SK 17826800. True Blue Lead Mine has close associations with the Magpie Mine and was at one time run by the same company. It has a good gin circle and a washing meer and has been virtually undisturbed since circa 1840. (2). Complementary to Magpie Mine as a lead mining site. (1).
True Blue Mine, Ashford, operational from circa 1800-1840. It now comprises a shaft and gin circle, with an enclosing wall. There are also other shafts, with coes, ponds and buddles. (3). The main shaft is capped, and is at least 90 ft deep. (6).
The mine became a scheduled monument on the 15th November 1985. True Blue Mine is situated on the limestone plateau of Derbyshire on the shelves south of the Wye valley. The monument includes a walled enclosure containing the remains of a small 18th to early 20th century nucleated lead mine comprising both mineworkings and associated ore works. Further lead mining remains survive in the fields around the monument but have not been included in the scheduling due to their isolation from the core area.
The monument includes a complex of earthworks which represent spoil heaps, dressing waste and shaft mounds containing shafts with rubble caps. On the north side of the enclosure, a sub-rectangular pit measuring c.3m x c.2m is interpreted as a settling tank used in the separation of lead ore from unwanted materials. On the east side, there is a circular pond. This pond was not used for washing lead ore but is contemporary with an earlier phase of mineworking characterised by a mixed mining and farming economy.
Throughout the site can be seen the collapsed remains of small drystone structures known as coes. These include a pair of coes built against the western boundary of the enclosure and a range of three coes, each measuring c.3m square, extending east to west across the middle of the enclosure. Coes were used for a variety of mine-related purposes but it is likely that this range was used in ore processing as it occurs next to a level area which extends to the pond and is interpreted as a dressing floor. The remains of another coe survive against the north side of a circular enclosure located near the south west corner of the monument. This feature, which has a diameter of c.10m, represents a walled gin-circle and was originally the site of horse-powered winding gear. A depression in the ground marks the centre post of the gin while on the north side of the enclosure, there is a shaft capped with concrete sleepers. The well preserved stone lining round the top of this shaft is apparent through the sleepers. Between the gin-circle and the western edge of the mine there is a hollow way which leads to the range of coes noted above.
Some of the mine workings indicate an 18th century date. However, some of the buildings are documented as dating to the late 19th century when the mine was worked by George Goodwin of Monyash. In 1913 the mine was taken over by E Garlick and was worked by the Magpie and True Blue United Mining Company until production ceased shortly afterwards. The mine does not exist in isolation but is part of an extensive and important lead mining zone which includes Magpie Mine to the west and Magshaw Mine to the east, mixed with a pattern of field barns and smallholdings deriving from a mixed mining/farming economy. One such field barn borders the mine on its east side but is not included in the scheduling. To the north of the monument there is a walled
greenway called Trueblue Lane which served as a packhorse route. This lane connects with tracks leading westwards towards Sheldon and eastwards towards Magshaw Mine. A small enclosure opposite the junction of Trueblue Lane and Kirkdale Lane occurs next to latter and may have served as a corral for packhorses. (7).
This small mine site within a belland yard includes hillocks and hollocks across much of the field, a capped shaft, a walled gin circle, ruins of an exceptional group of four to six coes, one with a possible collapsed climbing shaft, a dressing floor, a very large dew or water storage pond, a possible stone-lined buddle and possible ore-dressing ponds and pits. An adjacent two-storey building is presumably a field barn. (8).