Report – Robert Stagg – 29 Sep 1818

Document Type: Report
Date: 29 Sep 1818
Correspondent: Robert Stagg
Archive Source: NEIMME LLC 40
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General Report of the Mines Michelmas [sic] 1818 


Lodgesyke. It is very gratifying to have to report that the improvement in this Mine as we proceed to open out the grounds laying between the high and low Levels entirely confirm the expectations held out in the Midsummer Report. Its appearance has been so flattering since I entered upon the direction of it, and gives every reason to hope for a considerable increase of Ore in the Teesdale District during the Year now commencing. The Dead Work at this Mine is mearly what is requisite in order to continue opening it out to the utmost advantage

Coldberry. Since last Report we have met with a very promising mine here as the Court will see by the low price of 23/- per bing, at which we have let an Ore bargain. Had not past experience proved the uncertainty of this Vein, I should have entertained sanguine expectations of being about to open out a profitable Mine, but as it is I dare only express a hope that the present indications may be more lasting than on former occasions, and wait its further development before pronouncing upon it with any certainty. The Level driving by Coatsworth &c is what is necessary for the further prosecution of the trial. The Vein discovered at Coldberry is a cross-cut driven by Coatsworth &c as Reported last Quarter, we have no doubt it is the Vein which is working at Lodgesyke to so much advantage; but I am waiting until proper Surveys, Levels, and plans are taken of its bearing, and situation, to enable me to decide on the most eligible mode of making an effectual trial of it. The other trials in Teesdale are proceeding towards their several objects without any change entitled to notice.


Middlehope. Although the prospects of this Mine continue most flattering as we proceed yet, as stated in last Report, the level is so unaccountably hard and difficult to drive, that notwithstanding the utmost exertions of eight of the best Miners we have, we find it impossible to move it fast enough to replace the Workmen in new lengths as they work out their Old Ones. Hence we are driven, in spite of our most anxious wishes to keep up the full quantity of Ore raising at this Mine, to place a great proportion of the Men in the Old Pickings, until the level gets advanced far enough to enable us to place them in the whole ground; which I greatly fear will reduce the quantity of Ore in Weardale for the year now commencing and for which unless the Level becomes softer and easier to drive, we have no remedy without Working the Mine to extreme disadvantage by allowing the Ore Workings to be pushed before the Level which would be attended with great expense and loss. The Engine Sump is proceeding to make trial of the Strata below Level and have let a Bargain to John Sanderson &c to sink a Sump adjoining the Engine, for the purpose of rendering the trial more expeditious. We have by this means, in three or four Months to reach that part of the Strata where Ore is expected, and, should it prove successful I hope it may in some degree prevent the anticipated deficiency in this district. The other dead Work at this Mine is what is essential to its regular Working.

Ireshopeburn. The Engine Sump is proceeding towards that part of the Strata where we propose to make the trial of the Vein. and which we hope to reach in four or five Months. The Strata through which it is sinking continues to be excessively hard, and this renders the trial alike slow, and expensive, but as we deem the hardness a favourable indication we hope on reaching the Vein to meet with Mines that will repay the trial.

Stanhopeburn. There is no alteration since last Report that is entitled to notice. It continues to raise Ore that will pay the expense of the trials we are making, and leave a moderate profit, without any indications that lead us to expect much from it. Thos Wallace &c are cutting a Cross to endeavour to discover a new Vein which is considered one of the best objects in this ground; and Geo. Smith &c are driving in another Vein which is deemed the next best trial. These are the two chief Objects that are known in Mr Rippons Estate, and therefore we are losing no time to prove them, in order that there may be abundant Opportunity, during the Lease, of reaping the full advantage, should it or both of them prove successful.

Alston Moor

Rampgill. The Levels driving by Robt. Heatherington &c and Matt Thompson &c and the Crosscuts by John Barron &c and James Stephenson &c are for the purpose of effectually opening out this Vein; and it is hoped they may shortly lead to improved Ore Workings. The Ore Bargains here are entirely Pickings that require the best price. 

Rampgill Sun Vein, although still very good, is far from being so promising as at Midsummer, several lengths have been nearly wrought out, and others have become poorer. The Crosscuts and Shafts prosecuting here, are for the purpose of Opening out the Vein in different parts of the

Mining Field, and we hope may lead to better Workings and again revive our prospects here. otherwise I fear that this hitherto excellent Mine will shortly fail us. 

Small Cleugh continues extremely hard, and therefore requires great prices. Its general appearance since last Report, has become more unfavourable than usual hence we fear the quantity of Ore raised here will be lessened during the ensuing year. The Crosscut driving by Matt Dickenson &c is for the purpose of opening out the Flatts in fresh ground. We hardly hope

to complete this trial within the Year, but should we meet with the Flatts good, it will open out a great increase of Ore Workings, and is,  at any rate, necessary for the ventilation and more advantageous working of the Mine. The Level driving by Hind &c is continuing for the trial of Small Cleugh Cross Vein as detailed in the Midsummer Report.

Middle Cleugh is no way essentially altered since last Report. The Level driving here is to cut a Vein about 14 Fathoms North, which is expected to produce Ore and is considered a very promising trial.

Middle Cleugh 2nd Sun Vein There is no change here since last Report that is worthy of detail. The Dead Work at this Mine is all for the purpose of opening out the Vein in different situations with a view to increase the chances of raising Ore during the ensuing Year.

Tynebottom continues hard & poor. The Dead Work is for the purpose of opening out Ore Workings in whole ground. The various other trials in Alston Moor are proceeding as usual with no change that can be noticed. 

      The Court will observe a considerable increase of Dead Work this Quarter, especially in Alston Moor. I have been induced to extend the trials at the commencement of the New Year -partly in order to give employment to the Washers, and to several of the constant Pickmen who must otherwise have been left without any means of Supporting their Families, but especially with a view to increase the chances of raising an extra quantity of Ore during the Year, in compliance with the directions of the late deputation. No trials however have been undertaken but those which all your Practical Mining Agents deem very promising, and necessary; and which would therefore at any Rate have been entered into, at a future period. Many of these extra trials will be terminated during the present Quarter, and the remainder within Six Months.         In fixing these Bargains I may be allowed to assure the Court that no pains have been spared so to arrange the Workings as to afford the best prospect of increasing the [underlined: 'immediate']

Ore Raising without injury to the future Working of the Mines And Although at the present Moment, the prospects in the Moor are a little clouded and unpromising, and the hardness of the 

Middlehope Level sets at defiance all our efforts to open out that Mine more expeditiously; yet with the improved state of the Teesdale Mines, I do not despair if we have our ordinary fortune in the various means using to extend the Ore Workings of meeting the Wishes expressed by the Gentlemen of the deputation, by raising 18 or 19,000 Bings of Ore in the three Districts during the ensuing Year. 

      The Ore raised in the Year just concluded is a little more than 19,000 Bings being 1000 Bings beyond the estimate which I gave the Court in the Lady Day Bargain Report, and I trust we may be equally successful during the Year now commencing. 

My calculation of the Lead we shall be enabled to send to Market from 30 September 1818 to 30 September 1819 is as follows Vizt

Common lead about 5,000 large pieces

Refined ‘    ‘   46,000  ‘     ‘

Slag    ‘    ‘    4,000

Total            55,000

and 1000 casks of Litharge of 6 Cwt each. Should the demand for Litharge exceed or fall short of this quantity the Refined Lead will of course be increased or diminished in the same proportion.

      The above calculation goes to the extent of the Smelting power of all your Mills, allowing for the occasional and inevitable interruptions of Frosts in Winter day Weather in Summer and casual repairs of the furnaces. 

      I have taken the liberty of adding this Statement to the Mining Reports for the guidance of the Court in making Sales.

      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