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Monument record MDR1863 - High Rake and Washers Rake, Windmill, Little Hucklow

Type and Period (8)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

High Rake is named on the 1st ed. 25" Ordnance Survey map of c. 1880, with numerous earthworks being depicted. At c. SK 1638 7777 are several features including buildings and two chimneys. (1) To the west of Windmill there are many hillocks and surface features - the remains of lead mining. They are the finest untouched range of surface remains along a rake/vein in Derbyshire. The vein is one of the largest in the mining field, and was worked to great depths. Buddles and gin circles are still visible along with the remains of a shaft and the site of pumping and winding engines (2, 3) Grindstones for the horse gin once located at c. SK 161 778 have been taken from their original position on the rake to the car park of the Bull's Head, Little Hucklow. (4) An ambitious project was started at the High Rake Mine near Great Hucklow in 1832. The old miners had been content to work this portion of the Hucklow Edge Vein in the top beds of limestone overlying the toadstone. However, in 1832 the High Rake Mining Company was formed with the object of sinking through the toadstone into the underlying limestone. By 1852 this shaft had been sunk a total depth of 120 fathoms but was still in toadstone, and the mine was eventually abandoned after losing over £19,000. (9) On High Rake, there are largely reworked but still sometimes high hillocks. Amongst these, at High Rake Mine, there are the footings of two engine houses and attached boiler houses, with flues, chimneys and a reservoir (a Cornish pumping engine and a two storey winder), together with a cobbled coal yard, a crushing wheel and the site of an iron crushing track with ruined side pavement, a capstan/large gin circle, the footings of a smithy/carpenter's shop and a mine office and a large oval engine shaft with gritstone and limestone lining (capped but with viewing window). To the north there are good examples of hillocks and hollows on several veins, including Washers Rake to the north of High Rake. The High Rake shaft, which is 220m deep, is noteworthy for the fine gritstone ashlar lining where it passes through toadstone at depth and which is still visible in the section just above the summer water level (about 100m down). Excavation and conservation at the site was underway in 2004. (10). No date is known for the beginnings of lead mining at High Rake, but in about 1577 Robert Dolphin, a Bradwell miner, worked lead ore in Little Hucklow Waste - this could well be a reference to High Rake, which was situated within the Little Hucklow Waste. A map of the mid 1730s shows five shafts lying on the Rake between the Tideswell-Castleton road and Windmill hamlet. In 1768 a decision was made to investigate the possibility of payable ore at greater depths; prior to this, workings would mainly have been in the upper limestone. By 1784 an Engine Shaft had been sunk to a depth of 68 fathoms (408 feet). A series of sumps, climbing gates and stopes took the final depth of exploitation to 87 fathoms. Despite the depth, drainage does not seem to have been a major problem. After 1786, little is known about the mine for c. 50 years, with available evidence suggesting that a little work was done in the higher levels and nothing at depth. However, in 1834 the High Rake Mining Company was formed 'for the purpose of sinking through the Toadstone to work the vein the underlying second limestone'. This proved to be a disastrous failure. The shaft took eight years to complete and after sinking 120 fathoms the toadstone had still not been bottomed. The Company was wound up in 1852, having sustained losses of at least £16,000, and the Cornish Engine and winding engine were sold to Mixon Copper Mine in Staffordshire. In the early 20th century the engine and boiler houses and the chimneys, although ruined, were still substantially complete. (11) A full report of excavation at High Rake Mine has now been published. (12) That section of High and Washers Rake containing the earthwork, buried, standing and rock-cut remains of High Rake mine has been scheduled. See the scheduled monument record for a full description of the site. (13) On going archaeological excavations at High Rake Mine have exposed the remains of an impressive part-buried engine house with condenser pit, boiler house, flue and chimney. (14) High Rake Lead Mines have visible remains of foundations of a large winding shaft, capped with concrete. A public footpath runs along the rake. (15)

Sources/Archives (15)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1882. OS County Series, 1st edition, scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile). Derbyshire XVI.1/2.
  • <2> Index: NDAT. 0996. 0996.
  • <3> Index: NDAT. 1396. 1396.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Cooper, L B. 1969. Notes.
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: Nixon, F. 1969. The Industrial Archaeology of Derbyshire.
  • <6> Index: Rieuwerts, J. 1970. Peak Park Treasures: C25.
  • <7> Index: Willies, L M. 1974. Peak Park Treasures: C112.
  • <8> Index: Council for British Archaeology (CBA). CBA Industrial Archaeology Report Card. Highrake Mine.
  • <9> Bibliographic reference: Ford, T & Rieuwerts, J. 1983. Lead Mining in the Peak District, 3rd edition. p 44.
  • <10> Bibliographic reference: Barnatt, J. 2004. An Inventory of Regionally & Nationally Important Lead Mining Sites in the Peak District. Vol. 2: Corpus of Sites. No.30, pp 44-48.
  • <11> Bibliographic reference: Rieuwerts, J. 2007. Lead Mining in Derbyshire. History, Development and Draining. Vol. 1: Castleton to the River Wye. pp 88-92.
  • <12> Article in serial: Barnatt, J. 2011. 'High Rake Mine, Little Hucklow, Derbyshire: Excavations and Conservation at an Important Nineteenth Century Mine', Mining History: Bulletin of the Pek District Mines Historical Society. Volume 18, Nos 1 & 2.
  • <13> Scheduling record: English Heritage. 2013. Scheduling Notification: High Rake Mine. List entry no. 1412940.
  • <14> Bibliographic reference: Barnatt, J. 2005. Updated Inventory of Regionally & Nationally Important Lead Mining Sites in the Peak District.. p 4, site no. 30.
  • <15> Unpublished document: Jordan, P, Hughes, V & Symonds, J. 1996. Archaeological Field Evaluation of Land at Avenue Works, Wingerworth, Chesterfield. HER Doc. No. 226.



Grid reference Centred SK 16548 77832 (1580m by 333m)

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Record last edited

Jul 31 2017 3:11PM

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