NZ5810 : Site of the Ayton Ironstone Mine

taken 11 years ago, near to Little Ayton, North Yorkshire, Great Britain

Site of the Ayton Ironstone Mine
Site of the Ayton Ironstone Mine
The two drifts of the Ayton Ironstone Mine were just off to the right. Directly ahead is the self acting incline, a quarter of a mile long and 1 in 4 at its steepest where ore was transported down to the North Eastern Railway. Concrete bases can be made out right and left of centre. Those on the left, partially hidden by the bushes, were for haulage gear for the incline. To the left beyond the foundations are the tops of spoil tips.
Because of its proximity to Capt. Cooks Monument the mine became known locally as the Monument Mine. The site now is used for motor cycling scrambling.
The village of Great Ayton is in the distance top right.
Ayton Ironstone Mine (Monument Mine)
Operated by Pease & Partners from 1909 to 1931 so a comparative latecomer. Because of this it was the most advanced of the Cleveland ironstone mines. It prided itself on its modern equipment and cleanliness and was the first local mine to use electricity.

(Ironstone is a sedimentary rock laid down when Yorkshire lay under a shallow tropical sea 180-210 million years ago. A period known as the Lower Jurassic.)

The mine was officially called Ayton Mine but locally was known as Monument Mine to distinguish it from Ayton Banks Mine on the south side of the Gribdale road (NZ586109).

The mine was created to access the ironstone seams south of the whinstone dyke but also to the north of it under Ayton Moor. This meant cutting through the harder volcanic rock of the dyke. Pease also owned the neighbouring royalties at Hutton Lowcross. It is said you could at one time walk underground from Monument mine to Hutton Lowcross near Guisborough. Due to rock falls it is unlikely to be the case now and in any case ventilation was always a problem for the mine.

At first ventilation was by a fire at the bottom of a shaft located in the wood north of the mine entrance (hot air rises so causes a draft). This shaft is still there hidden amongst the gorse. Then in 1919 a modern electric fan was installed.

Ore from the Monument Mine was carted out of the mine on narrow gauge tubs or wagons and hauled down the self acting incline for loading onto North Eastern Railway trucks at sidings just south of Great Ayton station.

The foundations to the fan house and other various bases can be seen at the top of the incline along with a large spoil heap. The tall building at the bottom of the incline near the modern fish pond housed the old electricity transformer.
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NZ5810, 51 images   (more nearby )
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Wednesday, 27 June, 2007   (more nearby)
Thursday, 28 June, 2007
Industrial heritage > Industrial heritage   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 584 100 [100m precision]
WGS84: 54:28.9520N 1:5.9806W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 585 100
View Direction
West-northwest (about 292 degrees)
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