History of Haggs Bank

This locality has a rich industrial history from the lead mining industry. Lead mining in the North Pennines probably started in Roman times with the nearby Roman fort at Epiacum probably built to protect the area’s lead resources. The main metal ores found in this area are galena (lead), witherite (barium) and sphalerite (zinc). All were extracted from Haggs Mine during its lifetime.

At the end of Haggs Bank Bunkhouse building is the horse level mine shaft entrance into Haggs Mine. There is no record of when the horse level was driven but it’s thought to have been in use in the 1700s.

The metal ores are present in layers called veins which the miners would dig out and transport to the surface using horses and carts called ‘bogeys’. Haggs Bank Bunkhouse was originally the old forge and mine shop where the miners could get their tools mended and rest between shifts underground.

The peak of production at Haggs Mine was in the 1930s and a succession of mining companies worked the mine during its operational life. In 1953 the mining ceased and it was formally abandoned in 1958.

Today all the mine shafts in this area are a complex network of underground systems which should NOT be entered unless with an experienced guide. If you are interested in a trip underground to experience the heritage of this special area Haggs Bank Bunkhouse can put you in touch with a local fully qualified instructor.

Alternatively you can visit the nearby Killhope Mine which is an award winning local visitor attraction just a few miles away.