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Myers Head Mine, Hartsop, Cumbria, England, UK

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 54° 30' 18'' North , 2° 54' 12'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 54.5052048763, -2.90352828783
UK National Grid Reference:NY415126
Other/historical region names associated with this locality:South Eastern Region; Westmorland

Myers Head Mine, lies at the confluence of Pasture Beck and Hayeswater Gill in the Ullswater Valley, a short distance from the small hamlet of Hartsop.

The earliest workings at the mine consist of two stone arched levels known as the Pasture Beck Trials. Started around 1860, it was hoped that these levels would find the vein that crosses the beck. However, the vein they found contained mainly zinc with only a little lead. At the time zinc was considered to be a worthless mineral and had no uses so the work soon stopped. Today both of these levels are run in after a few yards.

The main working was started in 1866 by the Low Hartsop Mining Company and consisted of a shaft, 30 fathoms deep, sunk on the southern bank of Pasture Beck. The levels were then driven on the vein which consisted of lead, zinc and a little pyrite. But some good ore was encountered and it was thought that the mine had a good future. However, the mine was plaqued with problems from the very start due to the poor conditions underground. The levels were driven through some very unstable ground which consisted of sandy quartz and crushed rock and the mine was extremely wet.

To help deal with the problems a water wheel was erected on the opposite bank to the shaft to help pump out the mine. It was powered by water brought down from a dam along Hayeswater Gill. This water was carried along a wooden launder which was supported on 11 large stone piers. The pumping rods then spanned the beck to the shaft. This was a considerable investment at the time which showed the company had high expectations for the mine. Although this did help to alleviate some of the problems the pumps, which ran 24 hours a day, were often choked and blocked with the vast amounts of sandy water which in turn caused addtional problems and delays.

Then the mine suffered a terrible disaster when a fault in the vein was cut and thousands of gallons of water poured into the workings. The miners had to run for their lives, battling against the rising water and then climbing the 180ft shaft to safety. Fortunately all the miners made it out in time, but the mine was flooded to the shaft collar and choked with debris. This disaster brought about the end of the mine and the workings were abandoned. The mine closed in 1878 after just 12 years.

Mineral List

18 valid minerals.

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Tyler, I.(2006), The Lakes & Cumbria Mines Guide, 62.
Tyler, I.(2001), Greenside And The Mines Of The Ullswater Valley, 125.
Adams, J.(1995), Mines of The Lake District Fells, 133.

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