by Choppers

The Isle of Man is fairly rich in minerals, producing at one time 20% of the zinc and 5% of the lead mined in the British Isles. The last mine on the island closed in the 1930's. Future mining on the island looks slim at current metal prices.

The lead-zinc mineralisation is confined to the Manx slates and is concentrated in fault zones, dipping steeply and extending to over 2000ft in depth. The main mining areas were in the south, & Foxdale with its outliers - most notably Glen Rushen and the Laxey area - extending north into Maughold.

The main mining remains are as follows:

Bradda Mines

Access is hazardous and not recommended, even with the permission of the Port Erin Commissioners. Stone mauls associated with prehistoric copper mining have been recovered from near the South Bradda mine, also known as Minehough (SC 186697). From across the bay, it is possible to see the engine house with chimney and the top of the '30 fathom shaft' standing on a platform 15 feet above high water mark, in front of the gleaming white quartz associated with the minerals. Sir W.W. Smyth described this in 1878 as "the noblest surface exhibition of a mineral vein to be seen in Europe"!!

At North Bradda Mine (SC 186707) the surviving remains include Engine House with chimney, Smithy, various adits and shafts to 72 fathoms, on a platform 15-20ft above sea level. Spittall shaft from the cliff top reached 79 fathoms and connected north & south workings.

It is reiterated that attempts at access are not recommended, but quite attractive mineral samples can still be found in the area at the end of the track from Bradda West.

Foxdale Mines

Beckwiths one of the most interesting and readily accessible sites. Remains include - washing floors with circular buddies and wooden ducts, earth dams & leats, square engine shafts, powder house, office and crushing plant and wheel case.

One of the oldest workings in the area, dated prior to 1810 is Cross Vein (or Cronk Vane = Manx Gaelic = White Cross) a consolidated and labelled engine house, is worthy of a visit, usually known as "Snuff The Wind" because of its prominent site. A whim shaft and earth dams and leats are also visible.

The main Foxdale workings. As so befits so productive a mining area, the surviving monuments become evermore exiguous. The intrepid may locate the powder house concealed in a granite trial at the southern end of the old Foxdale washing floors. A mines stone bridge, the case of a wheel, can be located along with the mineral railway station and miners dwellings (notably Brookfield).

Structures are contrastingly well preserved on the site of the Cornelly Jones or Townshends Mine, where lead was sought intermittently in 1845, 1866-74 & 1884. Its engine house, (recently consolidated) uniquely lacked a lintel, in order to accommodate the beam of its original engine. Other main structures on site include chimney, boiler cases, an office block, winding house and ore store, all enclosed by a protective fence. Cornelly house, just to the south of the mine, was the mines captains house, complete with boardroom. It is not changed externally, but is not open to the public.

Laxey Area

The great Laxey Mine and Lady Isabella have been covered in great detail by myself in an earlier CSS Journal.

Other places with remains to be seen in the area Glen Roy with shafts, 2 wheel cases and water troughs, a mines house and a track leading to a small reservoir (SC404834). Snefell Lead & Zinc Mine has some washing floors and a complex system of multi-contour leats, and two powder houses and one capped shaft and chimney survive.


Bulletin of the Peak District Mines Historical Society. Vol 7, No 4, Oct 1979.

Lady Isabella & The Great Laxey Mine. Official Guide. Manx Museum National Trust.

Industrial Archaeology of the Isle of Man. Manx National Heritage, 1993. ISBN 873120 07 9.

Cerberus Spelaeological Society Journal Vol 22, No 4, 1994, pg 77-79.

Mining Remains: Site Listing

Mine or site                             Grid Ref             Remains

Beckwiths                                SC253778         Wooden Water Ducts.

Snaefell Mine                           SC407857         Wooden Water Ducts

Cornelly                                   SC297795         Running Buddles

Peel                                          SC253848         Whims (Gins) site of

Kerroodhoo Plantation             SC223769        Whims (not proper site)

Ballacorkish                              Nr Colby          Mine Workings

Ballasherlouge                          Nr Colby           Mine Workings

Glen Chass                              Nr Colby            Mine Workings

Langness (unnamed)                SC283658           Mine Workings

Langness (unnamed)                SC284668           Mine Workings

Langness (unnamed)               SC280653            Mine Workings

Langness (unnamed)               SC285659            Mine Workings

South Bradda                          SC186697            Mine & Workings

North Bradda                         SC186707             Mine & Workings

North Foxdale Mine               SC23l789             Wheel Cases (One called Mona Erin)

Beckwiths                              SC253778            Mine & Workings (lots)

Cross Vein                             SC262780             Mine & Workings (lots)

Dixons                                   SC267779             Washing Floor and shaft

Upper Old Foxdale               Foxdale                  Mine

Lower Old Foxdale               Foxdale                  Mine

Old Flappy                           Foxdale                  Mine

Maghies                                Foxdale                  Mine

Louisa Mine                         SC288780               Mine

Louisa Mine                         SC287781                 Stone Built Wheel Case

East or Central Foxdale        SC298776                 Mine

Pott's Shaft                           SC288781                 Shaft & Ginging

Old Foxdale                         SC282777                  Wheel Case & Mines Bridge

Bells Hole                             SC278785                 Adit

Campbells Bridge                 SC302761                 Trial & dumped Zinc Ore

Cornelly Jones                     SC297795                 Mine & Workings (lots)

Darragh Mine                       SC327783                 Mine & Workings

Darragh Mine                        SC329783                Restored Wheel

Abbeylands Lead Mine         SC375803                Shaft and Adit

Ohio lead & Zinc Mine         SC367823                 Spoil Heaps

Baldwin Mine                       SC354812                 Water Cornmill

Glen Roy                              SC410835                 Shaft, Wheel case & mines house

Snaefell Lead & Zinc Mine   SC408874                 Washing floor & Leats

Great North Laxey Mine      SC427890                 Mine & Workings

Glen Cherry                          SC432891                 Wheel Case

The Dhoon                           SC456864                  Wheel case of 50' wheel

Ballaglass                              SC465897                  Great Mona wheel Case & Office blds.

Port Cornaa                          SC470884                   Bellite factory

Beinn Y Phott Mine             SC386973                  Wheel Case

Dhyrnane                             SC495913                   Shaft & Haematite Mine

The following are in the grounds of, or are associated with:

The Great Laxey Mine Laxey Show Mine & Workings

Agneash                               SC432862                    Shaft

Dumbells                             SC432861                     Shaft

Welsh                                   SC433855                    Shaft

Engine                                  SC433853                    Shaft

Mines House                       SC432850 -

Cross Cut Adit                    SC433890                     Adit

Lady Isabella                       SC432852                     Working wheel

Mines Tavern (PH)             SC433845                    Formerly Mines Captains House

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