The New Glencrieff Mine was started in the early 18th century. It was one of the richest lead mines in Britain and closed in 1931 to reopen in the 1950's, but failed due to high costs and low prices for lead.
New Glencrieff Mine, Wanlockhead, Dumfriesshire, OS Ref: NS864133.
The New Glencrieff mine has a long history and has been worked on and off along the vein of the same name from 1718 right up to the late 1950's, including some reprocessing operations in the early 1960's. Discovery of the vein will have occurred during the search for native silver and silver rich lead ores, but as this was never truly successful, lead only became the prime objective as soon as there started to be a market for this metal.
Over the whole of its history, 7 companies have operated the mine, improving the operations and installing new technology. One of the most impressive installations of new technology came in the form of hauling and pumping engines, examples of which can still be found in the mine on the Glenglass Level, towards the south end of the New Glencrieff vein.
By the time the mine was permanently closed, almost 105,000 tonnes of lead was smelted from the New Glencrieff vein. The primary minerals worked at the mine were galena (lead sulphide), and in the latter part of the 19th century, sphalerite (zinc sulphide).