This shaft gives access to the upper parts of particularly extensive and important pipe and vein workings. The underground workings contain many mine artefacts and inscriptions, clay fairy rings, coffin levels, an arched level, a railed level, a paved level, barrow ways, stairways, ore chutes, ventilation walls sealed with clay, a walled fang or air duct, dressing floors, buddles, wooden launders, stone-built and clay-lined leats, a wooden pump barrel and an underground forge. (1)
Old Millclose mine was owned by the London Lead CO. from 1720 until 1764 when the workings were flooded and remained so until Edward Miller Wass decided to re-open the mine in 1859 believing there was still ore to be found. As the mine grew it brought further flooding problems and in 1874 and it was forced to close for two years. Wass had prepared for this and opened a new shaft, Warren Carr, 300 ft. deep, which had been sunk in readiness. This shaft became the main focus of activity and remained in use until around 1889. By 1918 the mine had suffered from disputes, strikes and lockouts for two years. In February 1919 the mine was put up for sale. Bradford Vale Mining Co. brought Millclose shaft in late 1919, forming Millclose Mines Ltd. Modern drilling methods were introduced along with dynamite, however, by the end of 1929, the mine was not a success and made a lost that year. Further shafts were sunk in 1925 in anticipation for yet more flooding although in 1936 engineers and miners were laid off as the mines flooded past a level of control. The mine was eventually closed in 1940 after salvage operations. The smelter remained in use until 1941 when the plant was sold to H. J. Enthoven & Sons, who still exist today. (2)
Bibliographic reference: Barnatt, J. 2004. An Inventory of Regionally & Nationally Important Lead Mining Sites in the Peak District. Vol. 2: Corpus of Sites. p 200-1, site no. U25.
Article in serial: North East Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology Society (NEDIAS). 2005. North East Derbyshire Industrial Archaeological Society Newsletter, No. 19, August 2005.
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Centred SK 2603 6113 (26m by 25m)
SOUTH DARLEY, DERBYSHIRE DALES, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Jan 20 2015 12:10PM
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