Slapewath Ironstone Mine

Geotag Icon Show on map

The Slapewath mine was originally started by Thomas Charlton in 1864 via a drift near the village names after him. The shafts date from a later period of around 1880 when the mine was being operated by Samuelson & Co.

The downcast shaft now surrounded by a high wall is 286 feet deep

Slapewath Downcast Shaft 

The upcast / ventilation shaft is located a little to the NW and is of similar depth.

Slapewath Upcast Shaft 

A sizeable heap of spoil is still on the site, which has been cut by a farm track

Slapewath Spoil Heap Slapewath Spoil Heap


15 thoughts on “Slapewath Ironstone Mine

  1. I believe the drift was located somewhere near the end of the terrace, very close to the little industrial estate. Apparently mining activities caused an element of subsidence which damaged the third row of houses, requiring them to be demolished.

    In addition to the above remains, the track of the branch line can be traced as it goes under the road just outside the village.

  2. The drift was located between the present house and the beck this has long been filled in with all sorts of rubbish.If you go down to the beck you can see where they used to wash the pony’s Further down next to the sandstone bridge in the first garden is the remains of the powder house. As to the shafts at Holin hill farm the one on the high side still has the timbers in & just below is the remains of a small drift plus you can still see the old railway line that runs down to the farm I only know this because when we wre kids we used to climb up & look down as kids did in them days.Bye the way my Grandfather was a storeman & my Great Grandfather was an overman at the above mine. Hope this helps any further help required feel free to email me lived there all my life

  3. By the way yes the third row did have to be domlished in the early 60s because a hole appeared behind no 115 if i recall correctly

    • Neil,
      That is interesting information. I am trying to find out exactly when the third row was demolished. I have put some information on the history of the houses at Charltons onto the Charltons Heritage Hunt website at

      The third row houses were numbered from 96 to 113, with 113 being a shop at the SE end of the row. From Ordance Survey maps that seems to have survived for a while longer than the rest of the row. I have recenty looked at the electoral registers and found that 106 -108 were empty from at least 1950. A few others on either side of those became empty gradually from about 1958. The electoral register for 1962 shows 8 occupied houses but from 1963 only 113 is occupied (by the Garbutt family). That suggests to me the houses were emptied and demolished some time between 10th October 1961 (qualifying date for the 1962 register) and 10th October 1962.

      Would the pony washing place be where there is now a footbridge where the public footpath goes up into the woods?

  4. Thanks for assisting with the detail Neil – all very interesting. Is the main drift now completely gone or are there any parts of it remaining?

  5. Thanks for clearing that up Chris. What I am unclear about with respect to mining activities at Slapewath is whether actual mining took place under the village itself or whether the drift referred to above veered away to workings to the west. Neil’s point regarding subsidence is very interesting.

  6. Interesting map. The workings appear to avoid the housing rows although coming quite close in places. Would anyone know how deep the workings would have been in this area?

  7. Very shallow due to its proximity to the drift entrance.
    The enclosing line to the right just before the houses is the position of the outcrop, so its effectively at the surface there.

    Its interesting to note that the pillars in that area are all marked as still standing, you would normally expect subsidence to be associated with the goafed (mined out and collapsed)areas marked with dots to the south.

    You can see that the pillars have also been left under Hollins Farm also to prevent subsidence.

  8. I visited the 2 shafts this morning — don’t know how I’d missed them on the OS map until now. But why, with a drift entrance at the northern end of the complex, did they need shafts at the southern end and a railway line? Was the volume of material extracted more than the drift could have handled?

    • Found the answer on the website… a collapse meant that the drift entrance as no longer useable, so new access shafts were needed further to the south. In later years there was an underground connection to the Spawood Mine, so the shafts weren’t needed for access.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.