UK Mining Walks & Visits Log

Scotland Mining Walks

Journals of mining walks

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    Leadhills Mining Walk and Wanlockhead Mining Walk 2010
  A Brief Description

Distance = 5.4km & 3.2km
Route = Paths, tracks, minor roads, rocky scree slopes and open country
Start / End = Wanlockhead Mining Museum & Glengonnar Shaft
Weather = Sunny/rain in July, snow in November

This journal log includes a site visit and walk undertaken in July 2010 followed by some further visits during Winter 2010/2011, hence some of the photos used are from the Winter. The journal log is 2 separate small walks, however this could easily be one route by either walking, driving or taking the miniture railway between both sites.

To start with we parked the car at Wanlock Mining Museum (NS873129) (see photo), a good little museum which can also include an underground visit in to Lochnell Mine. Taking the path opposite the museum and after only a few metres there is the sealed entry to the Mennock Water Tunnel (see photo) on the otherside of the stream. The path heads northwesterly along the line of the old tramway (see photo) and after a short while the wooden beam engine at Straitsteps Mine is visible (this is visited later on), around this point it was noted that the stream was now dry and the water probably leaks in to the underground workings. Continuing along the path and slightly after Straitsteps we noticed a fenced area; this is the site of North Glencrieff Mine (NS868131) (see photo). We are heading towards the pointy tip at New Glencrieff Mine, however just prior to getting there there are the remains of the old Pates Knowes Smelter Mill (NS866133) on the other side of the river (see photo) along with some mine cottages or mine buildings.

The site of New Glencrieff Mine (NS865133) consists of a number of mining features and include a number of concrete and brick buildings, remains of the process plant, the pointy tip, engine and winding shafts, 2 magazine (explosive houses), the now dry settlement ponds and the Glenglass Level can be traced. For more detailed descriptions and maps click the links. fAtfer studying the mine site for a short while we headed further along the track which is above the Glenglass Level and probable associated collapses (see photo). The track eventually comes to the river and although the bridge was no longer there some of the supports were used as stepping stone. To the left (NW) are the remains of the crushing mill and ore washing (NS857140) (see photo) and just above the crushing mill is the tramway from Bay Mine (see later) to the smelting mill (NS855143) (see photos) which is the next point of call. At the Meadowfoot Queensberry Smelter are the numerous remains of this vast site which include a number of buildings, flues, shoots amongst the large dump of waste rock.

For the next part of the trip we followed the line of the old tramway for a short while before dropping back down on to the main track. Just past the sewage works and on the opposite side of the river is a short channerl of water, this is emanating from the Glenglass (Glencrieff) Level (see photo). From this point and about 100m away is a small fence by the side of the road, this is a collapse on the Meadowfoot Level (NS86261374) (see photos); the top of the brick lined level can be seen on the otherside of the road - this is visible from the path from New Glencrieff Mine. After following the road past the group of house (Meadowfoot) a small cemetry is reached - an interesting little cemetry for some of the miners, also from this point is seen a stream of water coming from under the road; this is the discharge (and possible stream resurrgence) from the Bay Mine adit. Heading northwest from the road and along the path the remains of Bay Mine (NS867137), Symington's Improved Atmospheric Engine (see photo) and the Waterwheel pit (see photo) are seen.

Heading back down to the road and going southeasterly the site of Pates Knowles Smelt Mill can be visited, however this was already seen, hence following the road we soon came to the site of Straitsteps Mine (NS870131) where the remains of the partially restored beam engine (see photos) are seen along with the gin circle and nearby tramway adit and stows. Continue the path or road back to the museum where we took use of there cafe for some lunch.

The second part of the journal is a short walk around the remains to the south of Leadhills. We parked by the gates to Glengonnar Shaft (NS881138); our first port of call was a short visit to Lady Anne Hopetoun shaft (NS880142) which is accessed from the track a few hundred metres north along the road, this walk was to see what if anything was there; the remains here include the grilled shaft, engine base and a number of shaft hollows and mounds (see photo). We returned back to the gates to Glengonnar Shaft and proceeded to the site which is visible from the road; the remains here include some buildings, inclined plane and capped shaft (see photos). Heading up the line of the old rtramway and after a short while are the remains of Wilsons Shaft (NS885139) which include grilled shaft, processing plant and building remains (see photos) within a large area of spoil.

We headed north along the track and after approx 200m are the remains of a small building (see photo) to the site of the tramway and the possible site of Jeffreys Mine (NS885142) which originally including pumping house, water wheel and 2 tub shafts. Slightly to the north of this is seen a short tunnel for the tramway, heading west from this point and up through the side of the tip area of a few foundations and other remain; however at the top of the tip area is a fence around a large collapse (see photo) this is Watsons Shaft (NS887142). Please note this appears to be a growing collapse has there is an older fence in the hole.

We decided to head back to the car by going along the top of the tips area towards then miniture railway station, then back along the track following the railway to the car. In addition to these remains there is also more to be seen around the area.