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Field Visit

Date 2013

Event ID 994356

Category Recording

Type Field Visit


NN 3179 3027 (centred on) A survey of was carried out to locate and assess the principal archaeological features at Tyndrum Lead Mine. The mine was worked from 1730–91, reworked in the mid-19th century and reopened 1916–35. Historic mining features survive from all these phases of operation.

The mine worked two mineral veins, Hard Vein and Clay Vein, which outcrop on the NE side of Sron nan Colan. The earliest workings are a series of opencasts and associated hand-dressing floors on the top and central section of the hill between NN 31645 30105 and NN 31923 30379. These probably date from the mid-18th century, although the occurrence of stone ore crushing mortars may indicate an earlier (?16th–17th century) phase of exploitation.

Underground mining appears to have begun with the Scots Mining Company in the 1760s and many of the mine levels in the central section of the hill, including the main haulage level at NN 31923 30379, belong to this phase. These levels were reused and extended in the mid-19th century and again in the early 20th century. At NN 31956 30354 are the foundations of one or more structures on the probable site of the Scots Mining Company’s crushing mill. The Scots Mining Company also explored the mineral veins NE of Tyndrum village and a there is a large hush at NN 32648 31101 to NN 32594 31202.

In the mid-19th century the Marquis of Breadalbane constructed an incline tramway to connect the mine with a new crushing mill at Glengarry. The incline survives as a linear earthwork running downslope from NN 31972 30362 to NN 32295 30517.

In 1916 the Tyndrum Lead and Zinc Company erected a large processing mill at the bottom of the hill (NN 32115 30596) to treat the old mine tips. Features from this period of working include the remains of the large concrete, brick and stone mill building and associated structures, spoil tips, tailings ponds and a tramway embankment. The company also worked underground and drove a haulage and access level, New Level, at NN 31982 30398. Material from this level was taken to the processing mill via a self-acting incline which survives as a linear bank and channel earthwork (NN 31975 30431 to NN 32115 30596).

Archive: Forestry Commission Scotland and RCAHMS

Funder: Forestry Commission Scotland

John Pickin, 2013

(Source: DES)

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