Farndales and Mining
On this page we explore the many Farndales who mined, mainly for ironstone, in Cleveland
Hyperlinks to other pages are in dark blue.
Headlines are in brown.
References and citations are in turquoise.
Context and local history are in purple.
This webpage is divided into the following sections:
· Farndales and Mining
· The Kilton Mines
· Ironstone mining at Great Ayton
· Mining in Cleveland
· Mining Life
· Alum Mining
· Jet Mining
· Whinstone quarrying
The Farndales and Mining
William Farndale was a mine labourer in the Loftus area and an ironstone miner (FAR00260). Thomas Farndale was a miner in Bishop Auckland (FAR00280). William Farndale was a jet miner at Eston (FAR00283). John H Farndale was a miner of West Hartlepool who was killed aged 37 by a fall of iron stone at the Poston Mines, Ormsby, Middlesbrough (FAR00302). John Farndale was an ironstone miner in Ormesby (FAR00328). George Farndale was an ironstone miner of Loftus (FAR00350C). Martin Farndale of Tidkinhow was a miner for a time (FAR00364). John Farndale was a miner of Egton (FAR00387).
The Kilton Mines
Further research to follow.
The Kilton Mines
The Kilton mines were sited to the south of Kilton Thorpe and were opened in 1871. A large spoil tip continues to dominate the skyline. Both Kilton and Lumpsey mines were served by railways and the abandoned embankments and cuttings of the railways are still visible. The mines finally closed in 1963.
Kilton Mines, south of Kilton Thorpe in 1893
The establishment of an ironstone mine in this area in the late nineteenth century led to the destruction of the farm and no buildings survive. The Lumpsey mine was opened in 1881, after the shafts were first sunk in 1880. The ironstone companies had followed the veins south and east from the Eston hills. The mine occupied the former site of Lumpsey farm and consequently no traces were left of the farm. The mine closed in 1954 but a number of the mine buildings still survive.
Lumpsey, 1853 Lumpsey Mines by 1893 Lumpsey Mines in 1913
Ironstone mining at Great Ayton
There were three ironestone mines around Great Ayton by the time of World War 1. Griddale or Ayton Banks was a small concession operated from 1910 to 1921 by Tees Furnace Company (OS Grid NZ 586110). The mine worked the Peckten seam of ironstone was named after the type of fossil found in the ore. The site was not accessible even for a narrow guage railway, so an overhead cable way was constructed, carried on metal pillars supported by concrete bases, some of which can still be seen.
The ironstone was mined by drifts (“adits”) in Ayton, almost exclusively from the main seam, which was the last of the beds to be laid down. Three mines operated in the first thirty years of the twentieth century – Rosebury, Ayton Banks and Ayton (Monument) Mine. They used the pillar and board method of working. The Ayton mine workings were extensive, sgtretching as far as a second entrance north of Ayton Banks Farm. The ore from Roseberry and Ayton mines was taken by tramway to the main railway line. Ayton Banks ironstone was sent by aerial ropeway to the railhead.
The mines at Great Ayton
Mining in Cleveland
Ironstone comprises iron-bearing minerals in which other elements, such as silicon, are in chemical combination. The iron content is generally low at about 30%. Two major minerals are siderite (iron carbonate) and bethierine (iron silicate). The minerals were formed biochemically on the sea floor from iron either dissolved or suspended in seawater, which was in turn derived from a nearby shore.
The economic value of ironstone depended on (1) the iron content; (2) the thickness of the seam; (3) the presence of shale within the seam; and (4) the content of deleterous elements, particularly sulphur.
Between 206 and 150 Million Years, in the Jurassic era, the rocks forming the Cleveland Hills were deposited in a warm, shallow sea, which was later the site of a river delta. Over geological time, these sediments were compacted to form mudstones, shales, siltstones and sandstones. Of importance to us is the Cleveland Ironstone Formation, in the Lower Jurassic, which is around 29 metres of shales with silty shales and with hard beds of sideritic and chamositic ironstone. There are five main iron-rich horizons, or seams, as follows from the lowest upward: Avicula, Raisdale, Two Foot, Pecten and Main Seam. Higher parts of the Jurassic sequence include the Jet Formation, Alum Shales and sometimes coal seams, all of which had an economic value.
The Cleveland Orefield extends over 1,000 square kilometres. The most important Main Seam was up to 5 meres in thickness at Eston and then thinned southwards. The Loftus Mine is less then 3 metres. The shale line where shale first appears extends across the Loftus lease, so that as mining proceeded it became necessary to separate this out as waste. The typical iron content of Loftus was about 28%, which was distinctly less than the Eston mines.
The Tees Valley was the powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution and the British Empire. At its peak, eighty three ironstone mines dispatched iron worldwide, to make railways and bridges across Europe, America, Africa, India and Australia (including the Sydney Harbour Bridge).
The Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum is situated on the site of Loftus Mine, the first mine to be opened in Cleveland.
Ironstone had long been exploited in the area. There are, for example, extensive heaps of slag around Rievaulx Abbey, which was supressed in December 1538. The abbey and its ironworks were acquired by the earl of Rutland who continued working the ironworks. By 1545, four furnaces were smelting iron ore under the management of John Blackett, the vicar of Scawton. The vaulted undercroft of the refectory was used to store the charcoal used as fuel. A blast furnace was added in 1577 and a forge was re-equipped between 1600 and 1612. Local supplies of timber for charcoal were all but exhausted by the 1640s, however, and the ironworks closed. Other remains from this period are found in Bilsdale, Bransdale, Rosedale and near Furnace House in Fryup Dale. Many of these early working appear to have concentrated on the Dogger Seam.
There were various attempts to mine ironstone in the early nineteenth century, with ore being quarried on the coastal outcrops. The Pecten seam was discovered at Grosmont during the making of a cutting for the Whitby and Pickering Railway and the newly formed Whitby Stone Company sent a cargo of ironstone to the Birtley Iron Company in 1836. It was rejected as being of poor quality, and it took the company some time to get its product right. Nevertheless, the following year the two companies agreed a sales contract.
On 7 August 1848, the first mine in Cleveland opened in Skinningrove.
It was not until August 1850 that Bolckow & Vaughan made a trial of the Main Seam by quarrying near Eston. Soon the workings moved underground, using pillar and stall, and became very large scale with over half a million tons of ironstone was raised annually in the mid 1850s.
John Farndale wrote in 1870: Long live Messrs Bolcklow & Vaughan, the first high spirited gentlemen, and others also, who by their skill and capital are bringing out resources of this greatly favoured district, and thus giving employment to thousands.
Bolckow, Vaughan & Co Limited was an English ironmaking and mining company founded in 1864 with capital of £2.5M, making it the largest company ever formed up to that time.
It was founded as a partnership in 1840 by Henry Bolckow and John Vaughan. In 1846, Bolckow and Vaughan built their first blast furnaces at Witton Park, founding the Witton Park Ironworks. The works used coal from Witton Park Colliery to make coke, and ironstone from Whitby on the coast. The pig iron produced at Witton was transported to Middlesbrough for further forging or casting. In 1850, Vaughan and his mining geologist, John Marley discovered iron ore, conveniently situated near Eston in the Cleveland Hills. Unknown to anyone at the time, this vein was part of the Cleveland Ironstone Formation, which was already being mined in Grosmont by Losh, Wilson and Bell. To make use of the ore being mined at Eston, in 1851 Bolckow and Vaughan built a blast furnace at nearby South Bank, Middlesbrough, to make use of the ore from nearby Eston, enabling the entire process from rock to finished products to be carried out in one place. It was the first to be built on Teesside, on what was later nicknamed "the Steel River".
Middlesbrough grew from 40 inhabitants in 1829 to 7,600 in 1851, 19,000 in 1861 and 40,000 in 1871, fuelled by the iron industry. The firm drove the dramatic growth of Middlesbrough and the production of coal and iron in the north-east of England in the nineteenth century.
By 1864, the assets of the business included iron mines, collieries, and limestone quarries in Cleveland, County Durham and Weardale and had iron and steel works extending over 700 acres (280 ha) along the banks of the River Tees.
Vaughan died in 1868. The Institution of Civil Engineers, in their obituary, commented on the relationship between Vaughan and Bolckow: "There was indeed something remarkable in the thorough division of labour in the management of the affairs of the firm. While possessing the most unbounded confidence in each other, the two partners never interfered in the slightest degree with each other's work. Mr. Bolckow had the entire management of the financial department, while Mr. Vaughan as worthily controlled the practical work of the establishment."
Chris Scott Wilson has written more about Bolckow, Vaughan & Co.
Around 35 mines opened between Eston, Great Ayton and Hinderwell on the coast. There was a small group of mines at Grosmont and others in Rosedale. Railways were extended to the mines, and settlements built for the labour sucked into what had been a very rural area. After the initial rush of companies opening mines, a period of consolidation was needed as iron companies absorbed smaller ventures and workings were rationalised. Marginal mines closed. This process was helped by a down-turn in trade in the early to mid 1870s. Soon, a new generation of iron works was being built on Teesside. These used Bessemer convertors to turn the iron into steel, which was increasingly in demand. By 1883, therefore, production of Cleveland iron ore peaked at six and three-quarter million tons.
The quarter century before World War I saw many older mines close, further consolidation of companies and some new sinkings. Rock drills and mechanised haulages were used to increase efficiency and trim costs. Around twenty mines closed in the inter-war years. Many of the old companies were absorbed by Dorman, Long & Co. Ltd, which dominated the industry at the start of World War II. Only nine mines, all in the area between Guisborough and Brotton, survived the war. Efforts were made to make mining more efficient, diesel haulage was introduced below ground, as were compressed air loading shovels. The mines could not, however, compete with imported ore or that worked by opencast around Scunthorpe and Corby. North Skelton Mine was the last to close in January 1964.
Cleveland Ironstone Mines:
Mine Location Opened Closed Comments
Ailesbury Mine Whorlton 1872 1887
Aysdalegate Mine Lockwood 1863 1880 Closed 23/10/1880.
Ayton Banks Mine Great Ayton 1910 1929 Abandoned July 1929.
Ayton Mine Great Ayton 1908 1930
Bagnall and Co Mines Eskdaleside cum Ugglebarnby 1862 1864
Beckhole Mine Egton 1857 1864
Belmont Mine Guisborough 1854 1928 Abandoned 11/11/1886. Reopened in 1907. Abandoned 20/02/1933.
Birds Mine Eskdaleside cum Ugglebarnby 1858 1866
Birtley Mine Eskdaleside cum Ugglebarnby 1858 1878
Blakey Mine Farndale East 1873 1881
Boosbeck Mine Skelton 1872 1901
Boulby Mine Easington 1903 1934 Abandoned July 1934. Boulby Potash Mine sunk here in the late 1960s.
Brotton Mine Brotton 1865 1921
California Mine Eskdaleside cum Ugglebarnby 1863 1881
Carlin How Mine Kilton 1873 1924 Part of Lumpsey until 1946.
Chaloner Mine Guisborough 1872 1939 Part of Eston.
Cliff Mine Brotton 1866 1881 Abandoned October 1887.
Coate Moor Mine Kildale 1866 1876 Abandoned 19/07/1876.
Cod Hill Mine Guisborough 1853 1865
Commondale Mine Commondale 1863 1876
Craggs Hall Mine Brotton 1871 1893
Easington Mine Saltburn 1877 See also: Port Mulgrave
East Rosedale Mine Rosedale East Side 1866 1926
Esk Valley Mine Egton 1859 1883
Eskdale Mine Eskdaleside cum Ugglesbarnby 1906 1908
Eskdale Mine Eskdaleside cum Ugglesbarnby 1856 1870
Eskdaleside Mine Eskdaleside cum Ugglesbarnby 1871 1876
Guisborough 1856 1950
Farndale Mine Farndale East 1872 1897 See Blakey.
Fryup Mine Danby 1863 1874
Farndale Mine Farndale East 1872 1897 See Blakey.
Fryup Mine Danby 1863 1874
Glaisdale Mine Glaisdale 1879 Abandoned 30/03/1875.
Goldsborough Mine Lythe 1912 1915
Hinderwell 1872 1934 Abandoned 1934.
Grosmont Mine Eskdaleside cum Ugglesbarnby 1858 1892 West Side – Abandoned 15/05/1886.
Hays Mine Eskdaleside cum Ugglesbarnby 1836 1866
Hinderwell Mine Hinderwell 1854 1862
Hob Hill Mine Marske 1864 1874 Abandoned 17/04/1875.
Hollin Hill Mine Lockwood 1864 1880
Hollins Mine Eskdaleside cum Ugglebarnby 1863 1879
Hollins Mine Rosedale West Side 1856 1879
Huntcliffe Mine Brotton 1872 1905 Abandoned 1906.
Hutton Mine Hutton Lowcross 1854 1867
Ingelby Mine Ingleby Greenhow 1858 1865
Kildale Mine Kildale 1866 1878
Kilton 1871 1963 Sinking in 1871. Closed 31/12/1963.
Kirkleatham Mine Tocketts 1873 1885 Abandoned 31/12/1886.
Lane Head Mine Rosedale West Side 1876 1881
Lease Rigg Mine Eskdaleside cum Ugglesbarnby 1837 1850
Leven Vale Mine Kildale 1864 1871 See Warren Moor.
Levisham Mine Levisham 1863 1874
Lingdale Mine Moorsholm 1877 1962
Liverton Mine Loftus 1866 1921 Abandoned 1923.
Loftus Mine Loftus 1848 1958 Abandoned 1959.
Longacres Mine Skelton 1873 1954 Closed 17/07/1915 and reopened from 1933 until 27/11/1954.
Lonsdale Mine Kildale 1865 1874
Lumpsey Mine Brotton 1880 1954 Sinking in 1880. Closed 27/11/1954.
Margrave Park Mine Skelton 1863 1874
Mirkside Mine Eskdaleside cum Ugglebarnby 1856 1861
New Bank Mine Guisborough 1850 1950
Normanby Mine Normanby 1856 1898 Abandoned in 1899.
North Loftus Mine Brotton 1872 1905
North Skelton Mine
North Skelton 1865 1964 Closed 17/01/1964.
Port Mulgrave Mine
Hinderwell 1856 1893
Postgate Mine Glaisdale 1870 1876
Raithwaite Mine Newholm-cum-Dunsley 1854 1858
Roseberry Mine Great Ayton 1880 1924
Rosedale East Rosedale Abbey 1866 1925 Abandoned 1928.
Rosedale on Coast Mine Hinderwell 1854 1876
Rosedale West Rosedale West Side 1860 1911 Abandoned March 1911.
Rosedale West Side 1874 1911
Skelton Mine Skelton 1860 1938 Abandoned November 1938.
Skelton Park Mine Skelton 1868 1938 Abandoned April 1938.
Slapewath Mine Lockwood 1864 1899
Sleights Bridge Mine Sleights Bridge 1856 1859
South Belmont Mine Guisborough 1863 1875
South Skelton Mine Stanghow 1870 1954
Spa Mine Stanghow 1864 1904 Standing in 1903. Abandoned in 1904.
Spawood Mine Guisborough 1865 1930 Closed 28/06/1930. Abandoned April 1934.
Staithes Mine Hinderwell 1838 1860
Stanghow Mine Boosbeck 1872 1926
Swainby Mine Whorlton 1856 1868
Tocketts Mine Tocketts 1874 1877 Abandoned in 1880.
Upleatham Mine Marske 1851 1923
Upsall Mine Upsall 1866 1927 Merged with Eston from 1870.
Warren Moor Mine Kildale 1864 1874
Waterfall Mine Tocketts 1892 1901
Wayworth Mine Commondale 1866 1867 Sinking 1866 to 1867.
West Rosedale Mine Rosedale West Side 1856 1911
Whitecliffe Mine Loftus 1871 1884
Wintergill Mine Egton 1871 1883
Wreckhills Mine Hinderwell 1856 1864
More work to follow
John Farndale, ‘Old Farndale of Kilton’ (FAR00143) was an alum house merchant. As John Farndale (FAR00217) wrote: ‘My Grandfather, who was a Kiltonian, employed many men at his alum house, and many a merry tale have I heard him tell of smugglers and their daring adventures and hair breadth escapes.’
There is a separate page about alum mining.
Another extractive industry was jet mining. William Farndale (FAR00283) was a jet miner at Eston.
Jet mines although numerous were small and individual mines and tended not to acquire names or documentary records. During the nineteenth century hard jet fetched a good price and it was mined extensively in East Cleveland and along the edge of the moors between Roseberry and Kildale. The mines typically took the form of parallel drifts into the side of hills, with headings also driven at right angles to the original drifts at regular intervals, so that the plan of the mine looked like a chequerboard, with square pillars of rock left in place as support.
The semi precious mineral is found in thin lenses in the jet rock generally at some depth below the alum shales. It was extracted in Victorian times from numerous small drifts driven into the hillside. There are spoil heaps at Gribdale Gate and evidence of some open cast mining.
When the local quarrying of whinstone first started is not known but it was well under way by the late eighteenth century. Running through Cleveland, roughly east to west, there is a ridge which marks the line of igneous dyke. This is composed of very hard rock called dolerite or whinstone. This stone has been extensively mined and quarried since the mid eighteenth century. The production of cuboid setts occupied many men and boys. These, with their regular shapes, can still be seen around Ayton for instance./ Most of the whinstone was taken out of the area by rail and much of it was used for road surfacing in places such as Leeds. Extraction had ceased by the 1960s. See for instance Cliff Rigg Mines.