Wanlockhead

An interesting walk around Wanlockhead’s heritage trail.

Wanlockhead, Scotland’s highest village, and “God’s Treasure House” although his treasure of the ores of lead, zinc, copper, silver and gold had to be gained by hard dangerous work in extremely tough living conditions.

The village of Wanlockhead existed before the Quaker company of the London Mining Company arrived in 1710, taking out leases on the royalties and pushing their religiosity and educational teachings — I wonder if it was a “dry” village back in the 18th-century, today I definitely recall seeing the Wanlockhead Inn.

The photo shows the general view across the Straitsteps Mine which was sited very close to the functional St. John’s Church. It’s beam engine can be seen in the on the left.

One of the problems that the mines had to deal with was flooding, Straitsteps Mine was no exception. A huge beam engine — called a “Bobbing John” — was used drain the shaft by pumping the water up to a side tunnel, originally water-powered then later converted to steam. It has now largely been reconstructed although the stone pillar is obviously original.
The original Glencrieff Mine was driven in 1740 as an adit. The vein was of such good quality that a 1,440 feet deep shaft was sunk. New Glencrieff Mine was the last mine to close, in 1956. Today, it’s spoil heap dominates the lower village.

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