Drawing 111: Force Crag, Coledale

Direction of view: W

Notes: Some new settling ponds and ancillary infrastructure have been installed near Force Crag mine (as of 2014), and this may have affected the foreground, though the best viewpoint is in any case just beyond them. This scene also features as Lakeland Mountain Drawing 175, and on page 168 of Fellwalking with a Camera.   All three are very similar, but there is a land rover type vehicle in the photograph which is also in the mountain drawing, but not in the sketch.

Comments: Image 1 was taken on 13th October 2014 on a walk with Peter Watson, when drawings 25 and 68 were also photographed.  The mine buildings are out of the sketch to the right, but are interesting; we visited these before enjoying a pleasant walk on the mine road down the valley in improving weather.

A rather better picture (image 2) was obtained on 5th April 2017 with Peter Messenger.  We had taken drawing 170 already, and waited here awhile for sun on the waterfall, but the day was mainly cloudy, and this never happened.  This was Pete’s first day off work, having dropped down to four days a week, and a good walk: we climbed Eel Crag via “Tower Ridge”, and descended over Sail, Outerside, Stile End and Barrow.

Force Crag Mine was the last working metal mine in the Lake District, prior to its final abandonment in 1991.  The site was mined for lead from 1839 until 1865, and for zinc and barytes from 1867.  It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and a geological SSSI (site of special scientific interest).  The mill buildings visible today were built in 1908-9 and redesigned in 1939-40.