Report number: 74/2014

Title Ashnott Lead Mine, Ribble Valley, Lancashire: An Archaeological Survey of the Landscape Evidence
Summary Ashnott lead mine, located in southern part of the Forest of Bowland AONB, is of particular interest for its evidence of complex, successive phases of mining originating in the medieval period. From the early 16th century, if not before, miners created an intricate pattern of interconnected workings by chasing erratic lead deposits present within the Ashnott limestone knoll. Exploration began with open-cuts and shafts, and culminated in levels driven into the hillside to exploit deeper deposits and to facilitate underground transport and drainage. A broad sequence of development can be determined within the earthworks visible across the surface of the knoll. The area presently designated as a scheduled monument encompasses the greater part of these remains, apart from two dams to the east and two adit entrances to the west. It also appears to include, based on records of exploration in 1961, the majority of the known underground workings, with the exception of the greater part of a deep drainage level extending to the north. A major collapse in the price of lead, combined perhaps with the marginal nature of the mine, appears to have brought an end to the Ashnott operations in the 1830s.
Series Research Department Reports
Pages 43
  • Went, D
Keywords Lead ,  Medieval ,  Post Medieval