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Authority English Heritage
Other Ref SM Cat. No. 550
Date assigned Thursday, March 21, 2013
Date last amended


SUMMARY OF MONUMENT Mining complex consisting of Arbourseats Veins and Sough, Wardlow Sough, Nay Green Mine and washing ponds, Hading Vein and Seedlow Rake. REASONS FOR DESIGNATION The mining complex consisting of Arbourseats Veins and Sough, Wardlow Sough, Nay Green Mine and washing ponds, Hading Vein and Seedlow Rake, dating from the C18 and C19 but with earlier origins, is scheduled for the following principal reasons: * Survival: it is a well-preserved site displaying a diversity of C18 and C19 surviving features. Many other mining sites have been extensively reworked during later phases of activity, especially in the C20, obscuring or eradicating earlier evidence, whereas the limited area that was reworked at Arbourseats has ensured the survival of many earlier features across the monument. * Diversity: the site retains a diverse range of C18 and C19 features representing the extraction and dressing process. Such a range has the potential to enhance our knowledge and understanding of the full process flow of the industry, the methods used, the chronological depth of the site and the place it held in the wider economic and social landscape; * Rarity: the large group of Nay Green ore washing ponds, fed by a stone-lined goit from Wardlow Sough, is a rare feature; * Documentary Evidence: documentary sources exist that give some information about the mining activity at Arbourseats, and the survey of the site included in the Lead Legacy publication (2004) is an important archaeological document; * Group Value: the clustering of mine complexes at Arbourseats Veins and Sough, Wardlow Sough, and Nay Green Mine and washing ponds, 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. * Potential: the diverse range of components represented at the site have the potential to explain the development of the mine working, possibly from the C17, and its chronological range as well as 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, p. 49). Medieval mining is almost equally elusive in the archaeological record, although there are two major pieces of evidence from this period 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 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. During the C12 and C14 documentary sources provide evidence of 11 and possibly 12 mining sites of one or more workings in Derbyshire; most if not all would have been worked opencast (veins which were worked from the surface to a depth of c30-40 feet) and would eventually have gone further underground. 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. 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. 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 advance. 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 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. 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. Arbourseats Mine, Veins and Sough, Nay Green Mine and Wardlow Sough are all situated within Litton Liberty. During the C17 there were many miners residing at Litton but they worked at mines in Tideswell and Hucklow liberties, and there are very few references to actual mines in Litton as records have not survived. There was a dispute at Backdale Side Rake in 1630, and although Backdale is untraced, it may have been an earlier name for Tansley Dale. It is known from documentary evidence that in 1729 lead ore was being measured at Wardlow Sough Vein, in the east part of the area of protection, where one level extended for 2700ft. Nay Green Mine (sometimes known as Neptune Mine), which included Weather Slack Vein, Bramwell Scrin and two un-named veins, referred to as ‘North Veins’, was also worked in the early C18. Neptune Level (a recent name) was driven into one of the two North Veins. It is thought that the mine was worked during the 1840s and 1850s. Output appears to have been erratic which was typical of a small-medium mining venture. In 1860 Arbourseats Vein was set out by the Barmaster for a length of 25 meers ranging west from Cressbrook Dale and terminating at the upper end of Tansley Dale, close to the engine shaft. Hading Vein, which ranges along the south side of Arbourseats Vein, measured 18 meers in length. There is little documentary evidence about Arbourseats Vein and nothing about the sough. The earliest written evidence, which dates to 1834, shows that Arbourseats Mine had been worked to a depth of 40 fathoms but that no toadstone had been encountered. Toadstone is the collective name applied to several types of igneous rock. Other records show that more men worked at the mine in 1846 but that by 1853 the mine was not being worked at all, and in 1856 it was observed that Arbourseats was unrenumerative. Certainly by the publication of the first edition Ordnance Survey (OS) map of 1880, the mining features are all labelled ‘Old Lead Mine’. The ruined building on the north side at the west end of Tansley Dale was probably an agricultural building, rather than a coe (a stone-built shed, shelter or store found at most mining sites), as it first appears on the 1922 OS map. Parts of the Arbourseats Vein above the sough entrance were reworked in the mid-C20 for gangue minerals which accompany metallic ores in a vein or deposit. DETAILS The scheduled area is the large mining complex including Arbourseats Veins and Sough, Wardlow Sough, Nay Green Mine and washing floors, Hading Vein and Seedlow Rake. The area is approximately 21 hectares in extent and is centred at grid reference SK1729674712. The mining features are located along Tansley Dale which runs east to west for approximately 0.5km and joins at the eastern end with Cressbrook Dale which runs southwards. The monument survives as a series of earthworks, buried deposits and standing features which include belland yard walls (walls built around a contaminated area to keep cattle away), ruined coes (stone built shelters or sheds), open cuts (veins worked open to daylight), dressing floors (areas where ore is processed, ie, crushed or washed), ponds, shafts, water channels, and soughs (a horizontal channel for draining water from mines). Arbourseats Vein ranges west from Cressbrook Dale and terminates at the upper (western) end of Tansley Dale, close to an engine shaft, which is observable in aerial photographs. Access into the mine and sough is by an open cut on the western slope of Cressbrook Dale. Hading Vein ranges along the south side of Arbourseats Vein and extends further up to the belland yard at the west end of Tansley Dale. Between Arbourseats Vein and Hading Vein at the eastern end is a mining feature that has been interpreted as wall footings. Further to the north, in the eastern half of Tansley Dale, is a shorter, un-named, vein that divides into two at the western end. On the north side of Tansley Dale, Seedlow Rake ranges from Wardlow Sough in Cressbrook Dale in the east and terminates at the belland yard at the west end of Tansley Dale. To the north of Seedlow Rake another un-named scrin (a vein under c0.5m in width) ranges south-eastwards obliquely down the side of Cressbrook Dale and is clearly evident as an earthwork. At the west end of Tansley Dale there is a belland yard, roughly semi-circular in shape, with a run-in shaft, gin circle and coe. The coe is shown on the 1880 OS map and survives as a ruined stone structure. Slightly further east, on the north side of Tansley Dale, is the remains of a possible belland yard wall. Further to the east are two open cuts along Seedlow Rake, and along the bottom of Tansley Dale is Arbourseats Mine, centred at grid reference SK1708874745, which is referred to on the 1880 OS map as ‘Old Lead Mine’. This concentrated area of activity contains the earthwork remains of mining features interpreted as a small belland yard with a flat-topped dressing floor hillock, a ruined coe, a grilled but blocked shaft, a water storage pond, and a possible small rectangular ore-dressing pit. The 1880 OS map clearly shows the belland yard, approximately rectangular in shape, and the coe within. Further east, at the confluence with Cressbrook Dale, a line of very denuded shaft hillocks run from the north-east extent of Tansley Dale down into the valley floor. They are closely spaced and have been interpreted as air shafts on a very early sough. Slightly to the north of this feature an un-named scrin ranges south eastwards obliquely down the side of Cressbrook Dale. Parallel to this on the south side is a drystone walled channel which is recorded in the Lead Legacy publication as leading to an underground level (or perhaps sough) with an internal shaft down to unstable workings. At the foot of the walled channel is a large flat-topped dressing floor hillock, centred at grid reference SK1720874869. To the east of this feature, near the bottom of the east slope of Cressbrook Dale are two cross-cut levels to the vein nearby to the north. The historic OS maps label a total of seven old lead mines along Cressbrook Dale some of which are apparent as scrins. About mid-way along the valley near the bottom of the east slope is Wardlow Sough and goit (an open drain at surface that takes water from the sough to a stream or river). The sough, which is now blocked, has a stone-lined channel which would have fed water into the series of large Nay Green ore washing ponds located further south in the valley floor, centred at grid reference SK1744974618. Nearby to the east is Nay Green Mine where there is a long accessible level with internal shafts to depth (The Lead Legacy, 2004). On the west side of the valley is the run-in Arbourseats sough tail and a series of open cuts along Arbourseats Vein and Hading Vein. The spoil from these workings part-blocks the valley bottom and creates a dam for the Nay Green washing ponds. EXTENT OF SCHEDULING The area of protection includes all the mining features, and the ground beneath, within the site which is defined by dry stone walling on the west, north and south sides of Tansley Dale. At the confluence of Cressbrook Dale it takes in the area of mining activity to the north at grid reference SK1726674913 and to the south at grid reference SK1742974538, and is defined on the east side by dry stone walling. Excluded from the scheduling are all modern fences, fence posts, any made-up surfaces of trackways, and the ruined agricultural building on the north side at the west end of Tansley Dale; although the land beneath all of these 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 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 Unpublished Title Reference - Author: Chitty, G - Title: Monuments Protection Programme: The Lead Industry Step 4 - Date: 1995 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 Unpublished Title Reference - Author: John Barnatt - Title: Lathkill Dale National Nature Reserve Archaeological Survey - Date: 2005 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 National Grid Reference: SK1721874708

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Sources (1)

  • Scheduling record: English Heritage. 2013. Scheduling Notification: Arbourseats Veins and Sough, Wardlow Sough, Nay Green Mine and Washing Floors, Hading Vein and Seedlow Rake. List entry no. 1412782. SM Cat. No. 550.



Grid reference Centred SK 1721 7470 (889m by 457m)
Map sheet SK17SE

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Record last edited

Jul 31 2013 4:06PM

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