mine was first worked for lead along the Greenlaws West and East Veins, later
on when the mine was developing two major cross veins were also discovered; the
Swinhope Cross Vein and the Westernhope Cross Vein. Records show that the mine
was being worked in 1725 around the Greenlaws Hush and it was worked on an off
until the Beaumont Company took over in 1818. The Beaumont's stopped operations
in 1893 and in 1894 the Weardale Lead Company took over operations until
The West Vein was probably worked first and was exploited by
hushing and by shallow surface shafts. The vein was weak and only small ore
shoots were extracted in the Great Limestone and Slaty Hazle. The main levels
on the West Vein workings are Birksike Level, a crosscut in the shale, Dent's
Level in the Great Limestone, and Dent's Low Level driven below the Slaty
The East Vein was by far the richer of the two veins and yielded
ore from the Little Limestone to the Tynebottom Limestone. The East Vein was
exploited by a number of levels, the highest being the Firestone Level. Below
this was Jackson's or Watt's Level, which accessed the Great Limestone, next
was the Middle Level driven below the Four Fathom Limestone, and finally on the
lowest horizon was the Quarry Level at the base of the Slaty Hazle. In the
1940's an attempt was made to open the Quarry Level and to work it for
fluorspar, but this was an unsuccessful endeavour.
Apart from the
galena that the mine was primarily worked for, other minerals included
aragonite, calcite, amber and purple fluorite, quartz, siderite, and
All of the Greenlaws mine complex is on private land and
permission must be obtained for exploration. Please do not trespass as this
will aggravate the landowners and jeopardise future access.
Firestone Level Dig Diary.
Explore of the Middle Level, does not go far, but very
Karli, Mike and Pete, 4th October 2009.
The first view into the level after a very long
(Greenlaws Team, Karli, Mike and Pete), 4th October
Surface features around the Greenlaws Mill.
and Pete, 4th October 2009.
Level - A quick look into this level.
(Helen, Karli, Mike and Pete),
18th September 2010.
Quarry Level -
A chance to see Helen's dig and the findings so far in Quarry
(Helen, Karli, Mike and Pete), 18th September
working is accessed - Cubes Galore!
(Greenlaws Team, Karli and
Mike), 12th January 2014.
continuation of the first flats is found on the opposite wall in the shaft
- Cavities Full of Cubes!
(Karli, Mike and Sal), 27th July