Mines and Quarries in the Ullswater Valley
by Tim Clarke
This journey describes the mining and quarrying sites in the Ullswater Valley from Kirkstone Pass at the head of the Ullswater Valley northwards to Blowick.
Caiston Glen Lead Mine
Caudale Moor Slate Quarry
Caudale Moor Slate Quarry was active from the mid 1700s to the 1930s. The slates were transported down the mountainside on sledges - a highly skilled and dangerous task. It is described in James Clarke's 'Survey of the Lakes', published in 1789: 'The slate is laid upon a barrow which is called a Trail Barrow. It has two inclining handles or ‘stangs’ between which the man is placed. He has nothing more to do than keep it in its track and prevent it from running too fast. Those who are dextrous may not sometimes set foot on the ground for 10 or 12 yards together. But the barrow will often runaway with an unskillful person - which was my case when I made an attempt to stop. The length that is carried is about half a mile.’
Hartsop Hall Lead Mine
Hartsop Hall Mine is probably the oldest in the valley. After the disbanding of the Mines Royal in 1696, all revenue from mining operations went to the landowner rather than some being paid to the Queen. This change made mining a much more attractive commercial proposition. The records show that a 21year lease to operate the mine was signed in 1696, and successive leases, involving the Lowthers, Lonsdales and others kept the mine alive until 1947.
Hogget Gill Smelter
Low Hartsop Mines
Myers Head Mine, Hartsop
Myers Head lead mine began life in the 1860s and was abandoned less than twenty years later due to flooding. The water wheel system, much of which is still visible, was used to pump water from the mine.
Dubhow Copper Mine
Eagle Crag Mine, Grisedale
Ruthwaite Mine, Grisedale
Hagg Close Mine, Patterdale
Side Farm Slate Quarries
In Patterdale, behind Side Farm on Patterdale Common beneath Place Fell, there are a series of slate quarries mined for the construction of local buildings
Further North, on the track towards Blowick and Silver point, opposite the eastern shore of Ullswater, the screes below Grey Crag have been worked for barytes. The vein is small, only 20 cms, for a distance of 30 metres, and was hand driven in the 1860s. It has interesting pink minerals. There are numerous quartz veins nearby.
by Tim Clarke