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Woodhead Mine
Woodhead Mine
Copyright © John Pickin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Woodhead lead mine, Carsphairn, Dumfries and Galloway
NGR: NX 528 940

Woodhead is a well preserved small lead mine and miners' settlement in a remote part of the Galloway hills. It is a unique example of a mine developed, financed and worked by a local landowner.

The mine was begun in 1838 by Colonel MacAdam Cathcart who erected dressing floors and a smelt mill.

At its height Woodhead produced 900 tons of lead per year and employed just over 300 people with many of the workforce coming from the nearby mines at Wanlockhead and Leadhills.

Cathcart built a village for the miners and also constructed a school and library. The smelted lead from the mine was taken to the harbour at Ayr for sale and transport. Woodhead closed in 1873.

The mine is reached by a road and rough track from Carsphairn. The dressing floors have been removed but the foundations of the miners' terraced housing can still be seen as can the manager's house, the explosive magazine and the schoolhouse. The remains also survive of the smelt mill with its flues and hill side chimneys and nearby is the cottage built for the head smelter.

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