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Bentyfield Mines, Garrigill, Cumbria.

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The Bentyfield Mines consist of a number of levels that worked the Bentyfield, Bentyfield Sun Veins and the Browngill, Browngill Sun Veins as well as some smaller ones. It is worth noting that the Bentyfield Vein in this area is the same as the Gudhamgill Vein in Nenthead.

The main development at the mines was via the Bentyfield Level, this was driven on top of the Great Limestone along the Bentyfield (Taylor Sike) Vein for 282m. A crosscut of 75m brought the level to the Bentyfield Sun Vein. The Bentyfield Level was worked by the London Lead Company and then by the Alston Moor Mining Company. It yielded between 1848 and 1882 4950 tonnes of lead concentrates; 41 tonnes of zinc concentrates and an average silver recovery of 215g per 1 tonne of lead.

Bentyfield Low Level was driven in the shale under the Tuft and is a straight drive of 290m to the Bentyfield Sun Vein where it bears north east towards the Bentyfield Level workings. From the Sun Vein it extends another 230m to the Thortergill Syke North Vein. Browngill High Level was driven in the Slate Sill for around 600m. Browngill Top Level was driven under the Slate Sill and extends as far as Longholehead Whimsey.

Colonel's Level was driven around 1736 by Liddell to reach the Browngill Vein 470m from the portal. It was driven in the shale above the Great Limestone. Approximately half way along the drive, the level intersected the Thortergill Syke North Vein, which was worked for a short distance to the north east. When the level reached the Browngill Vein, it was extended east to the Whimsey Upon the Flatt making connections with Caplecleugh Horse and Whitesike Levels.

The Clay Level was driven on top of the Great Limestone and cut the Thortergill Syke North Vein and then the Browngill Vein, a total of 410m. On the Browngill Vein it was extended another 700m to the east. Newton's Level details are not fully known, except that it is probably a level that is shown on an old plan that cuts Bentyfield Sun, Thortergill Syke North, and Browngill Veins. The Shieldhill Low Level was driven by the London Lead Company and ran to the Thortergill Cross Vein where it proceeded to follow the vein south east, cutting the Bentyfield, Bentyfield Sun, and Browngill Veins.

Bentyfield Low Level

Our first look into this level which has had a portal face lift in the last few years.

(Karli and Mike), 26th July 2014.