Memorian Jake Almond

Jake Almond – a memory.

Dr J K Almond (Jake) died on 13th December 2018. Jake was a Trustee of the North Pennines Heritage Trust, mineral processing engineer, writer about fluorspar and zinc mining, researcher and writer of the history of lead smelting, who cared about the heritage of UK mining.

He was a long time contributor to the work of the Cleveland Industrial Archaeology Society, Historical Metallurgy Society, Association for Industrial Archaeology and the Open University.

Here he is at the opening of the Nenthead Smelting Mill bridge in June 2008 , when he formally opened the bridge and launched his guide to the smelting mill

Jake Almond, 13 June 2008, Nenthead smelting mill


Art Installation at Nenthead Mines?

Wednesday 14th November 2018.

Today we wrapped up the concrete compressor beds to give them winter frost protection. The concrete is being damaged by the winter frosts and this is an interim solution until were can design a better method. The sandbags were filled with gravel that has washed onto the site during heavy rainfall, so we are recycling waste materials into something more useful.

Site Diary Updated 19th October 2018

Wednesday 17th October was a different day. We took detailed measurements of POW fencing because we are considering using the metal sections to replace the existing wood fence around the smelting mill. The measurements showed that the fence could be replaced from the Assay House corner to the gate just past the compressor concrete bases.

The bent handrail at Carrs Mine exit was also measured in order to produce the replacement handrail. Nearby, the river bed waterfall plunge poll was  cleared of boulders and the roadside culverts checked. Both had been affected by recent heavy rains.

The redundant gate from P.O.W. was removed, modified and installed at the south end of the smelt mill footbridge – now possible to take visitors into south side of the mill site.

The gatekeeper mine wagon was given another coat of yellow paint, and the switching arrangements for the Stagg condenser model were changed to make more them accessible.

We also provided a Carrs Mine tour for six visitors, two of whom went on to have an afternoon Ballroom trip.

The Allendale bargain book was also finally photocopied ( at Alston Library) so that the book could be transcribed in full.

Gate on the smelt mill footbridge

Thompsons Level

Slow progress continues here. Temporary steel supports in the roof fall are advancing. The recent heavy rains have shifted more of the shaft fill and filled up the excavated area. The next dig session will be on 21st October.

Carrs Mine Trips and Open Days – from our all-volunteer team



You can take an underground tour of Carrs Mine, see our displays of minerals, mining equipment and historic photographs, and visit the 100 metre deep Brewery Shaft – where you can stand on top of the shaft.

Then round your visit off with tea, coffee and homemade cakes.


Our next Carrs Mine Open Day will be in 2020. Our dates for opening will be added here.

Our Carrs Mine trips take about 90 minutes. We provide lamps and helmets. We suggest that you wear outdoor clothing and footwear. The temperature underground is usually 8C. The mine is usually dry underfoot, but maybe a little muddy in places. We welcome all children who can walk and climb stairs – we don’t take babes in arms underground.

We recommend booking in advance to get a mine trip. You can book in advance on-line.  Scroll to the end of this page for our on-line booking form. 

You can also call 07494 497868 to book your place.

You can just turn up on the day – we often have places available. Check first by phoning 07494 497868.

Donations for Visits

We ask for a donation of at least £5 per person. We can accept debit cards, cash, or cheques.

All your donations go towards the conservation of the Nenthead Mines site.

Travelling to Nenthead Mines

Please see our advice at the bottom of this page – follow our signs from the Village Car park at Nenthead. Do not stop in the first car park – follow the trackway alongside the river.

We are an All-Volunteer operation.


The Society can also arrange custom group visits to Carrs Tourist Mine throughout most of the year.  

A  minimum of eight people and a donation of  £80  is needed to confirm a booking for a custom visit, subject to a volunteer guide being available.   To discuss a date, please either send us an email –  admin(at) or phone 07494 497868.  We usually need two weeks notice of your proposed date.

We do not offer Carrs Mine tours from November through to late March. We carry out mine maintenance during this period.


We are at Nenthead, near Alston, in Cumbria.

The postcode for our site entrance road is CA9 3NR.

Follow the brown tourist signs from the A689, do not stop in the first car park – follow the trackway alongside the river. 

Click on the map below for a larger view.

How to Join the Society – we need your help!

The Nenthead Mines Conservation Society is a volunteer charity which cares for, manages and maintains this historic site. Most of the site is owned by Cumbria County Council and is operated on their behalf by the  Society. We need your help to look after this wonderful valley.

How does the Society operate?

We are a voluntary charitable incorporated organisation ( number 1166281) that raises money to maintain and look after the valley. A copy of the Governing document is here: NMCS Governing Document.


Follow the link below to join the Society online, or choose another method.

Join the Society online→

Ask for a copy of the Application form to be sent to you:   send a self addressed stamped envelope to: NMCS, c/o 14 Kirk Rise, Frosterley, Bishop Auckland, DL13 2SF. UK

Visit us on Open Days:  if you want to know more, come and visit on an Open Day or on one of our Members Working Days.


You can gift aid donations to the Society. The gift aid form can be downloaded from here: Charity Gift Aid Declaration

Mid July Site report up to 18th July

Recent hot weather has slowed down our work programme, but we have achieved some objectives. Here is a summary from 27th June to 18th July.

Conserving the EIMCO loader and a mine wagon:  both items have been coated with rust preventing chemicals and the loader has been partly undercoated. Audrey has been responsible for most of this work.

Rewiring the Barracks: the upstairs ring main and the boiler main have been installed and are working. Thanks to Colin for this task.

Lighting the Display Cabinets: Andy and Anne have built custom led lights for most of the display cabinets, and have almost completed this task.

Repairing the Dowgang footpath fence: ChrisB, Alec, Graham, Martyn and Rosemary have rehung the gate and started on fixing the fence across the burn. Erica, who lives nearby, has donated a length of mesh for the fence repair.

Arch repairs in Carrs Mine: The floor level arch for the old lower adit has been walled by Jim.

Stagg Wheelpit: Sheila has logged the vegetation within the safety fence, and has done a first draft of the SMC application for conservation work on the timbers.

Building signs and Noticeboards:  Repainted in a new shade of green, by Rachel, Nicola, Sheila and Joyce.

Stray fridge; that had been dumped in Dowgang Hush recovered and recycled by ChrisB and Graham.

Thompson’s Level: old shaft top fence repaired, level entrance cleared of vegetation, rails covered with ply, and the dump bund rebuilt. Leif, Allan, Greg, ChrisC, Nick, Rosemary and Joyce were all involved. ChrisC repaired the gate by welding.

Archive: a start made with the Coldberry pay sheets by Margaret.

Carrs Shop and Barracks Windows: have had some white paint recoated by Pete and Graham.

We have also had visits from the Nenthead Chapel team, and the pupils from Nenthead School.