Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wanlockhead

I'm rather fond of the scarred countryside around the villages of Wanlockhead and Leadhills. The last mine in the area closed in 1951. Now there is a brilliant museum in Wanlockhead, Hidden Treasures, the Museum of Lead Mining. The Southern Upland Way runs through the village.

Here's a little reminder of the trackways that were used above and below ground. If you are interested at all in industrial archaeology, then this is the place!

A ticket for the museum includes a visit underground in part of the Lochnell Mine. Here guide Robert McCafferty explains the safety procedures.

Underground.

Robert our guide had a wealth of stories to illustrate the working conditions over the 150 years of the lifetime of the Lochnell Mine. Here's a tableau showing a miner operating a windlass used for accessing a lower level. 

An intrepid explorer?

Straitsteps cottages now house displays to compare life in the 18th and 19th century.

There's lots of curling interest in the area. Here is a display of a number of unusual 'wee stones'!

There's gold in the hills too. Here Julie Hall demonstrates to Christine and Hugh Stewart basic panning techniques. Great fun!

Right, having had my lesson too, I've bought the equipment, got my license, purchased my anti-midge spray, and I'm off to find my fortune.

Wanlockhead is certainly a great day out. Leadhills is interesting too. More about that visit to follow.

Photos © Skip Cottage

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