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Copper Mine (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Elba

Classification Copper Mine (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Hoardweel

Canmore ID 71550

Site Number NT76SE 23

NGR NT 787 604

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Administrative Areas

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Bunkle And Preston
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Berwickshire
  • Former County Berwickshire

Archaeology Notes

NT76SE 23 787 604

There is a copper mine on Hoardweel Farm, close by the river. About 1775 it was considerably worked by an English company but the ore gave out. In 1825, however, the mine was re-opened by another English company, and was apparently successful for several months, then abandoned for a second time.

NSA 1845; Hist Berwickshire Natur Soc 1910

Elba copper mine, situated in the steep side of a ravine in a bend in the Whiteadder Water, opposite Elba cottage, consists of three adits striking 48 to 70 degrees N, driven in to the rock outcrop above the Whiteadder.

The southernmost adit is the most extensive, the entrance level striking 070 degrees, leading to a chamber which still shows notches cut into the walls to support working platforms. From this chamber three separate levels have been cut; to the SW, NE and NW. A shaft has been sunk to a lower level and the rock has been cut to the NE. The SW level is blind, but no others were examined at the time of visit.

Traces of a cupriferous vein are still visible in the adit roof and floor. The vein has been worked vertically upwards and may have emerged in a hollow higher up the bank.

The central adit is watered and could not be examined without proper equipment, at the date of visit.

The northernmost adit is some 40-50m long and was notable only for a 20 degree kink some 20m from the blind face.

There was no evidence, at the time of visit, of the miners cottages depicted on the 1st edition of the Ordnance Survey map (Berwick, sheet x) which are associated with the mine, but which appear on the opposite bank to those mentioned in 1910 (Hist Berwickshire Natur Soc).

Information from K McLaren and D R Easton, visited 16 and 22 March 1992.

A further visit ascertained that the central adit was approximately 100m in length, with a partially collapsed entrance. It is watered to a depth of c.1m for the first 20m. It is notable for a bifurcation, some 70m from the entrance, into two passages, each approximately 30m long, with ore present only in the southernmost. This passage was found to have at least three niches, possibly for candles as there are still traces of soot staining above them.

Information from K McLaren, A Kilpatrick and D R Easton 31 May 1992.

Information transferred from NT75NE 47 (NT 78 59), now cancelled.

Architecture Notes


Inventory to Duns Castle Drawings - typescript


Sbc Note

Visibility: Upstanding structure, which may not be intact.

Information from Scottish Borders Council.


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