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Smallcleugh Mine, Nenthead, Alston Moor District, Cumbria, England, UK

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 54° 46' 52'' North , 2° 19' 46'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 54.78136,-2.32966
GeoHash:G#: gcwrduxse
UK National Grid Reference:NY788430
Other regions containing this locality:Northern Pennine Orefield, England, UK
The Pennines, England, UK
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:Cfb : Temperate oceanic climate
Other/historical names associated with this locality:North Pennines; North and Western Region; Cumberland

Smallcleugh mine is recorded to have been developed from 1770 for a short time, working a series of veins and strata-bound replacement deposits (flats) believed to have been first encountered in 1776 associated with the Handsome Mea and Smallcleugh veins. Although the mine does not appear to have gotten into its stride until 1787, several other veins and flat deposits were also developed before the mine closed in the early 1900s. In 1963 an abortive attempted was made to locate further ore reserves. The most well-known account is the dinner held underground by the Masonic Lodge in the so-called Ballroom Flats in 1901. The first amateur exploration of the mine may have been in the late 1960s.

Smallcleugh mine in the North Pennine Orefield is well known amongst British mineral collectors for good examples of galena, sphalerite, ankerite, and calcite, and to a much lesser extent quartz, all of which have been collected for many years since access was regained. Excellent specimens of single black complex sphalerite crystals to 1.5cm or so on white matrix were collected from a replacement deposit above the so-called Hydraulic shaft. Single galena crystals to 4cm could be collected from cavities in the strata-bound replacement deposits (flats) and veins. Less well known are the secondary species: secondary minerals mostly of zinc, copper, lead, and iron, rare nickel, and manganese have occasionally been found. Many of the secondary minerals from Smallcleugh would be only of interest to micro-mineral collectors. Many of the flat deposits now have modern names such as Wheel Flats (from a set of ore cart wheels found there, the old name may have been Browns Flat), while Whit Hudsons Flat and Hetheringtons Flat and cross-cut are possibly an original name. Other modern names are Incline Flats (an incline level leads into these workings), Old Fan Flats (parts of a ventilator fan found here), New Fan Flats (near the Old Fan Flats), North End Flats (?), Smallcleugh Main Flats (after the mine), The Ball Room Flat (named after a Victorian Masonic dinner party held there), Zinc Flat (from a high sphalerite content), High Flats (above the Smallcleugh Horse Level), Proud's Sump Flat (after the sump near these Flat workings), and Gullyback Flats (?). The rises and sumps appear to have mostly retained their old names, e.g. Spottiswood, Proud's, and Luke Halls.

Mineral List

37 valid minerals.

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on Macrostrat.org

Late Carboniferous
298.9 - 323.2 Ma

ID: 3160982
Late Carboniferous sandstone

Age: Pennsylvanian (298.9 - 323.2 Ma)

Lithology: Major:{sandstone}, Minor{siltstone,mudstone}

Reference: Asch, K. The 1:5M International Geological Map of Europe and Adjacent Areas: Development and Implementation of a GIS-enabled Concept. Geologisches Jahrbuch, SA 3. [147]

Bashkirian - Visean
315.2 - 346.7 Ma

ID: 2036067
Yoredale Group

Age: Carboniferous (315.2 - 346.7 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Yoredale Group

Lithology: Limestone, sandstone, siltstone and mudstone

Reference: British Geological Survey. DiGMapGB-625. British Geological Survey ©NERC. [23]

Early Carboniferous
323.2 - 358.9 Ma

ID: 3186080
Paleozoic sedimentary rocks

Age: Mississippian (323.2 - 358.9 Ma)

Lithology: Sedimentary rocks

Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. [154]

Data and map coding provided by Macrostrat.org, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in mindat.org without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Bridges, T.F. (1983) An occurrence of annabergite in Smallcleugh Mine, Nenthead, Cumbria. Journal of the Russell Society, 2, 18.
Bridges, T.F. (1987) Serpierite and devilline from the North Pennine Orefield. Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, 46, 169.
Livingstone, A., Bridges, T.F., and Bevins, R.E. (1990) Schulenbergite and namuwite from Smallcleugh Mine, Nenthead, Cumbria. Journal of the Russell Society, 3, 23-24.
Livingstone, A. (1991) The zinc analogue of ktenasite from Smallcleugh and Brownley Hill mines, Nenthead, Cumbria. Journal of the Russell Society, 4, 13-15.
Livingstone, A. and Champness, P.F. (1993) Brianyoungite, a new mineral related to hydrozincite, from the north of England orefield. Mineralogical Magazine, 57, 665-670.

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