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:
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.
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.
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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