Glencrieff mine has a long history and has been worked on and off along the
vein of the same name from 1718 right up to the late 1950's, including some
reprocessing operations in the early 1960's. Discovery of the vein will have
occurred during the search for native silver and silver rich lead ores, but as
this was never truly successful, lead only became the prime objective as soon
as there started to be a market for this metal.
Over the whole of its
history, 7 companies have operated the mine, improving the operations and
installing new technology. One of the most impressive installations of new
technology came in the form of hauling and pumping engines, examples of which
can still be found in the mine on the Glenglass Level, towards the south end of
the New Glencrieff vein.
By the time the mine was permanently closed,
almost 105,000 tonnes of lead was smelted from the New Glencrieff vein. The
primary minerals worked at the mine were galena (lead sulphide), and in the
latter part of the 19th century, sphalerite (zinc sulphide).