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Horse level Background
Carrs mine is part of the phenomenal Nenthead lead-zinc mining complex high on Alston Moor in the Cumbrian North Pennines. Carrs was first recorded in 1679 and by 1750 it was one of the largest mines in the area.

From about 1800 it was taken over by the London Lead Company who already ran most of the Nenthead mines. They brought in modern techniques such as horse haulage on tram rails. In the early 20th Century it was mined for zinc by the Belgian Vieille Montagne company who introduced compressed-air rock drills.

Stone arching in Carrs Mine This is a record of a tour of the show mine guided by Peter Wilkinson, showing the superb dry-stone arching of the horse levels, the vein mineralisation, some of the mining methods, tunnels and workings large and small, timbered rises, iron rails and the shapes and beautiful colours of mineral deposits - 'the mysterious underworld of the leadminer'.

There is also an introduction to the other things to see and do at Nenthead, including the unique collection of Georgian and Victorian buildings and 'The Power of Water' - an exciting hands-on exhibit demonstrating the importance of water power for lead mining.

Smallcleugh chute

After the tour we go beyond the show mine, to explore areas of Carrs that people don't normally get to see, including a gleaming calcite-lined 'grotto' and unprotected sumps with water pouring down to even deeper mines. We also have a quick look into some of the other mines of Nenthead, particularly Smallcleugh with its stone arching, ore chutes and air doors.

Also see the DVD Compilation Nenthead Lead Mines, which includes more 1990s exploration of Smallcelugh, together with views of Rampgill, Caplecleugh and the surface buildings.

MineCam Compilation M5 shows remote exploration of eleven Nenthead shafts.

Medal of the Belgian Vieille Montagne Company - one time owners of Nenthead mines


Modern entrance to Carrs Mine


  • Written by Peter Wilkinson, Janet Cresswell and Peter Eggleston
  • NGR: NY 783 431
  • © IAR & NPHT 2004
  • £13.45 - DVD
  • Running time: 31 mins.
  • Price includes worldwide delivery.
  • ' PAL' and 'NTSC' versions available.

Please see the 'Sales' page for additional purchasing information.

The images on this page are taken from the video.