Force Crag Mine

Take a trip back in time and experience the last working metal mine in the Lake District…

Force Crag Mine was mined for lead between 1839 and 1865 and for zinc and barytes from 1867. The role of the mill was to separate these minerals from one another, and from any other minerals and the country rock.  Today the site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a geological SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).  The mine sits in an enviable location at the top of the remote Coledale Valley, above Braithwaite and 7km west of Keswick.

“Accessible only by foot, bike or National Trust 4×4, discover one of the Lakes most quirky yet fascinating secrets located in the stunning Coledale Valley, near Keswick – you’ll love it even if you’re not sure mining is quite your thing!” – Keswick.org

The remaining mill buildings were constructed in 1908-9 and redesigned in 1939-40. They contain the ore-refining machinery that was in used until the mine closed, along with other earlier equipment.  Force Crag is the only former mineral mining site in the country to retain its processing equipment in something near full order.

The National Trust now owns the site.  Visitors can access to the processing mill buildings and machinery and discover what was mined and follow the processing of the minerals through the mill plant.

Admission into the mine building is via booked tours only, there is no access to the mine itself.  See the National Trust link below for details.

Open Days

The processing mill is only open on five days every year. The 2017 dates are:

  • Tues 11th April
  • Sat 6th May
  • Sat 10th June
  • Wed 26th July
  • Sat 9th Sept

For details and to book visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/borrowdale

Full direction details can also be found on the National Trust website.