Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Take a look inside Ecton Copper Mine Engine House

Free open afternoons to showcase conservation work on historic building

The 1788 engine house built above the 400m deep copper mine
Over the past two years, National Trust volunteers have helped to rescue a special building in the Manifold Valley in the Peak District. With funding from an Environmental Stewardship agreement, major rescue works have taken place to rescue the former engine house and powder house of Ecton Copper Mine.

Volunteer Frank excavating around the engine house
Once owned by the Duke of Devonshire of Chatsworth House, the copper mine employed hundreds of local people and supplied copper for the Royal Navy. The engine house was built in 1788 to house a Boulton and Watt steam engine to raise the copper ore. The smaller stone powder house was built on the hillside a safe distance from the shaft, to store the gunpowder. 

After mining finished in 1890, the engine house became a cattle store for the local farmer, housing nine cows and enough hay to feed them over the winter. The stalls and hayloft have been retained, honouring this part of the building's history.

Now cared for by the National Trust, volunteers have helped with archaeological digs around the engine house, leading guided tours, monitoring wildflowers on the surrounding hillside and repairing drystone walls. 

If you would like to take a look inside, come along to our free open afternoons on Thursday 21st August and Saturday 13th September, 1pm to 4pm. 

To find our more call us on 01335 350503