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Monument record MDR2228 - Odin Mine, Castleton

Type and Period (11)

  • (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1250 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Georgian to Victorian - 1825 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Stuart to Victorian - 1663 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

Odin Mine is a Medieval/Post-Medieval lead mine that has alleged Roman and Anglo-Saxon origins. Odin Mine (Lead). (2) Overgrown spoil heaps on both sides of the road indicate the area of mining, disused for some one hundred years. There is a strong local tradition that they were worked from Roman times, but neither this, nor a Saxon origin could be substantiated. (4) Odin Mine is reputed to have been worked in Saxon, if not Roman times but the first recorded evidence of work here is in 1663 when the workings had apparently extended far enough for there to be a dispute about drainage. The mine was worked almost continuously throughout the 18th century but the drainage sough, proposed in 1772, does not appear to have been completed until about 1837. Knowles shaft at Odin Mine is still open, though flooded, and was originally 240ft deep to the south. The adjacent hillocks provide a variety of minerals but they did not all come from the mine as ores were brought here for crushing and washing from some miles away. The mid 19th century crushing wheel with iron tyre and circular iron track have been preserved (see illustration card). (5) The monument includes the area of the mine located on the limestone south east of Mam Tor together with its associated ore works. The ore works lie to the east of the road and include dressing floors and areas of dressing waste and a crushing circle used in the breaking down of lead ore. East of the dressing area, there are two shafts that share a large shaft mound with platforms for winding gear. West of the road, the mine workings include an impressive opencut (an open working along a lead vein) which partly utilised a natural feature known as Odin Gorge. Heaps of spoil from these workings occur north of the opencut. A particular feature of this part of Odin Mine is its water management works which include a leat or water channel running parallel to the opencut on its north side. Odin Mine is a multi-period mine of considerable longevity. Even if claims that lead was mined during the tenth century are discounted, there remains good documentary evidence for the use of the mine, under its present name by 1260. Limestone was certainly being worked by 1600 and at least part of the opencut can be proven to be in existence by 1660. The mine was in continuous production from 1704 to 1867 and may have been worked continuously from at least as early as 1660. In 1663 a drainage sough was driven westward from the mine and was completed by 1670. (7, 11) The Odin lead mine complex includes the remains of a mid 19th century horse-operated ore crushing circle, which comprises a cast iron track and coarse gritstone crushing wheel with an iron tyre. (8) Reputedly worked during the Danish occupation of the area in the pre-Conquest period, there is a reference to the 'entrance to Odin' in 1260 which is taken to mean Odin mine. The mine was certainly in work by 1600, in the limestone, and by 1660 at least part of the opencut at SK 13403345 was in existence. The surface works at SK 13308340, involving the diversion of the stream which otherwise would have flowed into these opencuts, must have been initiated by this time as well. In 1663 a drainage sough was driven westwards from Odin mine, through the shale strata and was completed in 1669-1670. Between 1750 and 1800 a one mile long cartgate was driven for haulage, part of which is still accessible. The mine was continuously worked from 1704 to 1867, an unusually long period for a lead mine in Derbyshire. It may have been worked from as early as 1660 continuously. The mine has been driven through a very complex geology and there is good mineralisation to be seen within it still. There is extensive documentation available for Odin mine, the entrance to which, with its crushing circle, is scheduled. The engine sough, with its attendant shafts, to the west of Odin (SK 12758330) and part of the Odin complex was driven into the shale seeking the mineralisation which appeared and disappeared because of the complexities of the limestone and shale bedding and their subsequent faulting. (9) To the east is Knowles Shaft, which entered Odin Sough and was dug in 1816-1821. The shaft existed previously and was probably sunk in 1712 and then deepened in the 18th century. A small mound is the site of a winding gin. To the west of the stream is an ore-crushing circle erected in c.1823 which comprises a gritstone wheel with an iron tyre with a circular iron track upon which it ran. Odin Mine is documented to have been in existence in the mid 13th century. Mining was continuous from the early 17th century until 1869 when it closed. (10) Surface features to the east include a fine crushing circle/wheel with a rare iron track and 'tyre', a gin circle with associated run-in/filled shafts, a disturbed belland yard wall and disturbed dressing floors/hillocks. Nearby there is the Knowlesgate Sough bolt with a line of sough shaft hillocks between it and the mine. West of the road is an opencut into the hillside, with a small entrance to a side vein to the north side, with a diverted stream in a leat running above and to the side of the main opencut. This gives access to the underground stopes, a slab-roofed level and a drystone arched/slab roofed cart gate. Further west are spaced shafts and hillocks. There is also a 20th century tramway bed. Odin Mine is documented as active in the second half of the 13th century. (14) The sough tail is in Castleton village at SK 150 832 (SMR 3369). Circular cast-iron track and gritstone crushing wheel with a detached iron rim dating from the 1820s. Lead ore separation from limestone is evident by tailings. This is the best preserved former horse-operated crushing circle in the Peak District. Ore was taken from here to Bradwell for smelting. (17)

Sources/Archives (17)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Bateman, T. 1848. Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire. pp 124-125.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1955. 6".
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Cameron, K. 1959. The Place-Names of Derbyshire, Part I. English Place-Name Society, Vol. XXVII.. p 58.
  • <4> Personal Observation: F1 FRH 03-SEP-65.
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: Ford, T & Rieuwerts, J. 1968. Lead Mining in the Peak District, first edition. pp 51-52.
  • <6> Article in serial: 1970. P.M.H.S..
  • <7> Bibliographic reference: 1978. DOE (IAM) AMs Record Form.
  • <8> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D. 1984. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology - A Gazetteer of Sites. Part I. Borough of High Peak. p 10.
  • <9> Verbal communication: Anon. Personal communication. Rieuwerts: 1990.
  • <10> Unpublished document: Barnatt, J (PDNPA). 1993. Winnats Head Farm, Castleton, Derbyshire, archaeological survey, 1993. No. 2, p 1.
  • <11> Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1996. Scheduling Notification. 27223. Cat. No.: 258.
  • <12> Index: NDAT. 0595.
  • <13> Index: Council for British Archaeology (CBA). CBA Industrial Archaeology Report Card. Odin Mine, Castleton.
  • <14> Bibliographic reference: Barnatt, J. 2004. An Inventory of Regionally & Nationally Important Lead Mining Sites in the Peak District. Vol. 2: Corpus of Sites. No. 1, pp 3-5.
  • <15> Photograph: Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA). Slide Collection. 3327.1-5.
  • <16> Photograph: Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA). Black and white photograph collection. 534.1-3.
  • <17> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D (ed.). 2004. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology: A Gazetteer of Sites, Part I, Borough of High Peak (second edition). pp. 13-14.



Grid reference Centred SK 13509 83467 (319m by 191m) (Approximate)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

  • EDR3436
  • EDR3709
  • EDR790

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Record last edited

Mar 17 2015 4:36PM

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