Report – Robert Stagg – 1 Apr 1814

Document Type: Report
Date: 1 Apr 1814
Correspondent: Robert Stagg
Archive Source: NEIMME LLC 40
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General Report of the Teesdale Mines 1st April 1814

Flakebridge Mine The object of the present working this Mine is by sinking a Shaft with the help of an Engine to try the Strata at a Lower Random than they had been able to get at in the former workings, the lower parts of which are Reported to have been left Rich.   The Engine Shaft is already sunk 12 Fathoms and is proposed to be sunk 3 fathoms further from which Random a Cross Cut Northwards of about 10 or 12 fathoms will have to be made to get under the Old Workings in the Vein, when the objects of this trial may be expected to be in some measure ascertained, and which it is calculated may be completed during this present Quarter should no unforeseen obstacle intervene  

Wiregill High Level. This Level has been driving with the Joint view to try the Vein (which was successful in the upper Strata) at a lower Random, and to relieve the forehead of an upper level, which was left with Ore in it although not Rich, and which they were unable to prosecute on Account of Water & want of Air, & also to try a New Cross Vein which was discovered at the forehead of the Old Workings and appeared promising but which from the same cause they were able [sic; unable is presumably meant] to prove – The Level has now been driven in the Vein at this lower Random in a bearing sill for about 200 fathoms on an average from 4 to 7 fathoms below the bottom of the Old workings immediately beneath the Richest part of the Old Mine but totally without success, and at the present forehead there is hardly the appearance of a Vein.   It is therefore a fair conclusion that this Vein (which I find is characteristic of most of the Teesdale Veins) although very productive in the higher sills, is not sufficiently strong to carry it down at a lower Random, & from the length of the trial made already to ascertain this point, the first object of the trial may be pronounced to have entirely failed.   To arrive at the second object Viz: to relieve the forehead of the Old Workings about 130 fathoms will yet have to be driven which at a Moderate computation will cost not less than £1,500 and Require 6 or 7 Years to complete it.   As it has been already proved that the Wiregill Vein will not bear at a very low Random, & as by putting down a Shaft which may be done for about £200 the forehead of the Old Level can be Relieved & the Cross Vein tried at the Random of the upper Level which appears to be as low as is Valuable -  It is  the joint opinion of Mr. Joshua Stagg Senr, Mr Millican, Mr Little and Myself that it will be most the Company’s interest to discontinue the present Level, and by sinking the Shaft in question to come at the only remaining object of the trial at a much earlier period & at saving 12 or 1300 expence on this subject the Court will please to give me their immediate instructions, that in the event of it being viewed by them in the light I see it the working of the Level may be discontinued and the sinking of the Shaft substituted in lieu of it

Wiregill Low Level. The objects in driving this Level are to cut on the Wiregill Liberties at a Low Random, First East Rake Vein which has been cut, but as its appearance was not promising in crossing the Level it has not been further tried Second Mannergill North Vein which was productive on the Mannergill side, and is expected to be cut in a few Fathoms driving.   Thirdly West Rake Vein which was productive in that Liberty, Fourthly Flakebridge Vein, which is the same Vein that has been wrought at Flakebridge Mannergill, & Lodgesyke with very great success and is that part of the Vein lying between Flakebridge and Mannergill boundaries where it will be cut by this Level in a very favourable plot of Ground Fifthly the High Wiregill Vein which at the High Level was successful, and lastly, to discover any other Vein which may cross the line of the Levels direction, - This Level is going at a very low Random, and will completely unwater – and throw open a large field of each of these hitherto successful Veins, should they be found productive within the Range of this Level. The present forehead is driving in a strong and very hard hazel sill, it has already been driven about 380 fathoms and has still to be driven about 400 fathoms further, before the last of the above objects is attained It can not be estimated that this trial from its commencement to its termination will Cost less than £10,000. – It is however a trial of that magnitude and promise which bids fair to open a lasting and advantageous Mining Field in that part of Teesdale.

Lodgesyke Mine. This Mine is at present very good at the forehead of the High Level, and as there is now on it all the Weight of the hill through which the Vein is passing the prospect is very flattering that it may continue an advantageous Mine, the Ore raised during the half year ending Lady Day Inst: is computed to be about 2300 Bings From its present appearance we calculate it may probably Raise 3,000 Bings more from this period to the 30 Sept next.  A Level is driving at this Mine at a lower Random to unwater the upper workings and prove the lower sills, it is of the utmost importance to give every possible dispatch to the driving of this Level, as for want of it there is an expence incurred in pumping the present workings to the Amount of £500 p[er] an I trust therefore the Court will see the propriety of having as many Men employed in driving this Level as can work it without disadvantage.  Finding on the Survey that by cutting about 14 Fathoms across from this Level forehead which will cost about £80 and boring from the upper Level to this Cross cut, the pumps could be relieved to the amount of £400 p[er] Annum.   I did not hesitate to let this cross cut to be wrought day & Night until it is completed which I doubt not the Court will approve 

Coldberry Mine. This Level is driving with a View to cut Lodgesyke Vein (which is at present so productive) in the Colberry Liberty; As there seems to be considerable doubt about the Range of this Vein on the Colberry side and consequent uncertainty in the driving of the Levels, & as a Hush can be Run across the Ground where it is expected the Vein will pass, at an expence of £15 which by boring the Strata must discover its exact situation and consequently enable us to make the trial with greater precission and comes at its object with probably a great saving of expence, I did not scruple to contract for the performance of this Work.

East & West Rake Mines. There are no men employed in these Workings, prior to these Mines being undertaken by the Company the lower parts of the Ground through which the Veins pass had been successfully wrought by another Mining Company, and as they had gone down as far in the Strata, as an Engine would enable them to do; this part of these Mines is considered to have been fully tried by them; the upper or More Mountainous part of the Vein was tried by the Company since their entrance on this Tack, but shortly given up as the Veins were found totally unproductive & Joshua Stagg Senr does not consider these Veins worth further trial in this liberty.

Brokergill Mine. This Mine is at present unwrought, Three Veins, each of which were very productive in part of the adjoining Liberty of Pikelaw; are known to Run through the Ground within this Lease, one of them only has been tried by the Company which raised some Ore but became poor in rising the Hill, & no lower ground being in the Lease through which this Vein Runs, the trial of it was discontinued, the other two Veins have never been explored within this boundary.  It must be Remarked that the Veins in question, although very Rich in part of the adjoining liberty of Pikelaw became poor before they Reached the Company’s liberty of Pikelaw & the richness of one of them at Pikelaw was attributed to the intersection of a Cross Vein the other Vein had no such Intersection, and as it has to pass through the same Strata (the Limestone) in the Comanys ground in which it was productive at Pikelaw, Joshua Stagg Senr thinks it worth an easy trial which might be made by running a Hush across the ground to discover the exact situation of these Veins, & then putting in a flank Level to cut them with the shortest possible Run in the Sill where they may be expected to bear Ore.   I understand from Mr Barnes that an Application has been made for this ground on the part of a Small Mining Company in the event of its being discontinued by the Company.

      Rt. Stagg
Each quarter the local mine agent submitted a report on the mines under his control to the governing body of the London Lead Company

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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