Family History Notebook

Pikestone Mine  NZ05303370

From 'British Mining No 56', Weardale Mines by R.A. Fairburn p56

This was a Partnership mine which worked an ENE vein in the Millstone Grit. In 1757 John Peart asked the Partnership for a tack, but was refused because there were still three years left on an earlier one. The Partnership Book shows that in 1786 the vein had been cut by a level and a bargain was given at 35 shillings per bing. The Beaumont Company worked the mine after the Partnership gave up, though there are few records of production and bargain rates were high. For example, two men agreed to raise ore at 60 shillings a bing in 1806, which was then probably the highest such rate in Weardale. The mine is recorded as "very poor" in 1819 and there followed a period of development. In 1825 they opened out the old level, which had been driven 225 metres, but stopped 440 metres short of the vein. The top level was completed by 1825 and they sank from the old workings to the low level. After this work, production was achieved, but at an inconsistant level. For example, 265 bings in 1830, but nothing in 1835. Production resumed in 1840, again at a low level, with 84 bings in 1840 and 85 bings in 1845. In the 1880s the mine was held by the Wolsingham Lead Company, but no production data are available.

Surface signs of the workings run from an adit in the west side of Steel Beck at about 048328  towards the reference given above with a line of bellpit type depressions in the ground on the east side of the stream. The pit entries which were better preserved at the northern end of the workings were destroyed around 2002 when the surface sandstone and spoil was removed for road surface material. Subsequently samples of Galena can often be found in the road surface when walking the 'yellow brick road' across Pikestone Fell.

There is the remains of a hut about 200m downstream of the adit on the east bank. This might have been associated with the mines or else be a shepherd's shelter in a more sheltered location than afforded by Ayrehope Shield.