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 Wirksworth  Mines  Research Group

  Bage Mine

  

 

Wirksworth Mines Research Group are based at Bolehill, near Wirksworth, Derbyshire, on the site of a relatively unknown, but highly productive former lead mine called Bage.

The mine was worked from at least the mid 18th Century – and very probably much earlier – through to circa 1910, yielding a total tonnage of lead ore (galena) that was only exceeded (in the Derbyshire ore field) by Millclose Mine. The mine is the source of the rare mineral, Cromfordite.

 

In its earliest years, the mine was probably worked from a founder shaft in the direction of Steeple Grange and/or Black Rock, with the miners pursuing the lead veins in a general southerly direction. The mine eventually intersected with – and was consolidated with – Wall Close Mine, and ultimately connected to George Mine to the west. Amongst the major veins known to have been worked are Bage, Butler, Venture, Wallclose and Blodworth.

 

There are three main levels – at 190ft, 238ft and 303ft – and over 20,000 feet of accessible passages, all of which are currently accessed via Hard End Shaft, which is situated at the junction of the main north-south veins and the westerly travelling Blodworth Vein. The shaft was sunk around 1800, and replaced a much earlier haulage shaft, which is now under a drive at the top of the access lane to the present site.

 

After the closure of the mine, the shaft was sealed with a concrete lid, remaining that way until rediscovered and re-opened some seventy years later by members of Wirksworth Mines Research Group.

 

Photo galleries, surveys and reports are available under the links below:

 

The surface remains today (photos)

 

Hard End Shaft (history, geology and photos)

 

Bage Mine Surveys

 

Blodworth Vein (report and photos)

 

The 190 Level (photos)

 

The 238 Level (photos)

 

The 303 Level (photos)