Keys to the Past

Derwent Lead Mines (Hunstanworth)

Although earlier lead mining is known in the Ramshaw valley, possibly by agents of the Duke of Buckingham in the 17th century and by the London Lead Company in the 18th century, the visible remains all relate to the 19th century mining of the valley by the Derwent Lead Mining Company. The Company appointed John Taylor, one of the most accomplished mining engineers of his day to develop and run the mines. He introduced both technology and miners from Cornwall. One notable innovation was the extensive use of water power through dams and wheels which used iron flatrods to power pumps and machinery. The site contains many notable examples of lead mining technology, of especial note are the serpentine flue system from Jeffery's Smelt Mill, and the use of water power already noted above. Lead extraction declined markedly in the late 19th century but the White Heaps mine continued producing fluorspar until the 1980s. Large areas of the site were scheduled as a protected ancient monument in August 1997.

Reference number:D3888
Legal status:Scheduled Monument
  • National Heritage List for England Entry Number: 1015862

See also:
Source of Reference
Local History of Hunstanworth

Disclaimer -

Please note that this information has been compiled from a number of different sources. Durham County Council and Northumberland County Council can accept no responsibility for any inaccuracy contained therein. If you wish to use/copy any of the images, please ensure that you read the Copyright information provided.