Cothercott Dressing Mill Associated With Cothercott Barytes Mine
- HER Number (PRN): 01332
- Site Name : Cothercott Dressing Mill Associated With Cothercott Barytes Mine
- Civil Parish:
- Grid Reference: SJ 408 002
- Related Monuments:
- Brief Description: Mill remains associated with 20th century barytes mining at Cothercott Hill.
- Description: Shafts and chiefly concrete building foundations survive at the mine, which was apparently chiefly in use in the 1920s. A number of large millstone survive <1>
Unit 6: A probable mine shaft of Post Medieval date, seen as an earthwork, and mapped from poor quality aerial photographs.EH Author: MGB Date: 05/04/94 ->
-> Unit 7: A probable prospecting pit of Post Medieval date, seen as an earthwork, and mapped from poor quality aerial photographs.EH Author: MGB Date: 05/04/94 ->
-> Unit 8: A probable prospecting pit of Post Medieval date, seen as an earthwork, and mapped from poor quality aerial photographs.EH Author: MGB Date: 05/04/94 ->
-> Unit 9: A probable spoil heap of Post Medieval date, seen as an earthwork, and mapped from poor quality aerial photographs.EH Author: MGB Date: 05/04/94 ->
-> Unit 10: A possible quarry of Post Medieval date, seen as an earthwork, and mapped from poor quality aerial photographs.EH Author: MGB Date: 05/04/94 ->
-> Unit 11: A possible adit of Post Medieval date, seen as an earthwork, and mapped from poor quality aerial photographs.EH Author: MGB Date: 05/04/94 <2>
English Heritage Monuments Protection Programme Industrial Monuments Assessment, Step 3 Reports - The Minor Metals Industry, Vol 2, Shropshire 1, 1995: Early 20th century barytes mine with well-preserved surface workings and barytes grinding mill wth three intact grindstones. There is an unusual raised platform at the mill with chambers/flues which may have been connected with roasting. Good representative example of a 20th century barytes extraction with excellent horizontal relationship between surface workings and grinding mill. Despite its moderate presevation, the mill is the best known to survive nationally. <3>
Material mined: Barytes. Geology: Longmydian Sandstone. Worked: Abandoned 1928. Visited: 1977, 1978, 1989 (part). Machine footings and several composite millstones are present by the side of the road. The main adit on the west side of Cothercott Hill is almost completely collapsed, and can be seen to be flooded. All other workings on this side of the hill have collapsed. The tramway round to the other side of the hill, passing Wilderley Mine, can still be traced and one or two sleepers are in place. On the east side of the hill, No. 6 adit is encountered first. The enterance has collapsed and climbing down the last hole leads straight into water. On the far side of the valley, No. 10 adit has run in. It has a shaft in front of its portal, but this is blocked with rubbish. Along the hillside, No. 8 adit portal has also collapsed, but it can be entered further along. The level is knee-deep in water, and is blocked at an air shaft full of rubbish. <4>
The remains are extensive but spread out. The mill site is readily visible with foundations, a retaining wall, the remains of the reservoir and tramway and, at the time of writing, some mill stones. The tramway (PRN 29286) to the main mining site is visible in places round the hill and Wilderley mine is passed. To the east the tramway is now mainly a farm track with two branches visible. The area was landscaped after the recent prospecting and although much ground disturbance is visible it is difficult to interpret. There are several areas of former activity where stoping is visible, as well as the sites of adits and shafts. Parts of 'V' tipping wagon are now preserved locally. One building has been relocated a mile or so away and is now used as a barn. <5>
Elements of the mining operation at Cothercott are visible on LiDAR collected by the Stiperstones and Corndon LPS. <6>
Partially visited during level 1 survey by Stiperstones and Corndon LPS volunteers in 2016. An overgrown trial trenchwas recorded, 27m long running north south <1>. This site was located outside of the survey area at SJ 40886 00031. <7><7a>
Photographs of Cothercott Mill (associated with Cothercott Barytes Mine); figure 11.1 shows a 1929 view of the mine (described as mine but is actually of the mill) - a typical early 20th century small gangue mineral plant towards the end of its life. Figure 11.2 is a 2004 view from a similar vantage point, showing how industry can disappear after 60 years. <8>
At the mill the ore (from Cothercott Mine) was hand-picked and washed. It was then ground up using ten pairs of French burr stones with air float classification, producing up to 200 tons per week of a 350 mesh product that was 99.7% barium sulphate. The remains of some of the burr stones and engine beds could still be seen in 1993. Figure 12: sketch of part of the dressing mill from 1993. <9>
Elements of the site are still visible; a concrete retaining wall of the mill remains along with three nearly buried mill stones. The outline of some buildings is clear; the reservoir, although almost drained, is obvious and the loading platform at the south of the site remains. Otherwise the site is difficult to interpret; the track bed and some workings can be identified if you know where to look but the rest of the site has been disturbed and is wet in parts.
Two buildings survive; one is a barrel vaulted corrugated iron shed which was by the reservoir (see photo 1 p35), it was moved half a mile or so to a smallholding where it remains. The other is the main road side building which is believed to have been moved to H. Jones farm at Pennerley in the late 1950s or early 60s; no confirmation if it still survives.
Photograph 1 : from July 1929 after the initial closure; it is taken looking more or less north from New Leasowes. In the centre of the mill complex are the grinding mill and bleaching plant with the tramway entering at high level. The light coloured building in the foreground is the stable and in front of that is the original loading dock which may have been the foot of the 'self acting' downgrade. To the right of the main part of the mill are further buildings one of which was possibly a winding house for a shallow shaft. Behind those can be seen the reservoir in front of which is the tramway swinging south west. Below the photo it reverses and can just about be seen crossing the bottom right corner heading towards the workings. On the other side of the main road the Outrack tramway can be seen though it appears to have been lifted beyond the first hedge line. Figure 3 : Possible plan of Cothercott Mill area as in 1929. Photograph 6 -11 : Promotional photos taken in 1917. Publicity picture of the office; and general views of the works. Figure 8 : Drawing of Mill site in 1963; some of the grinding wheels were removed in the early 1980s. <10>
The mill remains are extensive but spread out. Photo taken in 1970 - at this time the mill was readily visible with foundations, retaining wall, the remains of reservoir and tramway and some mill stones. The tramway (PRN 29286) to Cothercott mine (PRN 06844) is visible in places round the hill and passing Wilderley mine (PRN 28452) . The tramway to Outrack (PRN 08599) is traceable for part of its route; figure 10.6 shows a third possibel track bed (PRN 33869) that was not completed.
Fig 10.6 Map of Cothercott; fig 10.7 The ruins of the grinding mill at Cothercott in July 1970; fig 10.8 photo of Cothercott mill and surrounding area taken in July 1929; fig 10.9 one building from the mill has been re-used at a nearby smallholding in June 2004; fig 10.10 remains of a 'V' tipping wagon along side the trackbed of the Outrack tramway at the 'S' bend taken March 1997, these remains have since been preserved locally. <11>
Identified, and recorded on an IRIS form by Shropshire Caving and Mining Club. These workings are identified as Cothercott Mine in operation during the 20th century, and for which a number of features are identified. Machinery bases (remains) & crushing stones (intact) at SJ407003; tramway ruins from SJ4007003 to 415002; collapsed adit SJ414002; open adit and stope SJ416002 and a flooded shaft and open adit SJ416003. <12>
Site assessment as part of the MPP project; noted the unusual raised platform with chambers / flues possibly connected with roasting. Good representative example of C20th barytes extraction with excellent horizontal relationship between surface workigns and grinding mill. <13>
- Record Type: Monument
(00) Card index: Shropshire County Council SMR. Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards. SMR record cards. SMR Card for PRN SA 01332. (01) VERBAL COMMUNICATION: Jones D M. 1977. Comment, 1977. (02) Database file: National Monuments Record (NMR). 1993/ 1994. Marches Uplands Mapping Project (MUMP) MORPH records (2006 version). Marches Uplands Survey. MU.367.5 Units 6-11. (03) Online database: National Monuments Record (NMR). Pastscape. MONUMENT NO: 1462021. (04) Volume: Heathcote J S. 1979/ 1992. A Survey of the Metal Mines of South (West) Shropshire. Shropshire Caving and Mining Club Accounts. No 12. p31-32; C12. (05) Monograph: Michael Shaw. 2009. The Lead, Copper & Barytes Mines of Shropshire. p201-208. (06) Geospatial data: Environment Agency. 2014. LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) Hillshade Model (Stiperstones and Corndon LPS). Stiperstones and Corndon LPS. (07) Project archive: SCLPS Volunteer Surveyors. 2016. OHOWC Survey Project Archive: Cothercott (CT16). Stiperstones and Corndon Hill Landscape Partnership Scheme. CT16. CT3. (07a) Project archive: Phillpotts G. 2017. OHOWC Data Entry Archive: Cothercott (CT16). Stiperstones and Corndon Hill Landscape Partnership Scheme. CT16. (08) Monograph: Newman P. 2016. The Archaeology of the Mining and Quarrying in England: a research framework. National Association of Mining History Organisations. p192 photographs.. (09) Volume: Davies T, Newton M & Pearce A. 1993. Mining Remains in South West Shropshire. Shropshire Caving and Mining Club Accounts. No 18. p27 & sketch from mill p28.. (10) Article in serial: Shaw Michael. 2003. Mining on Cothercott Hill: a history of Cothercott and Wilderley Mines, Church Pulverbatch, Shropshire and their transport. Shropshire Caving and Mining Club Journal. 8. pp.32-49. Photos & diagrams p35-6, 45-47. (11) Monograph: Michael Shaw. 2009. The Lead, Copper & Barytes Mines of Shropshire. pp 204-208 includes fig 10.7 to 10.10.. (12) Record form: Shropshire Caving and Mining Club. 1994. IRIS form [AIA - Index Record for Industrial Sites]. IRIS Record Sheet. SA/SCMC/AJP9. (13) Record form: Anon. late 1990s?. MPP Site Assessments. MPP Step 4 evaluation form?. MPP Site Assessments, Minor Metals Industry : Site Number 1.
- Related Places:
- For more information contact: Shropshire Council HER
- Date Created: 15/03/1977
- Date Last Edited: 04/09/2019 12:23:42