Report – George Crawhall to Martin Morrison – 30 Sep 1817

Document Type: Report
Date: 30 Sep 1817
Correspondent: George Crawhall
Recipient: Martin Morrison
Archive Source: NRO 672 E 1F 1
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      Weardale Leadmines Sept. 30th 1817


      The Mines in Weardale generally are poorer than they were at Midsummer bargains and I calculate of the general produce being less the ensuing year than last on account of some of the Levels not being up to the forend workings at the principle places which I have stopd on account of being wrought to a great disadvantage I shall endeavour to describe the situation of each particular place under the different inspecting agents in their respective districts. 

West district under the inspection of John Tinniswood.

      Kilhope Mines in all probability will be more productive in a short time than they have been for a long time past, a low Level at the bottom of the Great Limestone is driving up to drain the old workings a part of which is already drained and producing Ore, a Whimsey Shaft is also sinking which we calculate of holing to the Level in four or five months after which we shall be able to open some more favourite ground that I flatter myself will be productive and employ more Men, the present  bargains consist of 26 Men raising Ore at 30/ pBing, 8 Men driving the Level and 8 Men sinking the Shaft.

      Guinea Grove has been very productive the last year according to the number of Men employed and from all appearances may continue but the Strata dip so fast that the Great Limestone has got below the Level and renders the workings very inconvenient by having the Water to raise which takes a great part of the workmens time.  I would recommend a low Level to be begun to drain the four fathom Limestone which I think may be productive, and it also will enable us to rob the old works more effectually; the bargains are 8 Men raising Ore at 25/pBing and 20 Men at 30/pBing.	

      Breckonsike, the foreheads in this Vein have been given over some years since and I am afraid are not worthy of perseverance, the back ground is very much wrought out and only 8 Men raising Ore at 30/pBing.

      Burtree Pasture, The workings in this Vein west of the cross Vein are generally good, but being wrought to a considerable depth below the random of the lowest Level, and having the Water to drain causes them to require a greater price pBing than they might have wrought at had they been freed from Water.  the cross Vein at the forend has thrown the Limestone 3 fathoms down so that we only have one fathom hold of it with the lowest Level, and should it be productive of Ore it will be entirely under Water. - the Vein east of the cross Vein is taken 14 fathoms to the South of the point of the Old Vein and is very poor and hard, but I think has sufficient strength to carry Ore if it was driven a few fathoms forward. in consequence of the Great Limestone getting principally under Water at the forend, and the Quarry Hazell raising Ore as deep as can be wrought for Water, west of the Cross Vein, I would recommend an Engine to be erected at the most convenient place in this Vein to win the four fathom Limestone & probably it might have power to raise the Water from some lower Strata, which I have not the least doubt would be productive of Ore under the parts where she has been so rich in the Limestone and Quarry Hazell above. - The Ore bargains in this Vein consist of 44 Men raising Ore at 25/ oBing 42 Men at 28/ pBing and 54 Men at 30/ pBing.

      Sedling,the workings in this Vein are excessively poor, the west end is all worked out to the Burtree Dyke which has cut the Vein entirely off.  The Eastend Level Foreheads are very poor and have no appearance of improving, the last two sump lengths opened will not work at the best price pBing we are now giving, I have assisted some of the partnerships with a few pounds more than the best price pBing as it will be wrought at less expense now when every thing is in good repair, than at any future period, the Ore Bargains consist of 36 Men raising Ore at  30/ pBing.

East district under the inspection of John Cleminson

      Levelgate, the workings in this Vein are poorer than they were last quarter and have been wrought to a great disadvantage for want of the low Waggon Level being up to drain the workings, the top Level which we have now stopd is 100 fathoms before the low Level, and the workings have been attended with a good deal of unnecessary expense by sinking dumps, drawing water and using a greater quantity of Wood than will be required if the low Level was driven up, which will relieve all those inconveniences: the produce will be considerably less this year in consequence of stopping the forend workings until the Level be up. the Bargains are 8 Men raising Ore at 20/pBing 8 Men at 25/ pBing 28 Men at 28/ pBing and 89 Men at 38/pBing.

      Blackdean Vein is considerable poorer than usual and very few Men are employed the low Level is going forward and 20Men raising Ore at 30/pBing.

Elmford Vein, Eight Men have opened an Old Level at the bottom of the Great Limestone for nothing and are now raising Ore at 30/pBing.  I think it would be adviseable to begin a low Level under the 4 fathom Limestone which I expect will be whole & the Level will only be about 100 fathoms to drive to cut the Vein.

      Lontyhead Vein has produced Ore tolerably well the last quarter and has the appearance of continuing , it is a very soft and uncertain Vein, the Men frequently work for a number of weeks and get nothing but when they meet with Ore it is got very rapidly which makes up the lost time.  - the Bargains are 20 Men raising Ore at 30/pBing.

      Barbary Vein is excessively poor and the foreheads very hard, also a bad prospect of becoming better if it does not improve in a few fathoms driving we will be under the necessity of laying it in. 6 Men are driving the low Level and 14 Men raising Ore in the back ground at 30/pBing.

      Slit Vein is very poor and all the Levels have been given up three years since, only 8 Men are raising Ore at 30/pBing. when the times will admit of expending Money in such places I would like to push the Levels forward, as they have gone a very short distance without Ore, and the Vein had dead places in it in the Ground that has been gone through.

Middlehope Shield, the cross Vein is raising Ore very well at present, but I am afraid it will not be of long duration as the low Level is nearly up to where the Limestone has been wrought back from the Govt. Cos. Level and after the Levels are holes to each other, the produce will be considerably less on account of a great part of the Vein being wrought.  I have begun the South Level in the cross Vein which has stood a long time on account of its poverty but I think there is the same probability of raising Ore as at the North end if it was pushed forward; the Ore bargains consist of 12 Men raising Ore at 20/pBing, 8 Men at 27/pBing, 16 Men at 28/pBing, 16 Men at 29/pBing and 20Men at 30/pBing.

      Earncleugh Vein has been entirely left off working for being so poor.  I have employed six Men to cut cross to a north Vein that I think is likely to raise Ore a few fathoms distance from the other Vein, at some future period I would recommend the Level forehead to be put forward westward it has been left off on account of the Strata being broken or unsound but the ground rising rapidly and the other Strata <pulling> on, I think there is no doubt of the other Strata being perfectly sound at a short distance where the Vein is likely to be more productive.

      Greenlaws Vein is very poor and has raised little Ore the last year and no apparent prospect of getting better shortly. the Level is going forward which is about 30 fathoms short of a Cross Vein that I expect will make no alteration and if not for the better it must be abandoned, only 4 Men are raising Ore at 30/ pBing.

Rookhope district under the inspection of John Forster.

      Wolfcleugh, the Old Vein is so excessively poor that we cannot let one bargain at 30/ pBing.  the Engine is sunk to the bottom of the 4fathom Limestone and a very strong Vein cut, but no Ore in it.  we are trying her east from the Engine foot in the Limestone.  the Vein is also cut in the Quarry Hazel and driven a few fathoms but so poor that it will not work at any price pBing, another Level is driving at the bottom of the Great Limestone  which is some better but will not work by Bing. the new Vein is nearly as poor and only 4 Men raising Ore at 30/pBing.

      Foolwood Vein is very poor and only 4 Men raising Ore at 30/pBing.

      Boltsburn Vein continues much the same as when first opened 24 Men are raising Ore at 30/pBing and we have begun a new Vein to cut the Ore on the west side of Rookhope Burn.

      Crawlah, the Level is going forward from the Engine foot but have cut no Veins.  12 Men are raising Ore in the old workings at 30/pBing.

N.B.  I have viewed all the regular working Mines and have placed as many Men to them as is my power and I am sorry to say a great number remains out of employment, and it appears evidently to me that the population depending upon the Mines is considerably more than they can support according to the present value of Lead

            I remain &c  George Crawhall

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The Dukesfield Smelters and Carriers Project aimed to celebrate and discover the heritage of the Dukesfield Arches & lead carriers' routes between Blaydon and the lead mines of Allendale and Weardale. A two year community project, it was led by the Friends of the North Pennines in partnership with Hexhamshire and Slaley Parish Councils and the active support of Allendale Estates. It was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the generous support of other sponsors. Friends of the North Pennines: Charity No:1137467