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Site record MDR3252 - Lead mining remains, Carsington Pasture, Carsington

Type and Period (3)

  • (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

Carsington pasture for some reason escaped the Parliamentary Enclosure Acts. The land is devoid of stone enclosure walls and contains some very interesting disused lead mines of the early 17th century. Now [1974] in use as grazing land. (1, 2) The lead mines appear to be later than the underlying series of bank and ditch field boundaries (see SMR 3205). (3) Lead mines on Carsington Pasture included Perseverance Mine, Hewardstone Mine, Brett Knowl Mine and Young Flaxpiece Mine. (4) Extensive hillocks and shafts survive on Carsington Pasture, although some upper areas have been reworked. Larger mines include Great Rake, Nickalum and Perseverance. Great Rake Mine had an early 20th century horizontal winding engine house; concrete mounting beds for the engine and other equipment survive. There is also a displaced crushing wheel, the winch and earthworks of an inclined tramway, and a possible ruined powder house. Within an earlier flat dressing floor are ruined coes and other buildings, and a probable gin circle. Nickalum Mine has a walled belland yard. Nearby there are large buddle dams. Perseverance Mine has shafts, a gin circle, coes, a stone-lined buddle and a buddle dam. Most of the other mines were small and a variety of surviving features are associated with these, including small belland yards, hillock-top dressing floors, coes and water storage and/or ore-dressing ponds. Capped shafts across the area give access to a variety of underground vein and pipe workings. Rare direct relationships with relict boundaries suggest that lead mining here started at a medieval or earlier date. (5) In early summer 2004 the eastern half of Carsington Pasture was subject to extensive damage as a result of being used for the National Landrover Trials. A large number of hollows and hillocks had deep wheel ruts across them. In addition, one ruined coe was robbed slightly to fill a hollow and another site had a wall clipped, doing minor damage. (6) A walkover survey in 2006, carried out in association with a proposed wind farm development, identified numerous lead mines and shafts to the south and centre of the study area, with some of the larger shafts capped by concrete. A few of the shaft 'heads' were surrounded by low, ruinous drystone walls. A derelict building and associated pit head were identified as being the remains of Breck Hollow Mine. In addition, a series of water-filled hollows or ponds were observed, at least some of which were probably former sand pits. (7) The remains of lead mining on Carsington Pastures include surface alignments of rakes and scrins which can be followed for hundreds of metres by the linear distribution of spoil heaps, shafts and hollows. Foundations and low, ruined limestone walls mark the remains of coes, small buildings were the miners stored their tools and ore. The Romans may have exploited the lead on Carsington Pastures, but no workings, either on the surface or below ground, have been identified as Roman. Although there are documentary references to lead from 'Carson' in the 16th century, little is known about lead mining in Carsington before the end of the 18th century. However, from 1792 there is a fairly complete series of ore accounts for many mines within Carsington, including Flaxpiece, Breck Hollow, Conway Knowl, Swang and Waterholes on the Pastures. An early 20th century Barmaster's map allows the surface alignments of many of the veins to be identified on the ground. (8) In advance of a proposed wind farm development, a draft survey of lead mining activity was carried out in the vicinity of four proposed turbines. This included a descent into Breck Hollow Mine, where one of two associated coes has a climbing shaft at its centre. (9) Excavation of a number of trial trenches in the north-eastern part of Carsington Pasture did not identify any significant archaeological remains. A trench through two parallel linear banks showed them to be possible post-medieval field breaks. (10) Part of this area was scheduled in March 2013. The scheduled monument is defined by two areas of protection, one on Carsington Pasture and the other on land between the Pasture and the village of Brassington. For full details, see the scheduled monument description. (11) At Carsington Pasture there is a newly identified buddle and a leat, a large eastern part of the site has become heavily rutted after off-raod vehicular events; while damaged, most features still survive. (12) Typical area of disturbed ground to the east of the Hognaston to Brassington road indicating an area of former intense lead-mining activity on the western edge of Carsington Pasture. Disturbed ground to north end of Carsington Pasture indicates a former lead-mining shaft. The former tramway to Upper Golconda Mine formerly diverged to the north west but both tramway and mine are subsumed by modern industrial development. (13) A topographic and walkover survey that identified various traces of lead mining activities along with a trackway. (14)

Sources/Archives (14)

  • <1> Index: North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust (NDAT). North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust Index. (un-numbered).
  • <2> Unpublished document: County Treasure Recording Form. 11.1.
  • <3> Article in serial: Preston, F. L.. 1961. Transactions of the Hunter Archaeological Society 1961. Volume 8 Part 3. p162.
  • <4> Article in serial: Slack, R. 1992. 'Mines and boundary stones at Carsington Pasture', Bulletin of the Peak District Mines Historical Society. Volume 11, No. 6, pp 275-276.
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: Barnatt, J. 2004. An Inventory of Regionally & Nationally Important Lead Mining Sites in the Peak District. Vol. 2: Corpus of Sites. Site 119, pp 167-169.
  • <6> Article in serial: Heathcote, C (PDMHS). 2005. 'Peak District mines, observations and discoveries, part 13', Peak District Mines Historical Society Newsletter. p 10.
  • <7> Unpublished document: Oxford Archaeology North. 2006. An archaeological desk-based assessment and rapid visual inspection of the proposed development area for a wind farm at Carsington, near Matlock, Derbyshire (NGR 424824, 354269). p 8-10, Plates 5, 6.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Rieuwerts, J. 2006. The History of Lead Mining on a part of Carsington Pastures: Exploitation of Pocket Sand Deposits and the Overall Geological Setting. SMR Doc. No. 1024.
  • <9> Unpublished document: Wirksworth Mines Research Group. 2006. A draft survey of lead mining activity in the vicinity of the four proposed turbines on Carsington Pastures. SMR Doc. No. 1025.
  • <10> Unpublished document: Brightman, J, Burrill, C, Sandiford, T & Shakarian, J (ARS). 2008. Carsington Pasture Derbyshire. Report on Pre-Determination Archaeological Evaluation Work.
  • <11> Scheduling record: English Heritage. 2013. Scheduling Notification: Carsington Pasture, Nickalum, Perseverance, West Head, Break Hollow and other small mines and medieval field boundaries. List entry no. 1412922.
  • <12> Bibliographic reference: Barnatt, J. 2005. Updated Inventory of Regionally & Nationally Important Lead Mining Sites in the Peak District.. p 3 & 5, site no. 119.
  • <13> Bibliographic reference: Fowkes, D (ed.). 1997. Derbyshire Industrial Archaeology. A Gazetteer of Sites. Part IV. Derbyshire Dales.
  • <14> Unpublished document: Brightman, J and T Sandiford (ARS Ltd). 2008. A Contour and Walkover Survey of Carsington Pasture, Derbyshire.



Grid reference Centred SK 24 54 (2126m by 1409m) Approximate

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (6)

  • EDR2569
  • EDR1928
  • EDR2428
  • EDR2429
  • EDR2430
  • EDR5017

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Record last edited

Dec 13 2022 2:57PM

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