Bentyfield Mines consist of a number of levels that worked the Bentyfield,
Bentyfield Sun Veins and the Browngill, Browngill Sun Veins as well as some
smaller ones. It is worth noting that the Bentyfield Vein in this area is the
same as the Gudhamgill Vein in Nenthead.
The main development at the
mines was via the Bentyfield Level, this was driven on top of the Great
Limestone along the Bentyfield (Taylor Sike) Vein for 282m. A crosscut of 75m
brought the level to the Bentyfield Sun Vein. The Bentyfield Level was worked
by the London Lead Company and then by the Alston Moor Mining Company. It
yielded between 1848 and 1882 4950 tonnes of lead concentrates; 41 tonnes of
zinc concentrates and an average silver recovery of 215g per 1 tonne of
Bentyfield Low Level was driven in the shale under the Tuft and is
a straight drive of 290m to the Bentyfield Sun Vein where it bears north east
towards the Bentyfield Level workings. From the Sun Vein it extends another
230m to the Thortergill Syke North Vein. Browngill High Level was driven in the
Slate Sill for around 600m. Browngill Top Level was driven under the Slate Sill
and extends as far as Longholehead Whimsey.
Colonel's Level was driven
around 1736 by Liddell to reach the Browngill Vein 470m from the portal. It was
driven in the shale above the Great Limestone. Approximately half way along the
drive, the level intersected the Thortergill Syke North Vein, which was worked
for a short distance to the north east. When the level reached the Browngill
Vein, it was extended east to the Whimsey Upon the Flatt making connections
with Caplecleugh Horse and Whitesike Levels.
The Clay Level was driven
on top of the Great Limestone and cut the Thortergill Syke North Vein and then
the Browngill Vein, a total of 410m. On the Browngill Vein it was extended
another 700m to the east. Newton's Level details are not fully known, except
that it is probably a level that is shown on an old plan that cuts Bentyfield
Sun, Thortergill Syke North, and Browngill Veins. The Shieldhill Low Level was
driven by the London Lead Company and ran to the Thortergill Cross Vein where
it proceeded to follow the vein south east, cutting the Bentyfield, Bentyfield
Sun, and Browngill Veins.
Our first look into this level which has had a portal face
lift in the last few years.
(Karli and Mike), 26th July