Report – Robert Stagg – 25 Dec 1817

Document Type: Report
Date: 25 Dec 1817
Correspondent: Robert Stagg
Archive Source: NEIMME LLC 40
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General Report of the Mines Christmas 1817

Weardale District

Middlehope	Henry Coulthard &c Tho[ma]s Cail &c and Jno[John] Watson are prosecuting the Levels &c necessary for the opening out and regular working of the Mine.  The principal Level driving by Henry Coulthard &c is so uncommonly hard & difficult to drive that notwithstanding the very high price of their Bargain if a material alteration does not take place which there is no reason to calculate upon they will not be able to earn 10/- per week, but however hard & expensive it may be there is no alternative for it must be pushed forward, as it is the only means of opening out the best parts of the Mine.  The leading Ore Workings in this Mine are very good & will raise considerable quantities of Ore at low rates and the general prospsects here are truly flattering.  We hope to complete the Engine during the present Quarter and have no reason to doubt that it will greatly extend our means of raising Ore at this Mine.

Ireshopeburn	We expect to complete the Engine erecting at this Mine during this Quarter provided the Weather permits the Workmen to prosecute their Work.  We have already sunk a part of the Engine Shaft & have met with Ore that has enabled us to let a few Ore Bargains at prices that will now leave a fair profit and our expectations of regaining preferable Mines thru the medium of this Engine are increased by these favourable indications

Stanhopeburn	Is poorer which has rendered necessary a little increase of price but there is no very essential difference in the prospects of this Mine, it never has been & we do not expect it ever will be very rich, at the same time we do not fear that it will now leave a profit that will render it worth prosecuting.  Geo[rge] Smith &c are driving the low Level for the trial of the principal Vein, with no essential variation since last Report.

Coldberry The Level is proceeding towards the object of trial

Teesdale District

Lodgesyke. Henry Wall &c and Geo[rge] Bearle &c are driving the two Levels upon which the future working of the Mine depends Jos[eph] Beach &c are sinking a Sump between the upper & the low Level for the joint purposes of ventilation and of completely opening out and working to most advantage the Strata between the two Levels.  Jno[John] Hunt &c are continuing the Crosscut for the purpose specified in last Report.  W[illia]m Harrup &c are rising from the upper level to meet a Shaft sunk from the surface for the Ventilation of the Mine & for the effectual trial of the whole Strata between the surface & this Level Jos[eph] Spark &c are continuing the experiment of raising Ore by the Fathom instead of by the Bing as stated in the last report.  The Ore workings at this Mine are materially poorer since the Mich[ae]l[ma]s Bargains which have rendered necessary a considerable advance of the prices generally.  We are willing to hope that the Sump sinking by Beach &c and the Rise prosecuting by Harrop &c may open out better workings against Lady day, the present prospects of this Mine however are by no means flattering and we are not without considerable fears from recent indications that we have already passed thro’ the best parts of it.

Coldberry. Thomas Hunt &c are driving the Level in the Vien[Vein] first discovered which is poorer than at Mich[ae]l[ma]s but the prospects are not essentially alter’d.  We have no hopes of this Vein becoming Rich, also there is reason to expect that it will raise Ore to cover the expence upon it and any rate it cannot with its present indications be given up.  Rob[ert] Coatsworth &c have cut a strong Vein during the Quarter which from its bearing and general appearance we have no doubt is one of that Vein now working at Lodgesyke, and for the discovery of which at Coldberry so many expensive trials have been made at various times by various Mine Adventurers. Its appearance in the situation where we discovered it is by no means flattering but we consider that part of the Strata unfavourable for producing Ore and therefore do not yet despair of finding Mines in the upper Strata when we are enabled to make the trial.  We are continuing the Crosscut in the expectation that more Vein may yet be discovered as there are generally at Lodgesyke two or three laying parrell [parallel] to each other at a few Fathoms distance.  The other trials of Flakebrig Wiregill Mannergill & Brockergill are proceeding towards their several objects with no material variation of circumstances.

Alston Moor

Ramgill	. Rob[er]t Hartherington &c continue driving the Level with no material change since last Report & Jno[John] Elliott &c are proceeding with the trial of the Patterdale Crop Vein as stated in the Mich[ae]l[ma]s report.  The whole of the Ore Bargains are very poor and require the best prices we can give to enable the Men to make Wages

Do Sun Vein. Continues to raise Ore to great advantage and its prospects are equally flattering as last Quarter.  Matth[e]w Hall &c are cutting to the Vein from a Shaft considerably east of the present workings and Jon[atho]n Vickers &c are cutting to it from an other Shaft to the West to open out the Mine more extensively that we may have the command of raising an increased quantity of Ore if necessary but these Partnerships will complete their dead work in two or three Weeks.  Ja[me]s Lee &c are continuing the Cross cut for the purposes specified in the last report.  We expect they will reach the objects of trial during the Quarter.  Matt[he]w Thompson &c are driving the leading Level.

Do2nd Sun Vein Is no way essentially altered since last report.

Do Cross Vein Is still exceedingly poor.  The Bargains let on it are merely to preserve the Lease.

Smallcleugh. The prospects of this Mine are materially improved since last report, the four additional Flats discovered by the Cross cut set on for that purpose at the they are not very rich yet for being so numerous give us every reason to calculate upon this Mine continuing to be very profitable & to raise a very considerable quantity of Ore. Jno[John] Thompson &c are cutting a Cross cut & W[illia]m Slack &c are rising to meet it in order to ventilate the whole Mine which will be completed in Six Weeks.  In the various other Mines in the Moor there is no alteration since last report that is entitled to notice. I therefore refer the Court to it as being as correct a statement as can give of the present state of these Mines.

We are pushing the several trials which we deem most promising as rapidly as possible towards their ultimate objects and during their continuance I am Holding the Leases of the Mines which we consider less promising by encouraging the Pickings in them as much as possible.

The Pickings in all the districts are very poor from having been so much wrought during the last two or three Years, I am therefore obliged to give a little more price for them & even at the rates at which these Bargains are let, the Workmen will rarely make more than 10/- or 11/- per Week where the highest prices are given.  I am more & more satisfied of the advantage of encouraging the Pickings as much as possible for at 50/- per Bing there is now an abundant profit as the Court will see by the annexed statement, and the trials made by the workmen in this way lead frequently to the discovery of very advantageous Mines besides affording employment to a multitude of Men who would otherwise be destitute of work & of the means of supporting their families.

In concluding this report although the prospects in Teesdale are more gloomy than last Quarter, yet upon the whole there is no reason for altering the hopes expressed in the Mich[ae]lma]s report, that the general result would prove very advantageous for Years hence for the improvement in the prospects of Smallcleugh is more than equivalent to the failure in

Teesdale, and even in Teesdale we entertain no doubt that very considerable quantities of Ore will be raised for several Years to come although it may require greater prices per Bing.

Statement of the cost of Lead & Fother when deliver’d at Stella which is raised in the Pickings at 50/- per Bing

Cost of raising 5 Bings of Ore (which exclusive of Duty 

  will produce one Fother of Lead) at 50/- per Bing              12 10 --

Wood used in raising do[ditto] per computation say at the 

  very utmost                                                       10 --

Carriage of 4 Bings to the Mill say at 3/- per Bing                 12 --

Smelting per Fother being the average cost                        1 -- -9

Lead Carriage of Fother on the average say                        1  1 --

                                                                 15 13 -9

Deduct gain by refining on the average say on a

  moderate computation which leaves as the total cost             1  5 --                                  Or Fother of the refined Lead produced from Pickings at 

  50/- per Bing when delivered at Stella                         14  8 -9

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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