995 Unpublished Title Reference - Author: Cranstone, D. - Title: Monuments Protection Programme: The Lead Industry Step 1 Report - Date: 1992 Unpublished Title Reference - Author: Cranstone,D. - Title: Monuments Protection Programme: The Lead Industry Step 3 Report - Date: 1994 Book Reference - Author: Rieuwerts, J.H. - Title: Lead Mining in Derbyshire: History,Development and Drainage. Vol 1. Castelton to the River Wye. - Date: 2007

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Sources (1)

  • Scheduling record: English Heritage. 2013. Scheduling Notification: Gautries Rake. List entry no. 1412938. SM Cat. No. 548.



Grid reference Centred SK 1009 8082 (1062m by 159m)
Map sheet SK18SW

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Record last edited

Aug 21 2013 9:53AM

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