Magpie mine, an ancient and historic lead mine, near Sheldon in the Peak District, here having a bit of a winter solstice type moment.
Lead smelting has been going on in Derbyshire for 3500 years It a fascinating place, let me give you a tour round, but let’s take care.
There is something about the place that doesn’t feel quite right, I think it is the lack of accoutrements to the working life that once thrived here. It would have teamed with life, there would have been noise, smoke, the rattle of harnesses as horses turned the gin wheel. But now It does feel rather eerie.
You can almost feel the life it once had but not quite. It’s as though there is a life inside and below that we can never know.
Something going on behind these locked doors.
As though the shadow of the gallows frame, might start to turn.
Mr Uphilldowndale however is less fanciful than me, he wants me to point out to you, how the lower section of the chimney in this image is out of plumb* and when a later brick extension to top has been built they’ve built it vertically, he’s forever the engineer.
We both admired the tunnel flu to this chimney, now partially collapsed
we admired the view too
All around the site are the remnants of spoil from the mine, a bing
Spoil from lead mines, still poses a problem for farmers, and can kill livestock . You can often see clusters of trees, usually with walls around them,
the trees to cover the spoil with their roots, and the walls as an added deterrent to livestock
Nature takes its course though and flowers and plants grow here that can tolerate the toxicity of the soil ‘metallophytes’,
plants such as the nationally scarce spring sandwort (known locally as leadwort) and alpine penny cress, and Pyrenean
survy grass and mountain pansy.
*Plumb, did you see what I did there? [Middle English, lead, a plumb, from Old French plomb, from Latin plumbum, lead.]
17/2/16 Edit… Lost and now found, the link that has to go with this post, Peak District Mines Historical Society