In Photos: Force Crag Mine

Men have excavated slate, copper and other metal ores from the Lakeland fells since the 12th century. Walking the 2 miles from the village of Braithwaite along the Coledale Valley will give you the opportunity to explore the last working metal mine in the Lake District.

Force Crag Mine main building

Force Crag Mine

The last working metal mine in the Lake District National Park; take the opportunity to explore a monument to an industry that dates back to the 12th century.

Force Crag Mine main building
Force Crag Mine was the last working metal mine in the Lake District. Men mined lead, barium sulphate and zinc here for over 200 years.
Force Crag Mine in the Coledale Valley
The mine is located at the head of the Coledale Valley close to the village of Braithwaite in the northern Lake District.
Force Crag in the Coledale Valley
The mine gets it name from Force Crag, an impressive rock formation that sits at the foot of Grisedale Pike.
The mining complex at Force Crag
The mining complex is made up of 2 buildings: the main mine building itself and a small (administration?) hut that sits in front.
Rubble at Force Crag Mine
As well as the 2 buildings the remains of other structures can be found littering the surrounding area.
Bricks at Force Crag Mine
Much of the mine appears to have been constructed from red brick, unusual for an area that is better known for its stone buildings.
The remains of the conveyor at Force Crag Mine
The mine was closed in 1990 after the roof collapsed and is now looked after by the National Trust as a Scheduled Monument and Site of Special Scientific Interest.

17 thoughts on “In Photos: Force Crag Mine”

  1. Love historical places like this Chris. One can imagine how this location was buzzing with activity at one time.
    BTW – how is your gallery/show project going?

    1. Hey Miguel, it must have been a really tough place to work all those years ago. I’m not sure I would have lasted very long myself! The exhibition is coming along, I am in the process of trying to find a suitable location at the moment.

  2. Great photo essay, interesting reading the history and the images are rendered sympathetically and realistically! I really like how you captured the atmosphere, must have been a tough place to work all those years ago.

    1. Thank you Tony. I was pleased with how it came out. I enjoy creating these photo essays and think I will do more in future. This one was perhaps a little short so I will aim for 10 images next time.

  3. I quite enjoyed this video Chris. It seemed you had a clear purpose and you really succeeded with each composition. Your β€œHand of Man” project aside, I know that you normally focus on the natural landscapes, but I think you did really well on this one. Conditions seemed OK, certainly not great, yet each photo played a part in telling the story. Well done mate. πŸ‘

    1. Hi Jeff – I enjoyed shooting something different for a change. It was fun to try to photograph something that’s not beautiful in the traditional sense. Conditions were OK although I would have liked a heavier sky. Not a location that would have suited golden hour I don’t think. πŸ™‚

  4. wonderfull chris, you make me hungry to see lake district. i am also a photographer and a graphic designer living in switzerland so its unfortunatly not around the corner we say here but i am looking forward. you do very interesting films on youtube, compliment to you. you tell a lot about how you work as a landscape photographer, etc. I think you should get also income from the tourist office or directly from the lake district nationalpark you do fantastic work for them. hope to meet you one time. best regards and wishes, marcus, zurich switzerland

  5. Hi Chris, I enjoyed watching your very “different” video and seeing a different type and style of photography I love old abandoned building’s when they’re shown in an Old style Brownish or black & white photo so cracking job.

      1. Hi Chris , yeah the old mine has been put on my forever growing list of places to visit hopefully at some point this month time permitting.

  6. Really like the grittiness of the photos. Someone mentioned doing them in b & w or sepia, but so much detail would have been lost.
    Double thumbs up.

    1. Thanks Cyndee – to be honest I have wanted to try a high contrast, low saturation look for some time and this subject just seemed to fit perfectly. Some people have commented that it would have looked better in black and white but I don’t agree on this occasion.

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