Report - - Swaledale Lead Mines 3 - Arn Gill (Yorkshire, 2020-2022) | Mines and Quarries | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Swaledale Lead Mines 3 - Arn Gill (Yorkshire, 2020-2022)


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Arn Gill lead mine is along the hill from Swinnergill mine, the subject of a previous post.

Like Swinnergill it’s named after a stream although as shown on the map below there are actually two Arn Gills.

An area near the more northerly stream (West Arn Gill) was worked on and off from 1811 - 1866, with a level (Eliza Level) named after the daughter Sir George Denys, a local lead baron.

I had a look here but couldn’t find anything explorable - just a ravine with some overgrown bumps.

The other area next to the more southerly stream (East Arn Gill) was worked from 1840 - 1921 and had two levels, with the lower one (Adelaide Level) named after another of Sir George’s daughters.

This hit some substantial deposits of ore, said to have been worth over a million pounds in today’s money.

Although this place is often visited judging by the footprints there aren’t many underground photos available - the Swaledale Museum has some online.

The levels and spoil heaps on East Arn Gill as seen from the other side of the valley.

Approaching from the north the first thing I came across was a small spoil heap.

After a minor excavation a muddy tunnel was revealed.

I didn’t get more than 10 yards down this before having to retreat - the mud was only knee deep, but it’s the fine silty stuff which is like glue.

This hole doesn’t appear to be documented but may have been a trial level - I left the entrance as I found it.

Just round the corner is the upper of the two main levels, said to have been driven in 1840 to drain some earlier shaft workings above.

This was much easier going, maybe 150 yards long - hard to tell when you’re in these things.


It ends in a collapse not far beyond this stone tunnel section.

Back out.

The spoil heap of the Adelaide level, approaching from the south on a different occasion.

The little hut is said to have been a mine or lodging shop.


The keystone of the Adelaide entrance is a replica, installed when it was rebuilt c. 2010 - the original is in the Swaledale Museum.

More standard Pennine lead mine, cutting through various layers of sloping sediment with little side tunnels.

Going right leads to a largish worked-out area which looks like it continues beyond a more deeply flooded bit.

The main tunnel eventually leads to a partial collapse.

I didn’t try to thread through this although people obviously do.

From the available pictures it seems there’s a flooded sump somewhere I didn’t see, maybe beyond the collapse or beyond the flooded bit at the previous junction.

Back out.

Most lead mines in this area only have traces of ore left, and this was no exception although there was some yellow fluorite (fluorspar) to be found - if you like minerals go to Scoredale.

Finally a view back to Kisdon Hill where the first photo was taken - this also has mines, working the same lead veins.