after last weekends trip to the salon for the sheep to get their hair curled! today was the day to go and collect them.
so it was back over to Weardale, but this time on the way back we decided to go and visit Killhope and learn a bit more about the lead mining.
i must say the staff at the centre are most help full and knowledgeable. we tried our hand at the washing floor and found treasure…
the galena ore was left on these sluices as it is like gold as in being heavier. the smaller silt and grit was then transferred to this second wash,
those wooden arms operated by boys of around 8 years old. inside the trough is a suspended riddle that was jigged up and down in water, forcing the ore to the base of the tray. the tray would be hand sorted and the ore retrieved.
the fine silt was then transferred to this mechanical panning system, it worked by a flow of silt crossing over a reverse feed belt. the tiny particles would drop to the bottom and be carried back against the flow and deposited behind to be collected.
after that, a trip down the mine..
wearing the obligatory safety gear..
into the mine, once inside the guide showed how the lead ore was hacked , exploded and generally hewn from the rock.
i know this is a poor photo but inside the mine was a twenty foot water wheel that was used to pump water from the lower levels.
the ore was put into tubs and pulled out with pony’s
that great chunk took two of us to lift.
after stumbling around in the dark it was good to see the light,
what a great place to visit, there’s more but that will have to wait until i go back for anothr visit. there’s more of the museum and other areas including the walk around the woods with the squirrel hides.
so TTFN more scribbles later.
Categories: Northumberland (the peoples republic of)