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SIKEHEAD LEAD MINE

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The remains of Sikehead lead mine and dressing floor which formed part of the Derwent lead mines complex (NY 94 NE 88). It includes two shafts sunk in the 1840s, Ruth Shaft for pumping, and Ellen Shaft for winding. Ruth Shaft was originally operated by flatrods from the poorly preserved Deborah Level 0.6 kilometres to the WNW. When a branch railway line was extended across the moors to Sikehead, the availability of coal allowed the construction and operation of an economically viable steam engine and led to the removal of the flatrod system. The low remains of the Cornish beam engine house and boiler house are situated to the south of Ruth Shaft. The chimney survives to 14 metres in height with a 3.5 metre diameter base and a firerick built arched opening. Ellen Shaft, situated just to the north, is capped with concrete and an iron plate. A small hand operated cast iron capstan is situated on top of the plate. To the east are the remains of the flatrod balance bob pit and wash kiln and a 2 metre diameter capstan setting. Just to the WNW of the shafts are the remains of Robinson's Level. Ore was hauled from the level along a linear spoil tip to the west to be hand dressed. The remains of a particularly rare ore chute in the Cornish tradition is built into the spoil tip. The remains of a wheel pit and drum wheel setting for a 6.1 metre diameter waterwheel are situated to the north west and were employed for winding Ellen Shaft. The dressing floor is represented by graded areas of dressing waste. Sikehead mine is a good example of a 19th century nucleated mine with many rare features of Cornish influence not encountered on other sites in the North Pennines. Scheduled.

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