Report – Robert Stagg – 25 Dec 1819

Document Type: Report
Date: 25 Dec 1819
Correspondent: Robert Stagg
Archive Source: NEIMME LLC 40
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General report of Mines Christmas 1819



Lodgesyke This mine continues to be exceedingly productive and valuable. It has undergone no material change since the last Report

Coldberry Since last Quarter the Shafts then sinking for trial of the upper sills have been completed, & the prospects of this Mine have been thereby materially improved the present appearance is more promising than at any former period - Yet still, I am not sanguine in my expectations of this Vein becoming very valuable.

Mannergill Since last Quarter the trial Sump has been completed & we are now engaged in cutting from it to prove the Vein in the different parts of the Strata - The present indications are not so favourable as we had hoped they would prove but, we entertain considerable expectations that we shall yet meet with a productive Mine as we proceed with the trial

Wiregill Since last Quarter we have regained an Ore Working by the Rise in the Wiregill Vein which although not rich is likely to continue raising Ore as we proceed We have also at length reached the point where trial has to be made of the Lodgesyke Vein in this Ground & have accordingly commenced sinking a Shaft for that purpose - This long and expensive trial is therefore on the point of being completed, & we hope may be the means of very greatly extending the productive Mines of the Teesdale District.  The Present indications are good as every String we have yet cut is filled with Ore. The Shaft has to be sunk upwards of Sixty Fathoms & cannot be finished in less than a Year, but we expect it to pass thro' the Vein in about fifteen Fathoms sinking when a more decided opinion can be formed of the probable result of this trial

The General Prospects of the Teesdale District continue fully to Warrant the favourable Report which I made of them last Quarter. We estimate that the Teesdale  Mines will raise this Year ending 30th Sept 1820 about 9000 Bings of Ore



Middlehope The Leading Workings at this Mine have been gradually become poorer for several Quarters, and are now nearly without Ore, and as we have only a comparatively short distance to drive to the end of the Company's Boundary I have judged it prudent to put a Stop to the low Level which continues to be excessively hard until, we prove whether in the further prosecution of the foremost Ore workings, we are likely to regain a Mine that will justify us in incurring this heavy expense. I have been the more readily inclined to adopt this plan, as we can now, without material inconvenience, prosecute the Ore Workings to the end of your boundary without the further continuance of the Level, and I believe a considerable Cost in extra labour in getting out the Work, than would be incurred by the prosecution of the Level. The Engine trial has been exceedingly interrupted since last Quarter by the severity of the Frost & consequently want of Water, so that a complete trial has not yet been made of the under Strata, but as far as we have proceeded there is every Reason to believe that the results will be advantageous & satisfactory. From the present general poverty of this Mine the Ore raising in the Weardale District can scarcely fail to fall materially short this Year, yet I see no reason to despair of still regaining a Valuable Mine at Middlehope since without any apparent cause it has always been liable to these unaccountable changes both of a favourable and unfavourable nature

Stanhopeburn This Mine has undergone no change since last Report that can be noticed

Ireshopeburn This trial continues to be prosecuted without any material alteration since Michelmas. We have not reached the Vein from the foot of the Engine, nor do we yet see any reason to alter the Opinion which we have thus far entertained, of this trial leading in the end, to Mines that will leave a fair profit.

In the existing state of the Mines in the Weardale District, we cannot estimate this Years Ore raising at more than  2500 or at the utmost 3000 Bings. 

A very material improvement has just taken place in the leading Workings of Middlehope Mine which has now the appearance of becoming again productive

Alston Moor

Rampgill We are now opening out Workings at this Mine that will pay extremely well as the Court will perceive by the list 

Rampgill Sun Vein This Mine although not so productive as formerly continues to Raise Ore to considerable advantage but, as stated in former Reports, we are very nearly approaching to cross Veins, and entertain considerable fear that they may prove very injurious to this valuable Mine, whilst they may on the other hand, not only enrich this Vein, but give us good Mines in the Cross Veins themselves - should the former unhappily take place, the present Year will Work out the most productive part of this Vein. The Level driving by Jonas Irwin is to cut this Vein in whole ground after it has passed through the Cross Veins, & will completely prove their effect upon it. I look with much anxiety to the termination of this trial for the Vein has for a considerable time past been the only Mine of much value in Alston Moor 

Scaleburn This Level continues to open out poor workings that pay the Cost of the Level, & will enable us we hope, to reach the Ultimate objects of this trial without loss -

Scaleburn Cross Vein This is a new working opened out by the rise made last Quarter from the Broomsberry Level which altho' not rich is likely to raise some Ore with profit

Smallcleugh Flatts This Mine that was so long valuable continues to raise a little Ore, but is extremely poor & hard, & is one more proof of the uncertain nature of Mines, since there is no visible reason for the change that has taken place in it. Unless the trial making by Dickenson &c to discover these Flatts in new ground should prove successful there is not much more to be hoped from this Mine, Although as it is not attended with any dead Work it may Raise a little Ore with profit for Several Years

Middlecleugh This Level ort to have cut the Vein for which it has been driving sometime ago, &, as we have cut some strings in the Situation where we expected the Vein to be, we begin to fear that it has lost its strength, and flown into Strings which is not an uncommon case. Under this impression I have let the present bargain to drive only two Fathoms with the intention of discontinuing all further trial of this place should we not in that space meet with more promising indications

Middlecleugh Sun Vein Fourteen Men are raising Ore in this New Vein, which in the last Report, I stated we had discovered & by the low Rate of 18/- per Bing the Court will perceive that it continues to be very productive I am sorry however to have to add that the apprehension then expressed lest it should not continue a distinct vein has been verified by the Cross Cuts set on to open out the Workings & which have shown that this Vein joins the Old Middle Cleugh Vein about 30 Fathoms from where it is now Working hence, although we expect to Raise a very considerable quantity of Ore in this length we have no hope of its continuing beyond that distance to be of much Value. This therefore is another of those endless disappointments & mortifications to which we are daily subject in Mining

Long Cleugh This Mine continues to Raise a little Ore at high prices, but, is not likely soon to become very Rich

Carr's South End. This Mine which in last Report I stated to have been just discovered, continues to bid fair to raise a considerable quantity of Ore. The present bargains are to drive through the low part of the ground which is the least productive, but, when it is cut through we shall be enabled to Work the Mine to the greatest advantage. 

Gudhamgill These bargains are pickings let merely to preserve the Lease

Blackersgill Raising Ore in pickings to preserve the Lease until I can have the Surveys completed when we shall decide upon the further plan of trial

Browngill This Level is opening out poor Workings as we proceed that will nearly defray the Cost of making the trial

Browngill Sun Vein This trial has been pushed as far as it is judged proper, I have therefore let this bargain to prove the Strata above the level

Windshawbridge Cutting a cross cut to unwater this Mine which has Ore in it that will then Work to advantage. This Cross Cut will be completed during the present Quarter

Caple Cleugh Driving in the Vein on trial with very promising indications

Caple Cleugh Cross Vein We have at length reached a part of the Vein for which this long Level has been driving. The Level is below the part of the Strata where Ore is usually found but the appearance of the Vein is very promising and leads us to entertain considerable expectation that this trial, when completed, may lead to Valuable & lasting Mines, For in addition to having this Cross Vein entirely whole for many hundred Fathoms, we shall cut several other excellent Veins in prosecuting the trial of the Cross Vein each of which is also whole in the great Limestone, which is considered to be the best part of the Strata for bearing Ore. This is one of the trials upon which I rest my hopes of again rendering the Alston District valuable, but although we have cut a part of the Vein, a considerable time will be required before we can fully open out and complete the trial

Tynebottom Sun Vein Since last Quarter we have completed the erection of the Engine which I reported to preparing for the Working of this Mine & have nearly sunk as deep as is required to commence Raising Ore, and I am happy to state that in sinking this Engine Shaft we have cut through the best Ore that has yet been seen at Tynebottom, we therefore fully expect to regain a profitable Mine immediately by this trial 

      There is upon the whole very little alteration in the prospects of the Alston Moor District since last Report. The Mines there are by no means in a flourishing state, & the almost endless

Levels that have to be upheld & kept in repair added to the immense extent of dead Work that must constantly be prosecuted to maintain the Numerous Leases create an unavoidable charge on this Department which Renders it next to impossible whilst we hold the whole of these Mines on the existing terms to Render this District sufficiently profitable. I shall therefore be prepared to submit to the next deputation the propriety of either declining to work a proportion of the Mines that are considered least promising, or to require of the Hospital more liberal terms. In the meantime it will be my care to keep the expenditure as low as possible for I have been everything but satisfied with the last Years result of this District. Yet I cannot attach any blame to the management of Mr Millican as District Agent nor to the Wages <masters> bargain Work, but, as I have just observed it is the fault of the terms on which we hold the Leases & the extent of small Mines which have to be maintained & which without other extraordinary Mines, will I am persuaded, always sink the proper profits of the District; whilst it causes more trouble, & anxiety, & requires more Capital than the whole of your other Mining Concerns. In fixing these bargains, I have kept down the Dead Work as much as can be done with any propriety & the prices for Raising Ore are lower than I fear will allow the Miners to make proper Wages. But the inevitable expenditure is so heavy that I could not feel that I was doing justice to the Company in allowing the Rates to be more liberal in the existing State of the Trade

	I estimate that the Alston District may raise this Year from 6500 to 7000 Bings of Ore which if added to say 2500 Bgs in Weardale and 9000 in Teesdale will make the total raising 

about 18,000 Bings or it may reach 19000. 

      The average State of the Mines is therefore fully as good at this moment as it has ever been, nor is there at present the  slightest reason to doubt the continuance of their prosperity.  

      Robert Stagg

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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