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Monument record MDR2283 - Oxlow Rake, Castleton and Peak Forest

Type and Period (11)

  • (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)
  • (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)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

Oxlow Rake, which runs from c. SK 1262 8005 to SK 1362 8090 is an extensive linear feature with a number of intermediate concentrations of activity. There are few actual remains along the rake and these are mainly large spoil heaps and open workings. It is similar to the adjacent and slightly divergent Watts Grove vein [SMR 11629]. (1) Lead workings along a rake running south-west to north-east and to the east side of Ox Low hillock, comprising well-preserved shafts, open workings and waste hillocks. Evidence for crushing of rock is found along much of the rake. The earliest documentary evidence is from 1605. (2) Both Oxlow and part of the rake to the north-east known as Clear-the-Way Mine were referred to a being active between 1700 and 1900. (3) The workings are shown on a plan of 1853 and the Ordnance Survey of 1880. (4) The earthwork, buried, standing and rock cut remains of Oxlow Rake, a post-medieval lead mining complex, have now been scheduled. The scheduled area is a linear feature which includes the rake and a number of intermediate concentrations of activity including Old Moor Mine and Clear The Way Mine. Oxlow Rake is aligned north east to south west on ground which gradually slopes to the south west. Geologically, the rake follows the line of lead bearing veins which cut across the Bee Low Limestones and outcrop to the west of Oxlow Rake and Old Moor Mine. Workings on Oxlow Rake have been documented from at least 1709 when it is recorded that `John Bradley's Grove on Oxlow was in production'. However, another branch of Oxlow Rake, known as Daisy or Deasy Rake was recorded on the Castleton enclosure map of 1691 suggesting that lead working in this area started before this date. Surviving remains include belland yard walls (substantial walls built around processing areas in order to prevent cattle straying and eating grass contaminated by lead), ruined coes (stone built shelters or sheds), open cuts (veins worked open to daylight), a bouse team (a bin into which ore was stored before processing), water channels, washing floors, leats, buddling dam (an earth dam used in the process of separating small sized ore from adhering dirt (buddling)), crushing floor (an area where ore was crushed ready for further treatment), gin circle (remains of horse powered winding apparatus) and the remains of a horizontal winding engine. Towards the eastern end of the monument are the remains of Old Moor Mine. Here, a belland yard wall surrounds the remains of a crushing floor, a gin circle and several shafts including the main engine shaft. The shaft mounds are the result of extraction, but despite their long history suggest low level mining technology. Clear The Way Mine which is centred at SK12908038, is enclosed by another belland yard wall which surrounds an area of open cuts and very large undisturbed hillocks of waste material. The remains of an engine shaft which is known to be 330ft (100.5m) deep, survives just south of a large bulge in the northern side of the belland yard wall. To the south west of Clear The Way Mine, and continuing to the south west end of Oxlow Rake, are a series of hillocks made up of limestone deads (waste rock which contains no ore or insufficient quantities to warrant extraction) and finely crushed vein material. The hillocks are particularly large and virtually undisturbed. Steep sided open cuts are also a characteristic feature of this section of the monument. At SK12608010 the well preserved remains of a bouse team associated with the remains of washing floors and water leats are evident. Bouse teams are particularly rare in Derbyshire and are more generally associated with 19th century lead workings in the Northern Pennines. Included in this area of activity are the remains of coes and ore bins and at SK12157980 are the remains of a late 19th century winding engine bed which is believed to have been used in conjunction with a trial sinking beneath the Peak Forest Sill which outcrops immediately to the west. (5) On Oxlow Rake, at SK 1289 8040, there is an excellent example of a large flat-topped buddle dam situated at the head of a dry valley that is a southern tributary of Conies Dale. Close by are the dressing floors of Clear the Way Mine. This fine stretch of surface remains following a large rake, now a Scheduled Monument, also has many interesting features nearby, including large opencuts in the vein, water storage and buddling ponds and ruined coes. Also on Oxlow Rake one of the damaged dressing floors, at SK 1255 8000, has a series of interesting features. Upslope there is the well-known semicircular bouse team or re hopper, while below there are fragmentary remains of leats, buddling features and buildings. More intriguing, to the north-west side there is a small flat-topped hillock with a central depression and concentric hollow and a channel leading to the outer edge of the hillock. It is not a crushing circle and is too small for a gin circle. (6) Fine examples of large hillocks and opencuts. Some of the hillocks are flat-toped and were used as dressing floors. The area is walled by five large linear belland yards. Few shafts and associated features remains visible. There are several examples of ruined coes, water leats, storage , ore-dressing ponds, buddle dams and a rare feature of a bouse teem at Nether Oxlow. There may also be the footings of an engine house. Many of the hillocks have been disturbed with clear reworking of probably 16th or 18th century date. (7)

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Verbal communication: Rieuwerts, J. 1988. Pers. Comm..
  • <2> Unpublished document: Barnatt, J and Riewerts, J. 1995. The Lead Mine Affected Lamdscape of the Peak District.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Ford, T & Rieuwerts, J. 1983. Lead Mining in the Peak District, 3rd edition. pp. 49-50.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Bevan, B & Sidebottom, P (PDNPA). 1995. Rowter Farm, Castleton & Woodside Farm, Oxlow End, Peak Forest, Derbyshire, archaeological survey, 1995.
  • <5> Scheduling record: English Heritage. 2000. Scheduling Notification: Oxlow Rake. 29961. Cat. No.476.
  • <6> Article in serial: 2002. 'Peak District Mines - Observations and Discoveries - Part 2', Peak District Mines Historical Society Ltd Newsletter. No 102, p 7. Nos 2 & 3.
  • <7> Bibliographic reference: Barnatt, J. 2004. An Inventory of Regionally & Nationally Important Lead Mining Sites in the Peak District. Vol. 2: Corpus of Sites. No. 12, pp. 24-25.
  • <8> Photograph: Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA). Slide Collection. 1996: 11628.1-11.



Grid reference Centred SK 12860 80331 (1530m by 1325m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR3893

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External Links (0)

Record last edited

Jan 9 2017 3:47PM

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