Editing Northern Pennine Orefield: Weardale and Nenthead - an excursion

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Return to Rookhope Smelt Mill and drive up the road towards Allenheads. About 4.0 km along the road the surface plant of Groverake Mine will be seen to the south of the road.
 
Return to Rookhope Smelt Mill and drive up the road towards Allenheads. About 4.0 km along the road the surface plant of Groverake Mine will be seen to the south of the road.
  
=== Locality 4, Groverake Mine [NY 896 442] ===
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=== Locality 4, Groverake Mine [NY 896 442] ===
  
Groverake and the associated mines of Frazer's '''Hush''' and Greencleugh are the only remaining fluorspar producers in the orefield. At Groverake at least three major veins unite but the main producer has been the east–west Groverake Vein. The outcrop of this runs between the two shafts and can be followed up the fellside east of the road as a series of collapsed '''stopes''' and opencasts. Purple and green fluorite are the main constituents of the Groverake Vein which is locally up to about 10 m wide. Galena values are relatively poor. Quartz and '''chalcedony''' are also abundant. Chalcopyrite is comparatively common here, associated in places with traces of '''bismuthinite''', and microscopic amounts of '''cassiterite''' have also been found recently in the Groverake ore. The presence of these minerals is consistent with the view that Groverake lies above an 'emanative centre' of north Pennine mineralization.
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Groverake and the associated mines of Frazer's '''Hush''' and Greencleugh are the only remaining fluorspar producers in the orefield. At Groverake at least three major veins unite but the main producer has been the east–west Groverake Vein. The outcrop of this runs between the two shafts and can be followed up the fellside east of the road as a series of collapsed '''stopes''' and opencasts. Purple and green fluorite are the main constituents of the Groverake Vein which is locally up to about to m wide. Galena values are relatively poor. Quartz and '''chalcedony''' are also abundant. Chalcopyrite is comparatively common here, associated in places with traces of '''bismuthinite''', and microscopic amounts of '''cassiterite''' have also been found recently in the Groverake ore. The presence of these minerals is consistent with the view that Groverake lies above an 'emanative centre' of north Pennine mineralization.
  
Although developed as a moderately successful lead mine by the Beaumont Company early last century, shallow mining at Groverake probably began much earlier. It was the demand for fluorspar for metallurgical and chemical use, which arose late last century, which provided the mine with its twentieth-century success. Fluorspar mining started here in 1897 and has continued intermittently under a succession of owners. To date in excess of 700 000 tons of crude fluorspar have been produced. The oreshoot on the Groverake Vein is one of the largest known in the Pennines. It has been worked almost continuously from the Lower Felltop Limestone at the surface down to the base of the Nattrass Gill Hazle. Iron-rich 'flats', similar to those at West Rigg, were worked adjacent to the vein in the Lower Felltop Limestone east of the road.
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Although developed as a moderately successful lead mine by the Beaumont Company early last century, shallow mining at Groverake probably began much earlier. It was the demand for fluorspar for metallurgical and chemical use, which arose late last century, which provided the mine with its twentieth-century success. Fluorspar mining started here in 1897 and has continued intermittently under a succession of owners. To date in excess of 700 000 tons of crude fluorspar have been produced. The oreshoot on the Groverake Vein is one of the largest known in the Pennines. It has been worked almost continuously from the Lower Felltop Limestone at the surface down to the base of the Nattrass Gill Hazle. Iron-rich 'flats', similar to those at West Rigg, were worked adjacent to the vein in the Lower Felltop Limestone east of the road.
  
On the south side of the valley about 1.6 km west of Groverake, other extensive iron-rich 'flats', also in the Lower Felltop Limestone, were worked both opencast and underground from the conspicuous overgrown excavations known as Frazer's Hushes [NY 884 445]. These flats are adjacent to the Greencleugh Vein, which is today being worked for fluorspar from the relatively new Frazer's Hush and Greencleugh mines, the former connected underground with Groverake Mine. A short distance west of Frazer's Hushes note the reservoir of Corbitmere Dam, one of several built last century to provide water to drive machinery at Allenheads Mine.
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On the south side of the valley about 1.6 km west of Groverake, other extensive iron-rich 'flats', also in the Lower Felltop Limestone, were worked both opencast and underground from the conspicuous overgrown excavations known as Frazer's Hushes [NY 884 445]. These flats are adjacent to the Greencleugh Vein, which is today being worked for fluorspar from the relatively new Frazer's Hush and Greencleugh mines, the former connected underground with Grove-rake Mine. A short distance west of Frazer's Hushes note the reservoir of Corbitmere Dam, one of several built last century to provide water to drive machinery at Allenheads Mine.
  
Continue west to Allenheads. The last 0.8 km of the road follows the valley excavated along the course of one of the main veins, the Old Vein, of Allenheads Mine. Several overgrown shaft dumps may be seen adjacent to the road.
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Continue west to Allenheads. The last 0.8 km of the road follows the valley excavated along the course of one of the main veins, the Old Vein, of Allenheads Mine. Several overgrown shaft dumps may be seen adjacent to the road.
  
 
=== Locality 5, Allenheads village [NY 860 453] ===
 
=== Locality 5, Allenheads village [NY 860 453] ===

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