1844 Report

1844 Report

1844repcoverCockhill Level

1844 plan
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Reference to Plan 1-2
This straight part of the level is driven through the grit and shale strata, which are seen regularly coming up in the sole and disappearing in the roof, to the limestone, which, about Greenhow, is the only lead producing rock. This part is driven 40 or 50 fathoms in limestone before it cuts the Cockhill Vein, at what is called the level head.

Repair good.

Length about 22ch 60lk or 248 fathom.

Reference to Plan 2-3
Cockhill Level continued to the right in the direction of the Cockhill Vein. This is driven chiefly in or about the vein.

About 32 fathoms of this length was found to want repair and the masons are now employed arching it.

Length about 20ch or 220 fathom.


Greenhow Rake Vein & Level

Reference to Plan 3-4
The length 2-3 makes an angle at B towards the Greenhow Rake Vein, which it cuts at fig 3. The level is continued eastward in the vein about 18ch 70l or 205fa. About 100 fathoms of this are open, only requiring some trifling repairs, as the ground is in general hard. Beyond there is an obstruction which prevents further access.

There are no workings about this part of the Mine at present, but there is a very large and strong vein, reckoned the strongest about Greenhow. It crosses a little east of the highest part of the Hill, and was formerly very rich in many parts of it, particularly near the surface, in what is called Bellon Bottom, a little NE of Duckstreet limekilns.

Reference to Plan 3-5
The main level is continued North Westward in or about Greenhow Rake Vein, about 5c 80l or 64fa and then loses the name of Cockhill Level, at the part where a branch turns to the left, forming a Crosscut called Primgap Level.

This part is in good repair being in common use.


Primgap Level

Reference to Plan 5-6
The Primgap Level cuts several veins among them Primgap Vein and Cleaver Vein. In the latter, about 20 fathoms above the level, there is a fair working, nearly under the Farm House late Thomas Whitehead.

This level right to be continued east in Cleaver Vein, both to try that vein, and, ultimately, by means of Crosscuts, the Galloways and Blue Rigg Veins.

Primgap Level is in good repair.

To Cleaver Vein about 14c 30l or 157fa.
East in the vein about 1c 80l or 20 fathoms.
West towards Joint Level 5c or 55fa.


Joint Level

Reference to Plan 5-7
Past Primgap, the level is called Joint Level. This level has, in some parts, fallen in and the water is stopped, but a few years since, the Cockhill Company made a communication between it and Primgap Level, which lets off the water but not low enough, as Primgap loses more level in driving than the Joint Level. In consequence of this difference of level the water still stands in the Joint Level to the height of the roof or nearly.

In making the communication some good ore was found, which was wrought under the level till the miners were prevented from sinking any deeper by the water.

Whole length to Appletreewick Manor 23c 90l or 262fa.


South Branch of the Main Level
(Leading to the part called Sunside)

Reference to Plan 2-8
This passes nearly under the Inn at Greenhow, a little east of it, and continues in a southerly direction to Green Groves and Cleaver Veins, in which there have been workings in different directions, and thence more southwest to Sir Thomas Vein. This part is driven chiefly in limestone, favoured occasionally by joints etc.

In driving this part of the level a space in the limestone filled with fine sand and water was come at, which was exceedingly difficult and expensive to get through, many thousand wagons of the sand having to be withdrawn before the level could be driven under it. The surface over it was let down, and the large empty space left in the Rock was called by the miners Dolly Hole, from being under Dolly Bentley’s Field.

About 6fa east of this hole there are a few stemples or wooden props in the roof. The rest of this past either hard or arched and requiring no repair.

Length 31c or 341fa.

Reference to Plan 8-9
Level continues in Sir Thomas Vein to Hindmas Stand.

In pretty good order.

Length 7c 50l or 82fa.


East Galloways Level or Gill’s Crosscut

Reference to Plan 8-10
This, if continued, would be a good trial for the Galloways and Blue Rigg Veins at a much greater depth than they have been wrought. It might serve the same purpose as the continuation of Primgap Level in Cleaver Vein, and Perhaps better, but the forefield is very hard, being solid limestone.

This level, being in general hard, is in good order.

Length to Forefield 10c 80l or 118fa


Blue Jock Level, Crosscut to Moss Vein, and Moss Vein Level

Reference to Plan 11
20 fathoms in length near the Forefield of Moss Vein Level, is in part supported by long wood; one side of the level being in general soft, the other hard, so that this part wants arching.

The rest of these Levels and Crosscuts good, so far as could be examined. The Forefield of Moss Vein Level was not accessible, the air being bad. At present no one is working here.

The Vein in Blue Jock Level is considered to be the Greenhow Rake Vein, and to be the same that forms a junction, near the Climbing Way, with other veins, and from thence continues, under the name of the Hading Vein and New Sun Vein, in the line of the Hading Vein Level and New Sun Vein Level, to the dip of the limes. Fig 18.

Whole Length of these Levels 15c 70l or 172fa.


Cleaver Vein

Reference to Plan 12
Crosscut North from Hindmas Stand.
To Cleaver Vein (Not that cut by Primgap Level)

Length about 1c 60l or 17fa.

Of the proper dimensions. Stands well.

Reference to Plan 13
From the end of this there is a working westward in the vein 1c 80l or 19fa.

Reference to Plan 14
Eastward, there is a level driven in the vein about 5c or 55fa and 4 men are at present employed at the Forefield. It is hard and poor.

This being hard, is good, standing without support.


Crosscut, north to Green Groves

Reference to Plan 15
About 23fa along the last mentioned level is another crosscut, north, to Green Groves Vein. It is about 2c 50l or 27fa in length. Standing good, except about 2fa near Cleaver Vein, which is wooded.

This crosscut leads to a working in Green Groves Vein but at present it is poor.


Main Level

Reference to Plan 9-16
This part of the principal waygate level, good.

Length 60c 60l or 72fa to the South Level.

Reference to Plan 16-17
This part of the Main Level good, except a part, which, for greater security, was arched in the barrel form. Notwithstanding, the earth, (Gulph) has exerted such a pressure upon the arch, as, by degree, to have reduced its dimensions to about 5 feet in height.

The length that wants arching over again is about 5 fathoms.

Length of this part 10c 20l or 112fa.

Reference to Plan 22-23
Continuation of the Main Level as a crosscut to the Folly and Sun Veins.

Driven in hard ground, and therefore, standing good.

From the Hazel to the Folly 5c 60l or 61fa
Thence to Sun Vein 8c 80l or 96fa
Total of 22-23 14c 40l or 157fa


Low North Level

Reference to Plan 17
Apparently no one works here, as there is here and there a little work fallen in and the water is stopped.

Otherwise the level is good.

Length to Cleaver or Hazel Vein about 5c or 55fa.


Hading Vein Level and New Sun Vein Level

Reference to Plan 17-18
These seem to be driven in or about the same vein, and are generally in good repair. In New Sun Vein Level there is a moderate working under-level, about E.

Greenhow Rake Vein, Blue Jock Vein, and the Hading Vein, are to be considered but as different names, given in different parts of the ground, to the same vein, which is, as the miners say, “Master Vein of Greenhow”.

A great cross vein that intersects this part of the ground has a curious effect upon the lead veins. When in driving the Hading, the Hazel, or Folly Vein, the Great Cross Vein is come at, the vein is lost, and the drift has to be turned about 10fa to the right before the vein can be found at the other side of the Cross Vein.

Length of both these levels (17-18) 25c 50l or 283fa.

Length of the Hading Vein Level from Low North Level to High North Level (20) 9c 40l or 103fa.


South Level

Reference to Plan 16
This Level, or crosscut, is partly filled with work, which dams the water, and prevents further progress at about 20 fathoms from the Main Level.

Length, by the plan 7c 40l or 80fa.
Branch east in Blue Jock or Greenhow Rake Vein 3c 50l or 38fa.

Reference to Plan 19
This level is driven in the Great Cross Vein, till the limes are lost by dipping under the grit and shale. It then turns to the westward, along the bard[?] of the limestone, keeping the limestone on the north side. It was expected, by driving in this direction, to cut some of the Galloways or Blue Rigg Veins, and a very strong vein was cut at F, and the level was driven some distance in it, but it did not prove productive of ore.

9 or 10 fathoms above the level is a top Drift, which forms a communication between the Hading Vein Level and this, near the Forefield; chiefly useful as an airway.

Near the turn, at G, the level is broken down, and beyond that part the level is not now accessible.

Below the break there wants about 26 fathoms arching.

Above the break the length wanting archingld not be exactly ascertained.

From the New Sun Vein Level to the vein, G 6c 60l or 72fa
G to the Forefield in the vein 10c 20l or 112fa
South Branch, H 2c or 22fa


High North Level & Hazel Vein

Reference to Plan 20
Continuation of the Main Level to Hazel Vein, as a crosscut.

Hard, and there fore standing good.

Length 5c 10l or 56fa.

Reference to Plan 21 & 22
Hazel Vein West and East Levels, driven in the Hazel Vein.

Open, and in repair.

The Hazel Vein is the Cleaver Vein more to the west.

Level in Hazel Vein West 6c or 66fa
Level in Hazel Vein East 7c 20l or 81fa
Level in Hazel Vein East to next crosscut to the north leading to the Folly
and Sun Veins (22) 4c 30l or 47fa


Folly Vein, West and East Levels

Reference to Plan 24 & 25
The West Drift is continued in the vein about 12c 80l or 140fa and there the vein is lost, in the Low Level. But there is a rise about 20fa from the Forefield, communicating with a Top Drift, made in the vein, and which approaches another, continued east in the Green Groves Vein.

The Moor Vein, a little north of the Green Groves Vein, and the Folly Vein, are thought to be the same.

Repair, good, being in constant use.

Eastward the level is driven about 2c 80l or 30fa in the Folly Vein till the Limestone and Vein are lost together.

The Folly Vein has borne well under the level, both east and west of the Main Level. There are at present 6 Partnerships employed under-level, one of them under the East Level, and the rest westward. Most of their workings are somewhat poorer than they were, but they still produce good ore, the greatest proportion of what is raised at the mine. There are about 36 men employed at these workings. The bearing part under-level so far as yet ascertained, extends in length about 100 fathoms, 30 eastward, and 70 westward. Several of the workings are about 20 fathoms below the level.

About 14 fathoms south of the Folly Vein is Dufton String a “fine wick string”.


Sun Vein, West Level

Reference to Plan 26
This is driven about 6c 80l or 74fa in the vein, westward till the vein is lost.

It is in good repair.

There is a rise near the Forefield, which leads up to an Old Man’s Drift, about 14fa above the level. This is driven in the Sun Vein, westward, towards the Gill Field Level Forefield, above which it is probably about 20 fathoms.

In the Top Level, about 20 fathoms before the Gill Field Level, there is a sump sunk, to a depth of about 14 fathoms, in which a partnership have a good working.


Sun Vein, East Level

Reference to Plan 27
This leads to the Forefield Engine, and to the Stand where a Steam Engine was erected to enable them to work the vein under-level, before the Eagle Level had drained the water from it. At that time the vein was very rich under-level, but became poorer before the Steam Engine was taken out.

The lowest workings are nearly at the depth of 20 fathoms below the level, and there is still ore to be got at the dip of the Limestone at that depth. But it can only be wrought after much dry weather, as the water coming from the upper beds in wet weather require much time to drain away.

As the water is now nearly out, a Partnership or Company of 8 are about to work here.

The vein has been wrought under-level to about 40fa east of the engine, and to a depth as before observed, of near 20 fathoms in some places.

The Sun Vein and Garnet Vein form a junction near the Forefield Engine, and this is considered to be the cause of the great productiveness of the Sun Vein, or the united veins, in that part.

It was also observed in working the vein eastward, and under-level, that its productiveness was very much influenced by the junction of strings, or thin veins, from the south: whenever they were numerous the vein was rich. They are now much less frequent, eastward and at the depth of the workings.

10 fathoms of this part of the Sun Vein East Level is supported by wood and is low.

From the Level to the Steam Engine Stand 7c 60l or 83fa


Garnet Vein

Reference to Plan 28
The branch to the left driven to the end of the Limes is in bad repair.

Length 4c 70l or 51 fathoms

Reference to Plan 29
Continuation of the Level in Garnet Vein.

The Garnet Vein separates from, or intersects the Sun Vein in Gill Field, and from thence holds a separate course of about 370fa eastward to near the Forefield Engine, where as before stated, it again joins the Sun Vein. At the intersection in Gill Field, as at the junction near the Forefield Engine, the veins were very rich.

Length of the part driven in Garnet Vein 4c 40l or 48 fathoms.


Gillfield Level

Reference to Plan 30-31
The Gillfield Level is driven through grit and shale, and, towards the Level Head, where it branches off to the vein, limestone, being exactly the same strata as the Cockhill Level is driven through.

This level is rather low, having been driven by a former Company, but it is in general, in moderate repair.

Length 21c or 231 fathoms


Gillfield West and East Levels

Reference to Plan 31-32
A West Level, which seems to have been intended to work the Waterhole Vein in that direction.

Great part of it is broken down.

There have been no workings in it for many years, except, perhaps, near Gill Field Main Level

Length with its branches 12c or 132fa

Reference to Plan 31-33
East Level. Driven chiefly in the Waterhole Vein.

Beyond the crosscut to Sun Vein (34) no working at present.

The level is filled with work or broken down in many places.

From the Level Head to the east Forefield 10c or 110fa
From the Level Head to the Slant crosscut (34) 6c 40l or 70fa


Sun Vein Level

Reference to Plan 34-35
Crosscut, slanting to the Sun Vein. Driven in Limestone.

Repair, good.

Length 5c or 55fa

Reference to Plan 35-36
The Forefield of this level is at present, and has been for some time, wrought by 4 men. The vein is poor in the Forefield, but, a few fathoms below, there is ore in the roof and sole that pays for working; and, about 20fa before the Forefield, there is a working below the Top Drift, as mentioned in the account of the Sun Vein West Level.

A part of this has lately been arched, just above the turn at 35, and a few other parts that require it are in course of repair.

When completed those part of the Gill Field Level now in use, leading from the level’s mouth to the Sun Vein Forefield, will be in good repair.

Sun Vein Level 29c 30l or 322 fathoms.


Distances or Lengths Fathoms Miles & Yds
From the entrance of the Cockhill Level to the Sun Vein where
the Steam Engine stood along the way to that point
Other crosscuts and branches connected with the Sunside Level.
Aggregate length
Cockhill Level, west and its branches, not including the Joint Level 721
Joint Level 262
Total connected with Cockhill Level 3694 4 348
From the entrance to the Gill Field Level to the Forefield of
Sun Vein Level along the principal waygate
West Level and branches – 132
East in Waterhole Vein – 40
Total Low Levels connected with Gill Field 850 0 1700
Total connected with both Levels 4844 5 285


Forefields driving

Cleaver Vein Level East (14) by 4 men
Gill Field Sun Level (36) by 4 men
A crosscut was till lately driving north from Blue Jock Level (K) but the 2 men employed there are now assisting the mason at the arching.


A note concerning measurements

Measurements in the mines were generally done by two methods; Chains & Links or Fathoms

  • Chain is 22 yards (or 66 feet) and there are 100 Links to a Chain, this makes a Link 7.92 inches.
  • Fathom, as in nautical terms, is 6 feet.

The surveyor here quotes both measurements, frequently using abbreviations:

  • fa – Fathom
  • l – Link
  • c – Chain

A common surveyor’s chain, in England, Gunter’s chain, has 100 strong ‘links’ of wire connected by iron rings, with brass handles at the two ends. Intermediate points are marked by small brass tags at 10 link intervals. The usual length of Gunter’s chain is 22 yards ie 66 feet, and measurements are made in chains and decimal parts which might be expressed in links; 3.34 chains = 3 chains 34 links. A link is 7.92 inches.

The chain is a decimal instrument, 1/100th chain is 1 link. The chain was introduced by Edmund Gunter (1581-1626), mathematician, who is also credited with the introduction of the decimal separator to mathematical notation.

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