Report – Joseph Dickinson to Christopher Blackett – 18 Apr 1806

Document Type: Report
Date: 18 Apr 1806
Correspondent: Joseph Dickinson
Recipient: Christopher Blackett
Archive Source: NRO 672 E IF 1
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April 18th 1806

      Coalcleugh, in general, is prosperous there being a prospect of regaining a good part of the Limestone East of the Cross Vein by pumping, which must be submitted to untill a better can be found.  The Old level at Carrshield  will never be of service in opening the East end of CCleugh veins being at too great a distance to the North, & continued too much in easterly direction. The place which I mentioned beside the Limekiln, will be by much the shortest, by directing it to the Low Coalcleugh Vein on what is supposed to be the east side of all the known Cross Veins, & may then be turned both ways in that Vein, & likewise continued Southward to High Coalcleugh Vein, on the East side of the Cross Veins, as before.  And if I am not mistaken that level will be wanted before it can be driven up not-withstanding every exertion be used in forwarding it. The west end of the most bearing vein is Welhope with ore at the Boundary and in a little time, now wanting only about [space left] fathoms.  The east end of that Vein hath been very unpromising for some time past notwithstanding hath been driven forward in hopes of being better, which was the case last Quarter.  The forehead producing more ore in a fortnight or three weeks than in forty fathoms driving behind.   The other tryals at Hartley Cleugh, Greenley Cleugh and Swinhope are not yet completed, but going briskly forward – there was a vein cut in Welhope Level about the  middle way and worked for ore, being poor, the prices at that time would not carry her forward, the last year that Vein was let at 51/- per Bing, and is likely to work at that, and perhaps lower. 

	The Allenheads Mines  are in general poor, the flatts in the west end doth not produce so much ore as before, & I fear is working out being upon the point of entering the Great Cross Vein. A tryal ought to be made to find the veins on the west side of that Cross Vein, where there is nothing at present discovered  to interrupt them, but the throw of that Cross Vein is down on the West side, and be difficult to <win> the Great Limestone which is the principle Sill.  The East End of Allenheads Veins is poorer being nearly under the highest part of the fell where the greatest weight or pressure is now acting upon them and the Veins not of the strongest kind believe to be the occasion of their poverty and fear the further the Water Level is driven the more water it produces and fear it will be too much for the Engine.  There is a long level driven at a place called Sipton Head   & two or three Veins cut by that level, & tryals made of them into the sills, which are only Grit, or firestone, which in general doth not produce much Ore,  and no limestone to be found on that part of the common, they have all proved to have no ore in them, & by their appearance are likely for a Limestone Sill, I think a continuance in driving that level not adviseable, unless the Great Limestone could be won, which I fear is at too great a depth. 

      In Weardale the forehead of Breckonsike Vein is confused at present by veins or strings crossing in all directions, and produces very little ore, the foreheads are driving forwards with all possible speed, in hopes of getting clear of that disturbance, and finding the vein in a prosperous state as before, otherwise the back ground will soon work out with the number of men employed and workable state of the vein. – The veins at Blackdene level, appear to me

not strong enough to bear Ore in these under Sills, when the weight or pressure of the upper Sills comes on about Mr Lee’s House, and of course another level will be to  drive for the more effectual working the Sills above, The Burtree Pasture Vein being the most likely to produce Ore at present, but a part of the ore workings being under Level, makes it more difficult to work, & of course more expensive, some method must be taken to  relieve the Water drawing otherwise that expense will be heavier every day.  The old mine at Sedlin is nearly worked out, only some of the top sills at present working, the Kilhope Mines are likewise nearly worked out, and Puddingthorne at present will hardly pay the expense of driving the Level, the Limestone being found to be thinner up the fell, which is contrary to expectation. The Level at Levelgate is driving forward, with all the expedition possible, to underwater Longsike & Middlehope Vein, at a greater depth than hath been worked before, and likewise for discovering, & working other Veins that may be found by driving that Level.  – The old Workings at Middlehope still continue to raise Ore at a great pace, and likely to continue until the Level reaches them. – A low level is likewise going forward to relieve the forehead of Slitt Lead Mine but is a considerable way behind the forehead, that mine is producing Ore very well at present.  A long level is driving on the East side of Middlehopeburn to cut the veins which hath been worked on the West side to a considerable advantage, is still short of the Veins intended, but expected to cut them in a year, or less. –A level  is likewise driving at Wolfcleugh to discover Veins there, and to be continued to the old Vein, & is expected will relieve the Engine by taking off a stand of Pumps, it hath already discovered a  Vein, which hath produced a considerable quantity of Ore in the Little Limestone on the West side, and hath likewise opened the Veins in Coal Sills, on the East side, which hath produced a very good sample of Ore last Quarter.- Another level below the Smelt Mill was driven Northward to cut Middlehope Veins, on the West side of Rookhope Burn, & hath discovered one of them which at present hath not a favourable appearance in the Great Lime. – At Brandon Walls let Alex Whaley &Co a Bargain to raise ore in Col Beaumont’s Liberty at 90 /- per Bing for Ore fit for smelting and to work regularly with at least 4 men the Bargain to be renewed every Quarter  at the pleasure of Col Beaumont if they work according to conditions. The tryal is still going on in the fields above Stanhope, where there hath been some old workings, it raises Ore which covers the expense of Dead Work &c Mr Chris Emerson took a Bargain to raise Ore in one of the  Veins at Harehopefell, now entering into Col Beaumont’s liberty.

      Bollihope Leadmine hath produced a considerable quantity of Lead ore the two last quarters, but in cutting thro’ the vein to West side is a quantity of Water filled all their workings, it is now settled to sink on the south side of the Vein and if Ore is found there to bring up a level, to let off the water & if sinking doth not answer, some other method must be taken. – The Vein at Green Laws  is now producingOre in the four fathom Limestone, another will join the present Vein about 20 fathoms west, and is then expected to produce something considerable in the Limestone above, & <Mazel> under – there was great expectations from a Vein above the Cross Hill called Highfield, but hath hitherto frustrated their expectation,  by the Great Limestone being in a broken and  disjointed state, although under the highest part of the fell, and was found on Lord Darlington’s side of the fell in a firm state and produced a large quantity of Ore. – Two or three more places are working, but only in a very poor way, & unless something unexpected is found, will be very  likely given up in a little time.

	Jos. Dickinson

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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