Engine House At Snailbeach Lead Mine
- HER Number (PRN): 17323
- Site Name : Engine House At Snailbeach Lead Mine
- Protected Status:
Grade: Ref No.: 1014866 Title: Snailbeach lead mine Type: Scheduled Monument
- Protected Status:
Grade: II Ref No.: 1366969 Title: ENGINE HOUSE AT NGR SJ 3743 0205 Type: Listed Building
- Civil Parish:
- Grid Reference: SJ 3744 0205
- Related Monuments:
- Brief Description: Scheduled Monument and Listed Building: A building of 1858 housing the Cornish engine used to pump water out of Snailbeach lead mine via Engine Shaft, part of one of the best surviving lead mining complexes in the country.
- Description: Engine house. Mid-C19. Roughly coursed limestone rubble with stone angle quoins, graded slate roof. Rectangular plan. 4 levels; west gable end has flat-headed openings with timber lintels to each floor, similar openings on other sides. Remains of boiler house to north and open shaft to east. Interior: King-post trusses survive to roof. <1>
To the west [of Engine Shaft] are the ruins of the three-storey pumping engine house. This building was erected in 1858 and housed a 61' Cornish engine which replaced an existing flatrod system of drainage. It is also Listed Grade II and is included in the scheduling. <2>
In 1997 archaeological analysis and survey of the New Engine House Shaft was carried out. The building housed the Cornish beam engine built in 1858 to pump the new shaft. The tall structure is 9.5m by 7.5m and nearly 15m tall, of rubblestone with large worked stone quoins and jambs. The original openings had flat timber lintels. The walls are very slightly battered so the top is narrower than the base. The east wall, at 2m thick, is almost twice the thickness of the other walls; this was the bob wall which the balance beam pivoted in it trunnion. Within the building are three stories and a basement, the latter having a doorway leading into a blocked tunnel. This pit possibly contained ancillary beam operated workings of the engine, though it is likely that operation such as the condenser were house in the pit outside. The ground floor was only solid in the western half of the building, with the eastern portion likely to have consisted of a timber catwalk between the machinery. The west gable wall has traces of a wide primary opening, the same width as the engine bed, suggesting the cylinder was installed once the engine house had been completed. Located in the middle of the floor is a square of solid stonework, made up of four blocks, which was the base for the cylinder. The two upper floors provided access for general maintenance of the moving parts of the steam engine.->
-> To the north the remains of a long rectangular structure 14.3m long by 7m wide, with a small attached north wing was identified as the boiler house serving the Cornish engine house. The walls which have largely been demolished, were of the same rubblestone. The south wall butts up against the contemporary engine house. It possibly contained a pair of 30 feet long egg-ended boilers mentioned in the 1884 inventory, stoked from the open east end, with a flue, evident as a square-headed opening, to the west leading to a stack. Such a stack is shown on plans to the west of the building, and it is likely that the buried footings of the stack still survive. In the north wall at ground level is a blocked low and narrow, semi-circular brick-head, and in the base of the brick pier butting against the Cornish engine house is a hint of corbelling possibly associated with a flue or boiler base. The north wing is a small structure 4.3m wide and projects 3.2m from the east end of the main block. There is no evidence of access between the two. It had a doorway in the east end of its north wall, and the brick paved floor still survives intact.
-> Pit to the south of the shaft, contained the balance bob attached to the main pumping rod of the Cornish engine to improve pumping efficiency. The bob was simply a large box filled with rubble and scrap, attached to the pivoting connecting beam, the other end of which was linked to the main pump rod hanging from the shaft end of the engine beam. The pit, 3.6m long by 3.2m wide, lies immediately to the south of the shaft head and consists of a roughly square enclosure cut into the hillside and reached through a narrow passage. All the walls are rubblestone revetments holding back the earth. <4>
1977 photographic survey and condition inspection of building. <6>
- Record Type: Building
(00) Card index: Shropshire County Council SMR. SMR Sheets Collection. SMR record sheets. SMR Sheet for PRN SA 17323. (01) List of Buildings: Department of the Environment (DoE). 1986-Nov-14. 9th List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Vol 1760-0. List volume. p84. (02) Scheduled Monument notification: English Heritage. 1997. Scheduling Papers (New Scheduling, 20/03/1997). 21658. (03) Field survey report: Trueman M & Gill M C. 1990. Snailbeach Lead Mine Stage II Study - Archaeological Survey. Lancaster Univ Archaeol Unit Rep. Vol 2, p18-19. (04) Field survey report: Morriss Richard K. 1997. Snailbeach Lead Mine, Shropshire: an archaeological analysis & survey of the new engine shaft area. Mercian Heritage Series. 33. p25-35. (05) Deskbased survey report: Ove Arup and Partners Ltd et al. 1985. Snailbeach Lead Mine Study Stage I. Ove Arup and Partners Rep. Vol 1, p17-18. Vol 3, ap 5. (06) Site visit report: South Shropshire District Council. 1977. Dangerous buildings: old mine workings in White Gritt, Gravels, Tankerville and Snailbeach areas.
- Related Places:
- For more information contact: Shropshire Council HER
- Date Last Edited: 13/03/2017 11:21:45