Report – Joseph Dickinson to Martin Morrison – 10 Jan 1809

Document Type: Report
Date: 10 Jan 1809
Correspondent: Joseph Dickinson
Recipient: Martin Morrison
Archive Source: NRO 672 E IF 1
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                                                                                                     Dufton   10th Janry. 1809

Mr Morrison

            I found your Letter at Coalcleugh on the 26th Decemr. and noted the Contents. In examining the Lead Mines found the West end of Coalcleugh in a favourable Situation, both the Cross East & West Strings producing flatts in the Great Lime, some of them are now raising Ore so low as 28/p Bing at 300 fathoms west of the drawing Whimsey and 30 fms south of the low Level;  There is likewise a String to the north of that Level about 30fms very hopeful and raising Ore at 35/ p Bing in two Partnerships, and another Cross cut almost made for a third Partnership to sink into the Limestone for Ore. -  the Lead Company had three or four men working for some time past close to the end of this Boundry and brought out their work at Coalcleugh, which took up part of the convenience which should now be useful but from the irregular behaviour of Mr Dodd  of late, wishing to leave that work, the men had petitioned Mr Little to employ them under Colonel Beaumont, We have employed them thinking they might be useful pointing out the different Strings  &c about the end of the Boundry and that the more Men may be sent there.  - the East end continues poor, the Vein being divided by the Cross Vein into two; the North part we have followed, but the further we drive East the poorer, we are in hopes to find the other better and are making a Cross cut to prove whether or not. – 

      Wellhope Lead Mines continue poor, the west end being at a stand for some time, being very hard, no Ore, and near the end of the Boundry. - the East end is rather more hopeful of late, - there are likewise more hopes of two east and west veins and two cross veins, both discovered by a long cross cut from Wellhope level to the west, one of these being the Vein that the dispute with Brownlee Hill Company originated, none of them being yet effectually tried. -  Hartley Cleugh continues to raise Ore by two Partnerships one at 28/ and the other at 35/ p Bing in the cross vein, which we are pursuing in expectation of meeting with a vein on each side, which we like better than the one we are now working. - Greencleugh Vein  is not likely to answer, but by persevering a little further, expect to meet with another a little before which will prove them both. -  

      Allenheads Lead Mines in general poorer than last quarter, the North vein in particular, only two or three Bargains at that end under 40/p Bing, one of the Bargains at west end, down the little shaft has done very well, and is now lett at 16/ p Bing, being only at the Depth of seven or eight fathoms from the surface. - the flatts at Cragg Shield are more hopeful than in the last quarter. - the Whimsy sinking in Fawside level is in the last 10fms and will completely relieve the East end of the Veins, both in airing and taking out the work without very little help from the workmen, and we intend to take the level forward from the Whimsey foot, close by the top of the Limestone, which will save the sinking of between 2or3 fathoms, in every of the Sumps going down to the Limestone, the old Level being useless by being driven in the dip and is nearly standing full of water.  It will be necessary to take a quantity of Old Deads, out of the old workings, near to the Whimsey (which will be done now at a light Expence) to prove whether there be any Ore left, which will repay, and if so more may be taken afterwards. – 

      Weardale - Breckonsike is poor in the forehead and yet continues to raise a considerable Quantity of ore in the background, but short of the usual quantity. - Burtree Pasture Vein is more promising in the forehead, the vein being divided for two or three lengths behind is we hope gathering together again and if so may expect that Vein to produce as heretofore. - We have examined the Vein called Sedlin by going down the Engine shaft to the bottom and find the vein is only worked about 23 fathoms east from the Engine shaft foot at that depth which is in one of the Sills now working at Blackdean and there is a Whimsey shaft which would take the work out at a very little distance to the west from the Crushing Mill and nearly upon a level with the Top of its - We likewise examined the old Bargain Book when that work had been done in the year 1759, 60 & 61 and found settling the Engine foot  was done at 72/ pfm and the price for raising Ore from 16 to 18/ &c the head price 25/ pBing which is so much short of the present prices, that I have not the least doubt but much good might be done by settling the Engine three or four fathoms, if the Engine work would be equal to that lift. - I by chance met with Michl Elliott at Alston, and ordered him to survey the Engine next week, to see if the work would be equal to the settling 3 or 4 fms and make his Report to Mr Emerson who will give you further information, - this vein still continues to raise Ore in the upper Sills with nearly 50 Men at 50/ p Bing with very little further expence but must in course work out in time. - Kilhope and Longsike both continue to raise Ore out of the old ground at 50/ pBing with very little other expence, the <……..> of them will be relieved by a level going forward to unwater, the other as relief pointed out.  Middlehope Shield is raising Ore in two Partnerships of 8 men each, the one at 30/ and the other at 35/ pBing and more might be let, but a communication with the surface is not yet complete to air the whole. - Slitt Lead Mine continues poor on the West side, the East side more promising two ore Bargains being let, but we are short of the place we rested our hopes upon. - Rookhope and Greenlaws both poor last quarter and likely to continue longer, both these Mines being very uncertain. - Blackdean hath raised Ore very well  last quarter and likely to continue there being 8 ore Bargains let above the water at 50/ pBing each & two under level at the same price by allowing for drawing water, If the under level continues this quarter, there will be little fear of her continuance, and it would be wasting both money and time striving further without an Engine.  In the other small Mines there are very little alteration. - There are no bargains let at any of the Mines at above 50/ p Bing and in some very poor places given a small matter for removing a few old deads, or driving a fathom of poor ground, which method we have adopted some time since & find we can let the Bargains with more pleasure, & more equally according to my judgement and shall continue unless I see a necessity of raising the whole.

               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