Editing Northern Pennine Orefield: Weardale and Nenthead - an excursion

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Leave the museum and continue west along the road. On the north side of the road west of the museum entrance is a fine exposure of the Great Limestone, one of the main host rocks for mineralization, underlain by the rather friable Tuft Sandstone.
 
Leave the museum and continue west along the road. On the north side of the road west of the museum entrance is a fine exposure of the Great Limestone, one of the main host rocks for mineralization, underlain by the rather friable Tuft Sandstone.
  
=== Locality 7, Old Moss Vein [NY 820 433] ===
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=== Locality 7, Old Moss Vein [NY 820 433] ===
  
 
Old Moss Vein, one of many veins known at Killhope, is well-exposed in the Great Limestone in the bed of Killhope Burn. The vein and its altered wall-rock here carries galena, sphalerite, siderite and purple fluorite. The coral-rich Frosterley Band is exposed immediately downstream of the vein. '''''This site is an S.S.S.I. Please do not hammer the outcrop or attempt to collect from it.'''''
 
Old Moss Vein, one of many veins known at Killhope, is well-exposed in the Great Limestone in the bed of Killhope Burn. The vein and its altered wall-rock here carries galena, sphalerite, siderite and purple fluorite. The coral-rich Frosterley Band is exposed immediately downstream of the vein. '''''This site is an S.S.S.I. Please do not hammer the outcrop or attempt to collect from it.'''''
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Continue west along the B6293 noting the superb views of Cross Fell, Great and Little Dun Fells on the southwest horizon from Killhope Cross at the Durham/Cumbria boundary.
 
Continue west along the B6293 noting the superb views of Cross Fell, Great and Little Dun Fells on the southwest horizon from Killhope Cross at the Durham/Cumbria boundary.
  
=== Locality 8, Nenthead village [NY 781 436] ===
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=== Locality 8, Nenthead village [NY 781 436] ===
  
 
Park at the main village car park, built on the site of the Rampgill Mine dressing floors. Nenthead village was built in the eighteenth century by the London Lead Co., a Quaker company who were one of the principal mining and smelting companies in the orefield. Many veins occur in and around Nenthead and these, and numerous associated 'flats', proved extremely rich. Originally important as lead producers many of these deposits became significant sources of zinc ore in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The principal zinc ore at Nenthead is sphalerite which is extremely abundant in these deposits in a zone intermediate between the fluorite and barium zones. It had hitherto been regarded as a troublesome waste product by the lead miners.
 
Park at the main village car park, built on the site of the Rampgill Mine dressing floors. Nenthead village was built in the eighteenth century by the London Lead Co., a Quaker company who were one of the principal mining and smelting companies in the orefield. Many veins occur in and around Nenthead and these, and numerous associated 'flats', proved extremely rich. Originally important as lead producers many of these deposits became significant sources of zinc ore in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The principal zinc ore at Nenthead is sphalerite which is extremely abundant in these deposits in a zone intermediate between the fluorite and barium zones. It had hitherto been regarded as a troublesome waste product by the lead miners.
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Walk southeast along the track, passing the stone buildings, formerly the workshops of Rampgill Mine. Pass through the gate by a white-washed cottage and examine the well preserved assay house and smelt mill ruins. Smelting ended here late last century.
 
Walk southeast along the track, passing the stone buildings, formerly the workshops of Rampgill Mine. Pass through the gate by a white-washed cottage and examine the well preserved assay house and smelt mill ruins. Smelting ended here late last century.
  
Follow the stream up to a small waterfall [NY 787 429]. The rock here is the Great Limestone adjacent to a north-northeast–southsouthwest trending fault known as Carr's Vein. Within the northern Pennine orefield, faults with this trend are comparatively rarely mineralized and are known as 'cross veins'. In the Nenthead area, however, they clearly acted as major channels for mineralization as the Great Limestone adjacent to them is commonly altered to give extensive flat deposits which in this area carry abundant galena and sphalerite in a matrix of ankeritized limestone. The limestone here at the waterfall is a fine example of such a flat. Note the presence of galena filling cavities. The dumps from the many workings near this locality contain excellent specimens of sphalerite, galena, ankerite, quartz and calcite.
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Follow the stream up to a small waterfall [NY 787 429]. The rock here is the Great Limestone adjacent to a north-northeast–southsouthwest trending fault known as Carr's Vein. Within the northern Pennine orefield, faults with this trend are comparatively rarely mineralized and are known as 'cross veins'. In the Nenthead area, however, they clearly acted as major channels for mineralization as the Great Limestone adjacent to them is commonly altered to give extensive flat deposits which in this area carry abundant galena and sphalerite in a matrix of ankeritized limestone. The limestone here at the waterfall is a fine example of such a flat. Note the presence of galena filling cavities. The dumps from the many workings near this locality contain excellent specimens of sphalerite, galena, ankerite, quartz and calcite.
  
 
== [[Northumbrian rocks and landscape: a field guide#Glossary|Glossary]] ==
 
== [[Northumbrian rocks and landscape: a field guide#Glossary|Glossary]] ==
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{{EWwalks}}
 
{{EWwalks}}
  
[[Category:Northumbrian rocks and landscape: a field guide ]]
 
 
[[Category:7. Northern England]]
 
[[Category:7. Northern England]]

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