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Heritage - Cleveland Ironstone Mining

The Borough of Redcar & Cleveland is an area steeped in the history of Ironstone Mining.

The discovery of the Cleveland ironstone seam took place in Skinningrove in 1847 when Samuel Frederick Okey was examining ironstone on the beach, and the local land owner, Anthony Lax Maynard approached him to tell him about the same colour stone which he had noticed further up the valley.

Okey decided to have a look and on the east side of the valley a considerably valuable seam of ironstone was discovered. Since Okey had too many other business commitments to mine the seam himself, he looked to other interested parties and, on the 23rd September 1847 an agreement was written up for James Burlinson to take lease of the mine. However, a year later this lease was sold on to more practical men and mining commenced at Skinningrove on the 7th August 1848. The following year the mine was taken over by a strong and leading ironstone company called Bolckow and Vaughan. However, it changed hands again in October 1850.

In 1850 a major discovery took place in Eston when John Vaughan discovered ironstone on the Eston hills. Unknown to him, he had just stumbled across what was going to be the main seam of ironstone in East Cleveland. Eston was the largest drift mine in the area and, as the ironstone mining industry developed, the area saw a surge in demand for ironstone as ironmasters built their blast furnaces and ironworks. In total there were eighty four mines in the area which stretched from the coast to as far inland as Rosedale. The developments in the ironstone industry also led to the building of many railway lines which ran from Saltburn to the mining villages and these railways soon became passenger lines as well as freight lines.

To truly experience the history of Ironstone mining it is essential to take a visit to the Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum and delve into the underground world of Cleveland's ironstone mining past. Enter the original north drift and visit a reconstructed 1890 mine face and experience the blast!! The Museum is located on the site of Loftus Mine in Skinningrove, which was the first Ironstone Mine to open in Cleveland.

Redcar & Cleveland Ironstone Heritage Trail Heritagecelebrates the iron and steel history of the Borough. Linking Eston and Skinningrove, the two areas that were both integral to the start of the industry, the trail follows public footpaths passing industrial sites.
 icon Heritage Trail.pdf (0.76Mb)
Last modified: 07/06/2012 09:55:01

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