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Paddy End Dressing Floors, Coniston Copper Mines, Cumbria- Archaeological Survey

Schofield, Peter (2007) Paddy End Dressing Floors, Coniston Copper Mines, Cumbria- Archaeological Survey. Project Report. OA North. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Oxford Archaeology North (OA North) was commissioned by the Lake District National Park Authority, on behalf of United Utilities, to undertake an archaeological survey of the Paddy End Dressing Floors at Coniston Copper Mines, Cumbria (SD 285 992). The dressing floors had been subject to severe erosion caused by the bursting of a water main above them in 2005. The survey was intended to inform the conservation management of the landscape and archaeological resource. The survey follows on from a general historical study of the copper mines by Eric Holland and an archaeological survey of the whole Copper Mine complex by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments (England). The present survey was undertaken between March and July 2007 and entailed a detailed topographic survey of the surface remains, and the production of elevations of selected walls to enable their consolidation. The mining of copper on a commercial basis at the Coniston copper mines began by about 1590 and was controlled by the Company of the Mines Royal; this included exploration of mining adits (levels) at Paddy End, which is one of the principal seams of copper on the Coniston Fells. However, these mines closed in 1620 and mining did not commence in earnest again until the 1760s when the Macclesfield Copper Company raised limited amounts of ore. The main period of activity at Coniston followed the acquisition of the mines by John Taylor, and under the direction of his overseer John Barrett in 1818. This included the renewed exploration of the Paddy End levels, of which there were three: Top Level, Middle Level, and Grey Crag Level. A mill was constructed at Paddy End in about 1830, in order to eliminate the cartage of ores down to the main mill on the Bonsor Dressing Floors (the site of the other mill). The Paddy End mill was erected with ore reception hoppers on a terrace level with Grey Crag Level, and ore was also brought from a hopper at Top Level and down an incline from Middle Level, and was therefore able to process ore from all of the Paddy End levels. An artificial terrace, located immediately below the hoppers, accommodated the main mill building, which was powered by two opposing external water wheels.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Cumbria
ID Code:2213
Deposited By: Sandra Bonsall
Deposited On:23 Dec 2014 10:18
Last Modified:23 Dec 2014 10:18

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