Lead and zinc ores of Scotland Area I. Kirkcudbrightshire and other mines and veins in Area I

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From: Wilson, G.V. with contibutions by J.S. Flett. The lead, zinc, copper and nickel ores of Scotland. Special Reports on the Mineral Resources of Great Britain Vol. XVII: Edinburgh : HMSO, 1921.
Figure 6. Map of part of Galloway, showing the distribution of metalliferous mines.
Figure 7. Sections showing the workings in the East and West Blackcraig Mines (Newton Stewart), with a diagrammatic plan showing the relations of the whin dyke to the ore.
Figure 8. Plan and Section showing the workings in Woodhead Mine (Carsphairn).

Contents

Kirkcudbrightshire[edit]

A large number of mineral veins occur in the west part of Kirkcudbrightshire around and near to the large granite mass which forms the Cairnsmore of Fleet. The nearest railway station to many of the mines is Newton Stewart, which is just across the county boundary in Wigtownshire.

Geology[edit]

The district is situated in an. area of Silurian rocks consisting essentially of flags and shales of Llandovery-Tarannon age, with underlying black shales of the Birkhill Series. The whole area has been intensely folded, and the axes of the folds have a general north-east trend. The rocks have been hornsfelsed by the large granite mass of the Cairnsmore of Fleet, which occurs in the northeast part of the area (see (Figure 6)), and is probably of Old Red Sandstone age. Numerous dykes of felsite also occur, and in one or two cases these contain small crystals of galena.

The veins are usually associated with the hard, flaggy greywackes of the Llandovery-Tarannon Series, and can be divided into three sets. The majority have a direction approximating to W.N.W., but a few with N.W. and N.N.E. directions also occur. Many of them are of a composite nature, and their walls are ill-defined. The country-rock on either side may be impregnated and strung through with veinlets of ore, and is known as " bearing-ground."

The primary minerals of the series are galena, zinc-blende, pyrites, chalcopyrite and mispickel, and in many instances the ore is complex, with either blende or galena in excess. In former times the veins were worked for their copper or lead contents, but at present the zinc ores are principally attracting attention.

The common gangue minerals are calcite, dolomite, quartz and barytes, but usually are not in any great quantity.

History and output[edit]

Except perhaps some of the old copper mines, the Blackcraig Mines were the first to be worked in the district, and for a number of years they yielded several hundred tons of lead per annum. The lead mines appear to have been in operation till about 1882, from which time they have remained idle until 1916. Recently attempts to open up some of the mines have been in progress.

Details of the mines and veins[edit]

Wood of Cree Mine (Working)[edit]

Proprietor: Earl of Galloway.

Lessees: Ore Supply Ltd., Newton Stewart.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 4; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 28 S.E.; New Series 32 N.W.

The mine is situated on the east side of the River Cree, and close beside the road to Newton Stewart, which lies three and a half milesto the south-east.

The mine was first worked about fifty years ago, but little was done. At the present time it is being opened up again, and new machinery, including an Elmore vacuum flotation plant, is being erected.

The vein trends N.N.W., and occurs along a wide line of fracture, whose northward extension probably runs parallel to and along the course of the River Cree. As seen at the open-cast working the shatter-belt (bearing-ground) was about 5 yds. wide. It contained numerous strings of ore and the walls were ill-defined. Near the centre two false walls hading W.S.W. at 45°-50° could be made out; they were about 4 ft. apart at their widest, and the material between them consisted of brecciated country-rock with strings and pockets of blende and galena. The richer portions were near the foot-wall and the centre. At the north end of the open-cast the two false walls came together and the rich pocket was seen to pinch out both laterally and vertically.

The primary ores are galena, blende, chalcopyrite and pyrites.

These are mingled together in a highly complex state from which the individual metals can only be separated by chemical means. Assays yielded the following results:

No. 1. No. 2. No. 3.
Per cent. Per cent. Per cent.
Copper 0.30
Zinc 25.40 29.40 31.45
Lead 5.90 12.87 6.72
Iron 6.44 5.45
Sulphur 19.64 19.50
Silica 25.60
Lime 2.00 1.25
Magnesia 0.40
Alumina 0.70
Insoluble 34.50
Gold, per long ton 2 dwt. 3 grs
Silver, per long ton Trace 2 oz. 7 dwt. 17 grs

The figures of output for the last few years of working are as follows (taken from "Mines and Quarries," Part III.):—

Lead Ore. Tons. Zinc Ore. Tons.
1914 6
1915 1
1916
1917
1918 105
1919 11

Extent of Workings

These are as yet only on a limited scale. A shaft has been sunk a depth of about 15 fms. on the lode, and two levels have been driven for distances of about 10 fms. in both directions. The levels are some 6 fins. apart, and a considerable quantity of ore yielding about 10 per cent. of zinc has been proved. In all probability this mine, or the next one to be described, is that mentioned as occurring near Knocknan in a paper on the Stewartry of Kirkcudbrightshire.[1]

Coldstream Burn Mine[edit]

Proprietor: The Earl of Galloway.

Lessees: Ore Supply Ltd., Newton Stewart.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 4; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 28 S.E.; New Series 32 N.W.

The old mine is situated on the south side of and about 200 yards up the Coldstream Burn, a small rivulet which flows into the River Cree about 250 yds. above the Wood of Cree Mine.

The vein where seen crossing the burn is about 2 to 3 ft, wide and practically vertical. It runs almost due north and south, and the infilling consists mainly of broken country-rock, with ribs of blende and galena up to 4 in. in thickness.

Extent of Workings.—From the size of the dumps the workings were on a more extensive scale than at Wood of Cree, and three shafts have been sunk. These are connected by three levels, which are in good condition and are now being opened up. The ground between the levels has been largely stoped. The relation of this vein to that at Wood of Cree is as yet obscure. The ore is of the same general type in both. Until further evidence is forthcoming the Coldstream Burn Vein is perhaps best considered as a branch of the other.

Silver Ridge Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: The Earl of Galloway.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 8; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 28 N.W.; New Series 23 S.E.

The old mine is situated about half a mile east of the River Cree and two miles upstream from the Wood of Cree. There is a cart track from the mine to the Newton Stewart road. The vein is about 5 ft. wide and trends a few degrees north of west. It was opened up by shafts and levels some fifty years ago. The workings are about 90 ft. deep, and good lead ore rich in silver is said to have been wrought. The ruins of workmen's houses and a water wheel can be seen.

Bargaly Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietors: Trustees of Major Stewart.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 4; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 29 S.W.; New Series 32 S.E.

The old mine is situated on the east side of Palnure Burn about one mile by road above Bargaly Bridge. Two veins are said to occur, one trending north-west, and the other north-and-south. They hade in the same general direction, but at slightly different angles. The main vein was about 6 ft. wide, cavernous, and carried good lead ore.

About sixty years ago a shaft was sunk to strike the junction of the veins at about 60 ft. from the surface, but work ceased owing to a large influx of water, with which the miners were unable to cope.

Dallash Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietors: Trustees of Major Stewart.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 4; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 29 S.W.; New Series 32 N.E.

The old mine is situated on the east side of a small tributary of the Palnure Burn about 100 yds. north of Dallash. Access is obtained by an old track leading from the main road from Newton Stewart to New Galloway.

The vein runs along the burn in a north west direction, is about 7 ft. wide between walls, and hades west at a high angle. The infilling consists mainly of broken country-rock, calcite and quartz, with associated galena and zinc-blende. The workings have only been on a small scale, but a few tons of ore were formerly raised from a shaft connected with a level driven along the foot-wall side.

East and West Blackeraig Mines[edit]

Proprietors: Mr. Armitage of Kirouchtree, and Col. Dunbar of Machermore. Lessees: Ore Supply Ltd., Newton Stewart.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 4; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 36 N.W.; New Series 39 N.E.

The old mines are situated on the crest of the bill known as Black-Craig, which is about two and a half miles south-east of Newton Stewart.

History and Output.—The mines are said to have been discovered by a soldier in the year 1763[2] at the time of the making of the military road. Soon afterwards they were opened up, and the ore produced was shipped to Chester for smelting. For a considerable period the output from the mines averaged 400 tons of ore per annum, but by 1793 it had fallen to 30 tons. For a number of years the work was carried on by an English company. They ceased work in 1839, and the dressing and smelting plant was dismantled. From 1839 till 1850 the mines were only worked on a small scale, but about that time they were reopened and worked on a considerable scale for a number of years. The figures of output, as taken from the "Mineral Statistics" (Mem. Geol. Surv.), are as follows:

WEST BLACKCRAIG EAST BLACKCRAIG
Lead Ore Lead Ore Lead Silver Lead Silver Zinc blende Lead Ore
Year Tons Tons Oz Tons Tons Oz Tons
1854 25 18 137 106 45
1855 25 18 137 106 45
1856 20 15 41
1857 17 13 97 73 35
1858 109 83 45 24
1859 74 63
1860 24 18 80
1861 30 23 46
1862
1863
1864
1865 16 12 33
1866 103 82 99 66 105, £4 per ton.
1867 131 98
1868 184 138
1869 72 55 182 131 12, £3 per ton.
1870 52 39 32 24
1871 37 28
1872 149 114
1873 244 183 60, £2 per ton.
1874 261 193 780 109
1875 424 318 61½
1876 455 341 1364 348
1877 356 267 1068 145
1878 284 213 852 235
1879 354 264 76½
1880 197 147 70

These figures, as given for the period since 1875, differ considerably from those taken from records in Machermore Estate Office (East Black Craig), which are as follows:

Lead Blende
Year Tons Tons
1875 394 65
1876 508 253
1877 311 446
1878 304 186
1879 365 154
1880
1881 166 245

The mines remained abandoned till about 1917 when they were again leased, and are now being explored with a view to reopening.

The main vein trends about 20° north of west and hades to the southwest. It consists of a shatter-belt which in places is 20 yds. wide, and ore-bearing over nearly the whole of this width. The infilling consists mainly of broken country-rock with strings and patches of galena, zinc-blende and chalcopyrite. The gangue minerals are mainly calcite, dolomite and barytes, with some quartz. Along the greater part of its course the vein is associated with a basalt dyke (called by the miners "trap rock"). This was used as a leader when tracing the vein through new ground. As will be seen from the plan (Figure 7) the dyke has rather a sinuous course, and the main pockets of ore often occurred in the lenticular-shaped areas occurring between the walls of the vein and the concave side of the dyke. About the middle of the West Blackcraig workings the vein branches. The main vein goes straight on to the E.S.E., but the branch first takes a slightly more east-and-west trend for a short distance. It then changes and runs almost parallel to the main vein at a distance of about 200 vds. to the north. A little work was formerly done on this branch vein, but it has been abandoned for many years. The workings at the West Blackcraig Mine have been fairly extensive, and as will be seen from the section (Figure 7), all the payable ground has been stoped out from the 25-fm. level to the surface. Below this level little work has been done, and the lower levels do not appear to have proved much ore. The mine is drained by a cross-cut adit-level driven a distance of one-quarter of a mile in a north-east direction from a point on the roadside about 150 yds. south-east of Craigton.

The East Blackcraig workings are not so extensive as those at West Blackcraig. The ore was limited to the top levels near the engine shaft, and little appears to have been found at the lower levels. At the western end of the workings a good deal of zincblende was encountered. The same ore occurred at the east side of the West Blackcraig workings, and it is possible that a continuous pocket of this ore occurs in the unproved ground between them.

The engine shaft has been sunk to a depth of 133 fms. below surface and 108 fms. below adit,which has been driven a distance of 273 fms. along the vein, and issues at its eastern end near Stranord.

Palnure Vein (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 4; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 36 S.W.; New Series 39 N.E.

A trial for lead ore was formerly made at a point about one-quarter of a mile up the Palnure Burn from the viaduct. The vein trends north-west and hades to the south-west, and may be a branch of the Blackcraig Vein.

Extent of Workings.—These are on a very small scale. A shaft was sunk about 6½ fms, and a level driven a short distance. Good ore is said to have been met with, which was taken to Blackcraig for dressing.

Cairnsmore Mines (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietors: Trustees of Major Stewart.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 4; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 36 S.W.; New Series 39 N.E.

The old mines are situated on the Cairnsmore estate, about one-quarter of a mile north of Cairnsmore viaduct, and two and a quarter miles from Creetown Station.

History and Output.—The operations at these mines seem to have been on a small scale till 1845. In that year a lease was granted to the Kirkcudbrightshire Mining Company, who started work near Strathmadie. This company developed the mine and produced about 3280 tons of lead, which was shipped from Palnure before 1855. In that year, owing to lack of ore, the company was dissolved, and the mines and property sold to Mr. Thomas Field and others for £550. Their operations seem to have been directed to proving the eastern end of the vein, and they do not appear to have done anything at the main mine. As far as can be made out they ceased work in 1859, and since then the mines have been abandoned. The exact output from the mines is not definitely known, since the records for certain months are missing. The total value of the ore raised between 1847 and 1855 was £36,000, at an average price of £11 per ton. The figures of output are as follows:—

Lead Ore. Remarks.
Year. Tons.
1847 317.5
1848 477
1849 320 Figures missing from February to May
1850 360 Figures missing from January to March Taken from the Company's records.
1851 322 Figures missing from May to October Taken from the Company's records.
1852 307 Figures for 7 months only Taken from the Company's records.
1853 247 Figures missing for several months Taken from the Company's records.
1854 248
1855 193
1856
1857 19 Taken from " Mineral Statistics " (Mem. Geol. Surv.).
1858
1859 3

There are said to be two parallel veins which are only a few yards apart. They trend 15° north of west, bade to the south at about 60°, and most probably represent the eastern extension of the Blackcraig Vein. The country-rock consists of greywacke and black shale, and the veins were only productive in the former.

The main vein appears to have varied from 2 to 5 ft. in width, and to have consisted mainly of broken country-rock together with calcite, dolomite and barytes, carrying galena and iron pyrites. The ore raised contained about 74 per cent. of lead, which yielded about 31 oz. of silver to the long ton.

Extent of Workings.—The vein has been worked by five shafts. The three principal ones, namely, Stewart's, Keith's and Gilpin's, each reached a depth of 110 fms. There were at least ten levels; the longest being the 50-fm. one, which is said to have been driven a distance of 298 fms. All the levels were laid with rails, and the material workedwas shovelled directly into hutches, and then drawn to the surface at Stewart's shaft.

About one-third of a mile to the E.S.E., and along the line of the vein, a small trial can be seen beside a stream which flows into the Graddock Burn near its junction with the Cairnsmore Burn.

Englishman's Burn Mine (Creetown) (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 4; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 42 N.E.; New Series 47 N.W.

The old mine is situated on the banks of the Englishman's Burn, about three-quarters of a mile upstream from Creetown. There is little now to be seen. It has only been worked on a small scale, and produced 111 tons of ore, which yielded 8 tons of lead between 1862 and 1864.

Chain Burn Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 4; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 36 S.E.; New Series 40 S.W.

The old mine is situated on the banks of the Chain or Moneypool Burn, about one-quarter of a mile below the railway viaduct at Culchronchie. A fairly good road passes beside the workings.

The vein occurs along a line of crush, and consists of a few strings of quartz. It hades to the north, and trends about 20° north of west.

Extent of Workings.—Small shafts have been sunk on both sides of the burn, but little other work has been carried on; a little galena can be found on the dumps.

Ribble Gulch Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: Mr. Cliffe M'Culloch.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 4; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 36 S.E.; 37 S.W.; New Series 40 S.W., S.E.

The old mine is situated about a quarter of a mile up a small tributary which flows from the south, and joins the Moneypool Burn one and a half miles S.S.W. of Dromore Station. There is a good road to within a quarter of a mile of the mine.

The vein trends N.N.W., is about 6 ft. wide, and hades to the north-east at about 80°. The infilling is mainly broken country-rock and quartz. Zinc-blende up to 4 in. in thickness can be seen on the dump.

Extent of Workings.—A level has been driven a short distance on the line of the vein. Further up the burn a few shafts have been sunk, but the work seems to have been mainly of the nature of a trial.

Pibble Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: Mr. Cliffe M'Culloch.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 4; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 37 S.W.; New Series 40 S.W., S.E.

The mine is situated on the north-west slope of Pibble Hill, and about three miles by road from Dromore Station, the last mile or so being by a rough cart track, which joins the main road about half a mile above Culchronchie.

Where seen near the top shaft the vein trends 20' north of west, is about 4 ft. wide, and hades to the west at from 75° to 80°. The infilling consists mainly of broken country-rock, with quartz and barytes carrying a little galena, zinc-blende and chalcopyrite, together with linarite, cerussite, malachite, hemimorphite and pyromorphite.

Description of the Workings. From the size of the dumps a considerable amount of work has been carried on, and several levels and shafts have been driven and sunk to the vein. The top shaft is at a height of 875 ft., and what appears to be the mouth of the adit-level is at 500 ft. It seems that the workings are at least 50 fms. deep. About 200 yds. north-east of the top shaft a level has been driven a short distance along a line of fault. The material on the dump is mainly black, graphitic shale; which is interesting in that it contains small crystals of zinc-blende and galena. Near the aditlevel mouth the remains of the old washing and dressing plant can be made out.

Dromore Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: Mr. Cliffe M'Culloch.

Maps: One-inch. Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 4; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 37 S.W.; New Series 40 S.E.

The mine, which was opened up as a copper mine just before the war, is situated beside the road about half a mile west from Dromore Station.

The vein trends N.N.W., is about 4 ft. wide, and hades to the east at 800. The infilling consists mainly of broken country-rock, with quartz carrying zinc-blende and chalcopyrite. About 4 in. of good blende occur on the foot-wall, and a small dump of the same material is lying at the roadside.

Extent of Workings.—These are of the nature of a trial, but the vein has been worked open-cast a short distance, and a small shaft has also been sunk.

Rusco (Meikle Bennan Mine) (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 4; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 37 S.W.; New Series 40 S.E.

The old workings are situated on the north-east slope of Meikle Bennan, and are about one mile south-east of Dromore Station.

The vein trends about 15° north of east, is about 1 ft. wide, and hades to the south at 70°. The infilling is mainly quartz, with a little pyrites, chalcopyrite, galena and blende.

Extent of Workings.—These are very limited, but two small shafts have been sunk, and a cross-cut level has been driven south-west to catch the vein at a distance of about 60 yds. Lead ore is also stated to have been worked on Little Bennan Hill, and on the west side of the Big Water of Fleet, near Upper Rusco (Poolness).

Woodhead Mines (Carsphairn). (Under examination.)[edit]

Proprietor: Major Cathcart.

Lessees: Ore Supply Ltd., Newton Stewart.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 8; six-inch, Kirkcudbright Old Series 4 S.E.; New Series 7 S.W.

The old mines are situated at Woodhead, about three miles by a fairly good road west of Carsphairn. The nearest railway station is Dalmellington, 10 miles to the north-west.

History and Output.—The mines were discovered in 1838, and several hundred tons of lead ore were wrought open-cast. Three levels were afterwards successively driven along the course of the vein, which unwatered the mine to depths of 9, 18 and 31 fms. respectively. A large dressing and smelting plant was afterwards added.

As shown by the accompanying figures, the output rose to a maximum within a few years of the mine being opened up, and then steadily dwindled.

Year. Lead Tons. Year. Lead Tons.
1840 340 1857 72
1841 495 1858 63
1842 905 1859 45
1843 850 1860 59
1844 638 1861 61
1845 416 1862 51
1846 362 1863 42
1847 354 1864 41
1848 301 1865 35
1849 263 1866 29
1850 290 1867 20
1851 302 1868
1852 194 1869 30
1853 93 1870 61
1854 50 1871 63
1855 56 1872 34
1856 85 1873 12

Two veins have been worked, namely, the Woodhead Vein and the Garryhorn Vein. The former trends about 20° north of west, and hades north-east at 62°. The infilling consists mainly of broken country-rock (fine-grained greywacke), with strings and patches of calcite, dolomite and quartz. The ores are galena, zinc-blende and chalcopyrite. So far only galena has been worked, and it is said to have ranged up to 3 ft. in width. A fair amount of zinc-blende also occurs, The Garryhorn Vein occurs about 300 ft. north-east of the main vein, runs parallel to it,_ and hades in the same direction. Assays of the ores gave the following results:

Galena 85.65 per cent. of lead and 3 oz.10 dwt. of silver per long ton
Blende 61.4 per cent. of zinc

Complete analyses of the blende are as follows:

No. 1. No. 2.
Per cent. Per cent.
Zinc 59.5 60.200
Lead Nil. 0.413
Sulphur 32.5 33.510
Iron 5.88 4.67
Insoluble (Silica, etc.) 1'5 0.150
Lime 1.04
Arsenic Trace. Trace
Copper
Cadmium Trace. Trace
Silver 0.5 or 1 oz. 12 dwt. 16 grs. per long ton.

Extent of Workings.—The general extent and disposition of the workings are shown on the plan and section of the mine (see (Figure 8) ). The adit-level has been driven a distance of about 2100 ft., and the ore has been taken out from there to the surface. Below adit-level the ore held down to the 11-fm. level, but the lowest, or 25-fm. level, does not appear to have proved much ore.

The refuse dumps at the mine are extensive. They occasionally contain large pieces of zinc-blende, but, on the whole, that mineral does not occur in large quantities.

Several cottages are in fairly good condition, but the dressing and smelting plants are totally dismantled.

Kells (Veins in the parish of).[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological; Sheet 9; six-inch, Kirkcudbright New Series, 18 or 26.

In the (Old) " Statistical Account of Scotland " lead ore is mentioned as occurring near Kenmore,[3] and a lead mine is said to have been worked at a point about two miles further to the north.

Other mines and veins in area I.[edit]

Wigtownshire[edit]

New Luce (Knockibae Mine) (Abandoned)[edit]

Proprietor: The Earl of Stair.

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 3; six-inch, Wigtown Old Series 11 N.E.; New Series 13 N.W.

The old mine is situated about one and a half miles north-east of the village of New Luce, and access is obtained by an old track from Burnshangan, which is a mile east of New Luce and one mile south of the mine.

The mine appears to have been first opened up about the middle of the eighteenth century, and a few cwt. of rich ore are said to have been obtained. A second attempt was made about 1790,[4] but little appears to have been done. In 1866 a company was formed to work the mine, and reports were given by Captain John Kitto (late of Laxey Mines) and by others.

The vein, which averages 3 ft. in thickness, trends north-east, is associated with a line of movement, and hades to the west. The country-rock is hard greywacke, and the infilling consists mainly of calcite, with associated galena and zinc-blende.

Extent of the Workings. The vein has been opened up by an adit-level which has been driven a considerable distance along the course of the vein; a few small shafts have also been sunk.

Ayrshire[edit]

Balloch Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 8; six-inch, Ayr 63 N.W.

An old lead mine is situated on the sides of the Changue Burn, about two and three-quarter miles south-east of Barr. The vein trends north-east and is associated with a line of movement. The infilling is mainly quartz, which is said to have carried good lead ore. A level has been driven a short distance on the vein.

Dalmellington Vein.[edit]

Lead ore is mentioned as having been found in this parish in " The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland," vol. vi. (1792), p. 72.

Daleagles Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 14; six-inch, Ayr 47 N.E.

The old mine is situated about three miles south-west of New Cumnock, and some 400 yds. south of the road to Dalmellington.

In all probability these are the workings mentioned[5] as being developed by a company of Quakers, who employed twenty miners about 1790.

Afton Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 15; six-inch, Ayr 42 S.W.

The old mine is situated on the west side of the Afton Water, about 2.5 miles south from New Cumnock. A good road exists to within a few yards of the workings.

Old Cumnock (Vein of lead ore in Limestone Quarry at).[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 15; six-inch, Ayr 36 (possibly).

In " The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland," vol. vi., 1793, p. 408, mention is made of a vein of galena having been found in a limestone quarry. A small quantity of ore was worked and taken to Wanlockhead, where it was dressed and smelted, and found to yield 65 lb. of lead from 1 cwt. of ore.

Auchinleck (Vein of lead ore at).[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 14; six-inch, Ayr 35 N.W. or N.E.

A vein of lead ore which has never been worked is mentioned in " The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland," vol. xi., 1794, p. 431, as occurring at Bell's Park.

Dockra Quarry[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 22; six-inch, Ayr 8 S.W.

A few tons of galena were formerly taken from a small pocket of ore met with when working the limestone in Dockra Quarry.

Muirkirk (Trials) (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 15; six-inch, Ayr 31 S.W.

Mr. John Ferguson[6] mentions the occurrence of lead ore on the lands of Wellwood. Several trials were made, but without success. The lead ore is stated to have occurred in veins of fluor-spar, which were found cutting the Upper Old Red Sandstone rocks near the source of the River Garpel. Other small veins and trials are mentioned as occurring on the lands of Priesthill (one-inch 23; six-inch, Ayr 26 N.W., S.W.).

Lanarkshire[edit]

Nutberry Hill and the River Nethan[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 23; six-inch, Lanark 37 N.W.

A small group of veins was formerly worked on the slopes of Nut-berry Hill, which is situated some five miles north-east of Muirkirk and seven miles south-west of Lesmahagow. The district is very inaccessible and there are no roads. An old dismantled mineral-line occurs about two miles to the south-east, but can only be reached by crossing two valleys.

Geology.—The veins are chiefly situated in a small area of Silurian rocks, consisting essentially of grey shales, mudstones, and greywackes, with occasional bands of conglomerate. A number of intrusive sheets of pink felsite, and dykes of basalt also occur. The veins are found cutting the felsites but although they are occasionally parallel to the dykes, their mutual relations are not known.

History and Output.—Little is known as to the history of these mines, but they are probably the ones referred in "The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland," vol. vii., 1793, p. 424, as having been worked in 1720, and again in 1758.

Nutberry Hill (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 23; six-inch, Lanark 37 N.W.

The old working is situated on the north slope of, and about a quarter of a mile distant from the summit of Nutberry Hill.

The vein trends W.N.W., and has been worked open-cast on a small scale. The country-rock is mainly grey, Silurian slate, and the only signs of the vein, now visible, are thin strings of barytes carrying small cubes of galena. A little zinc-blonde can also be seen in the material of the dump.

River Nethan Veins (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 23; six-inch, Lanark 37 S.W.

Three veins are exposed near the head of the river. The first and most westerly is seen at a point about three-quarters of a mile due south of Nutberry Hill. It is about 4 to 5 ft. in thickness, hades to the south-west, and trends north-west. Where seen crossing the stream it is much broken up, but contains about 2 ft. of white barytes; through which are scattered numerous small cubes of galena. About 100 yds. to the north a shaft has been sunk on the line of the vein, and the small dump consists mainly of peculiar, soft, white barytes with interspersed galena.

The second vein is exposed about 200 ft. further down the burn. It trends in the same direction as the last, is much broken up, and consists of about 2 ft. of barytes, with specks of galena. It is also exposed in a small tributary about 150 ft. to the north-west. The country-rock here consists of pink felsite.

The third vein is seen on the south side of, and about 20 yds. lower down the burn. It trends north-west, is about 6 ft. wide, much broken up, and consists essentially of pink, platy barytes mixed with country-rock. A hard rib of massive barytes also occurs, and it, together with the other platy variety, carries a little galena.

Newholm Vein (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 24; six-inch, Lanark 27 N.E.

A trial for lead ore was formerly made on the lands of Newholm,[7] but the work was soon abandoned.

Carmichael (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 23; six-inch, Lanark (possibly) 33 S.W.

A trial for lead ore was formerly made on a vein of barytes in the Howgate Mouth.[8]

Snickertknees (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 15; six-inch, Lanark 43 S.E.

A trial for lead ore was once made on the Hill of Snickertknees,[9] on the farm of Birnock, in the parish of Wandell, but with little success.

Linlithgowshire[edit]

Hilderstone (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 31; six-inch, Linlithgow 5 S.E.

The old mine is situated at the south-east corner of Cairn Papple Hill, about four miles south of Linlithgow and two and a half miles by road N.N.E. from Bathgate Station.

History.—The mine appears to have been discovered in the year 1606 by a collier named Sandy Maund,[10] who found a heavy piece of " red metal " in the burn at Hilderstone. This material was strung through with threads of white metal, which were proved by Bulnier to be silver. He was struck with the richness of the ore, and obtained powers to work the vein in collaboration with the proprietor, Sir Thomas Hamilton of Binney. The vein is said to have been opened up by five shafts, of which three or still recognisable. The ore consisted of native silver associated with " red metal " (niccolite), which is said to have yielded 24 oz. of silver to the cwt. and to have been worth £120 per ton, and the native silver 4s. 6d. per oz. The vein appears to have carried native silver to a depth of 12 fms. and niccolite to 30 fms., but the latter was not argentiferous, and its own value was not known. In 1870[11] the mine was reopened, and the vein was found to be associated with an east-and-west basalt dyke, which is much altered and decomposed. A shaft was sunk to a depth of 225 ft., and a bore was put down 360 ft. from the bottom of the shaft, but it proved nothing but marl (volcanic ash). A section of the country-rock on the hanging-wall side of the vein is as follows:

Feet
Surface clay and stones 18
Sandstone 11
Fakes 37
Whinstone 16
Blaes 11
Limestone 54
Marl 42
Marl and whinstone 36

Opposite the top whinstone the vein was about 6 ft. wide, and consisted entirely of barytes; where it passed through blaes it carried barytes, with some galena which was not argentiferous. In the limestone it carried barytes, niccolite and some galena (argentiferous), and then practically pinched out in the marl.

The exploration of the waste showed that the old workings went down about 60 ft., and that practically everything had been wrought. The dumps were found to consist mainly of barytes, with some oxidised nickel ore, which was exported to Germany, and is said to have contained about 30 per cent. of nickel and 2 per cent. of cobalt. Neither native silver nor galena were found in the deads, nor were any new ore pockets discovered. Work ceased in 1873. In 1896 the mine was opened up again and worked on a small scale for galena, but was soon abandoned.

The Ores and their Alteration Products. The primary ores appear to be galena and niccolite. The secondary ores are annabergite, erythrite and native silver. The gangue is mainly barytes and calcite; the former contains small globules of a black, carbonaceous mineral which burns with a luminous flame, and melts on heating (albertite).

Peeblesshire[edit]

The Tweed Valley[edit]

Lead ore has been worked at several localities in the valleys of the Tweed and its tributaries. In many cases the sites of these old workings are now obscure or partly filled in, and little reliable information is obtainable about them. The remains of several smelting works are known. Thus, for instance, the grave-diggers[12] at Innerleithen often find remains of furnaces and bits of galena and slag in the course of their labours. The remains of an old slag heap also exist at Dalwick, near Stobo, and what is probably an old lead mine occurs on the hill about three-quarters of a mile to the south.

The most extensive works, however, seem to have been on the farm of Grieston, in the parish of Traquair, and about a mile and a half south-west from Innerleithen.

Grieston Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 24; six-inch, Peebles 17 N.E., 18 N.W.

The old mine is situated on the slope of the hill, near the farm of Grieston. The vein is associated with a felsite dyke, and has a north-easterly trend. It was formerly worked by three levels, but the mouths of these are now filled in. The ores appear to have been galena[13] and zinc-blende.

Dumbetha Mine (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 24; six-inch, Peebles 18 N.W.

The old mine is situated about one mile south-east of Traquair, and the site is shown on the six-inch Ordnance map of the area. Access is obtained by an old road to a point about a quarter of a mile due north of the workings, whence the way lies over rough moorland.

The vein trends north-east, but is not now visible. It consists mainly of crush-rock, and, from the absence of gangue or other minerals on the small dump, it would appear that it was of no value.

The workings consist mainly of a small open-cast, and perhaps a level. In all probability they represent some of the trials for lead ore made by the Traquair family in the latter half of the eighteenth century.[14]

A trial for lead ore is said to have been made in 1755 near the village of Bold, and lead ore is also stated to have been found at Walkerburn.

The Lyne, above Linton.[edit]

According to tradition, lead mines were wrought in this district extensively in the time of Queen Mary,[15] and the ore was sent to Holland, where the silver was extracted. The mines were also worked about 1760 by Ronald Crawford & Company of Wanlockhead. An unsuccessful attempt was again made to open them up in 1835, but since that date they have remained abandoned.

Dumfriesshire[edit]

Glendinning (Louisa Mine).[edit]

Lessees: The Glendinning Antimony Mine Co. Ltd.

Maps: Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 10; six-inch, Dumfries 26 S.E.

Although the mine is essentially worked for ores of antimony, it nevertheless yields an equal, or perhaps greater, amount of ores of lead and zinc. A full account can be seen in Volume XV.[16] of this series.

The mine is situated about 1 mile up the Glenshanna Burn, which joins the Meggat Water near the farm of Glendinning, and is about 12 miles by road north-west from Langholm (the nearest railway station). A good main road exists from Langholm to Westerkirk, and from there a fairly good side road.

The vein trends north-east, and hades south-east at from 80° to vertical. The walls are horizontally slickensided and about 4ft. apart. The infilling consists mainly of a breccia of country-rock (Silurian slates) cemented together by calcite and quartz, with occasional strings of ore up to 2 in. in width.

Langholm[edit]

In " The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland," vol. xiii., pp. 590591, mention is made of two occurrences of lead ore in this parish. The first is upon the farm of Westwater (six-inch map, Dumfries 44 S.E.), and the second on the estate of Broomholm (six-inch map, Dumfries 53 N.E.), but little had been done in the way of exploration, though a Derbyshire company had at that time taken a lease of the former property. The vein[17] is said to trend north-west and to contain a considerable quantity of barytes.

Crawthwaite (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 10; six-inch, Dumfries 44 S.W.

A trial for lead ore was formerly made on the estate of Crawthwaite,[18] in the parish of Tundergarth. A level was driven a short distance, and a quantity of antimony ore was obtained.

Nutholm[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 10; six-inch, Dumfries 51 S.W.

In 1825[19] some pieces of galena were turned up by the plough, and a further search resulted in about 56 lb. of ore being found. A shaft was sunk in search of a vein, but without success.

Edinburghshire[edit]

Several attempts to open up lead mines have been made in this county, but they are only on a small scale and of no account.

Glencorse (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 32; six-inch, Edinburgh 13.

An old mine,[20] called the Silver Mine, is situated in this parish. It was formerly worked on a small scale, and the ore was associated with barytes.

Balerno (Abandoned)[edit]

Maps: One-inch Ordnance and Geological, Sheet 32; six-inch, Edinburgh 6 S.E.

There is said to be an old lead mine near Malleny Hill.

References[edit]

  1. Hay Cunningham, Geognostical Description of the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, Trans. High. Soc., vol. xiv., 1843, p. 731.
  2. The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland," vol. vii., 1793, p. 54.
  3. The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland," vol. iv., 1792, p. 263.
  4. The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. Xiii., 1794, p. 584.
  5. The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland," vol. vi., 1793, p. 99.
  6. John Ferguson, Geological and Mineralogical Report on the Muirkirk Coalfield," Trans. High. Soc., vol. xiii., 1841, p. 222.
  7. The New Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. vi., 1845, Lanark, p. 53.
  8. The New Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. vi., 1845, Lanark, p.' '519.
  9. The New Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. vi., 1845, Lanark, p. 811.
  10. Atkinson, Discovery and Historie of the Gold Mynes in Scotland" (Bannatyne Club), 1835, p. 47. See also Cochran Patrick, Early Records relating to Mining in Scotland," 1878, pp. xxxvii. to xl.
  11. R. Aitken, The Hilderstone Silver Mine, near Linlithgow," Trans. Fed. inst. Min. Eng., vol. vi., 1893-1894, pp. 193-198. See also Sibbald, Supplement to Prodromus " MS., 33/5/19, Advocates' Library, Edin,
  12. J. Hardy, Report of Meetings for 1891, History of the Berwickshire Naturalist Club, vol. ix., 1892, p. 481.
  13. J. Hardy, Report of Meetings for 1891," History of the Berwickshire Naturalist Club, vol. ix., 1892, p. 482.
  14. The (Old) Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. xii., 1794, p. 371.
  15. J. Nicol, Geology of Peeblesshire," Trans. High Soc., vol. xiv., 1843, p. 180.
  16. § " Arsenic and Antimony Ores," Special Reports on the Mineral Resources of Great Britain, vol. xv., Mem. Geol. Surv., 1920, p. 54.
  17. The New Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. iv., 1845, Dumfries, p. 417.
  18. The New Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. iv., 1845, Dumfries, p. 196.
  19. The New Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. iv., 1845, Dumfries, p. 207.
  20. The New Statistical Account of Scotland," vol. i., 1845, p. 31