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Barneycraig Level, Carrshield, West Allendale, Northumberland.

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The first workings of Barneycraig Mine were via surface shafts, the Low, Middle and High Whimsey's. These accessed the Barneycraig Vein before the driving of the horse level from the surface.

The Barneycraig Horse Level was started around 1760 by the Beaumont Company. The level starts underneath the Great Limestone and runs straight for over 1110m, it then branches west towards the Low Coalcleugh Vein via the Flank Level. The main level carries past this for a further 880m, first reaching the Whitewood Vein on the east side, which is the continuation of Rampgill Vein and then the Barneycraig Vein on the west side, which connects with Rampgill Mine. The Barneycraig Vein continues on the east side and connects with Swinhope Low Level, where it is known as Williams Vein. Another major level driven internally was the Galloway Level. This was located in the shale above the Great Limestone and followed both Barneycraig and Whitewood Veins, terminating near the county boundary.

Some short levels, Mowbrays's and Whetstone Mea where driven from the surface above the Barneycraig Horse Level on the vein of the same name testing the higher horizons, but nothing of importance was found. Whetstone Mea was worked for coal.

The workings on the west side of the Barneycraig Level became active between 1808 and 1823 and proved to be very rich in the belt of the great limestone and many large flats were discovered. By 1880 the vein was regarded as being exhausted for lead by the Beaumont Company.

However it was reopened by the Vieille Montagne Zinc Company and reworked for zinc ore. The Vieille Montagne Zinc Company drove their workings from Rampgill Shaft in Rampgill Mine to join the Barneycraig Level and the Four Fathom Limestone Level, 16m and 40m below the Rampgill Horse Level horizon. All the ore from the Barneycraig and Four Fathom Limestone Levels was taken to Rampgill Shaft and brought to the surface via the Rampgill portal.

The level today is blocked and there is no link to the Barneycraig Vein, though it does continue in for a considerable distance. There was a major attempt at digging near the Flank Level junction, but this was thwarted by very bad air - a combination of low oxygen and high carbon dioxide levels.

Barneycraig Level Surface Features

Views of the landscape and buildings around the level.

Updated 20th July 2007.