Middlecleugh Mine / Middlecleugh Upper Level, Nenthead, Cumbria. OS Ref: NY789425
The entrance to Middlecleugh Mine collapsed in the late eighties, and recently (Summer 2006 - Winter 2007) has been reopened by the efforts of CATMHS. Their team dug out the collapse and re-arched the beginning of the entrance passage, they even went as far as putting in rail tracks, which also helped with the removal of debris from the collapse.
From what information can be gathered, Middlecleugh Level was driven primarily for ventilation. There are some small workings above the level and multiple sumps presumably leading to workings above Smallcleugh Mine. Much of the levels development seems to have been carried out by the London Lead Company which took out leases in 1758. When the Vieille Montagne Zinc Company took over from the LLC part of an hydraulic system was installed into the level. Evidence of this is present in the large diameter water pipe along the main drive in. The pipe continues up to the junction with Longcleugh Vein and then appears to make its way down to the Smallcleugh Level past the Ballroom. The pipe then continues towards Elliott's String and the Hydraulic Shaft, however no signs of any sort of compressor machinery have been found.
The mine was driven through shale and as a result many of the branch passages are collapsed. The main drive in is open all the way and gives access to a number of veins including part of the east side of Longcleugh Vein, east side of Middlecleugh North Vein, and the Smallcleugh Cross Vein. It is also possible to reach some parts of the mine via Smallcleugh and surface shafts, which are not accessible via the adit.