Began as a lead working but from 1873-1969 was the main producer of witherite in the world.
The mine was started as a lead mine and recorded history commences in 1690, however after 1872 it became a major producer of Barites, or to be more specific, witherite, after which lead production ceased.
Witherite was named for William Withering (1741-1799) an English physician and naturalist who in 1784 published his research on the new mineral. He could show that barite and the new mineral were two different minerals.
Settlingstones Mine is often regarded as one with the Stonecroft mine to the east, they are however two separate mines.
The mine became the worlds largest producer of that mineral until working ceased in 1969.
After closure the ground was ‘landscaped’ to such an extent that any interpretation today requires a major leap of imagination. The most westerly shaft, Grindon Hill Shaft is but a flat area with a few pieces of stonework isolated in a farmer’s field. At the side of the main road Frederick Shaft has the remains of what appears to have been a loading platform and a few concrete bases.
A council road leads to Winter Shaft Cottages, once miners cottages, there remains nothing of the adjacent Winters Shaft and associated structures. From here the remains of the raised tramway can be seen crossing fields to Frederick Shaft. To the east it follows a track through a gate built onto what was once the structure of a haulage system for the mine trucks where pulleys can still be seen in the grass. Further to the east the site of other shafts is now a dog kennels.
The mine lab remains put to other use, as does the end of a concrete culvert, original purpose unknown.
Edited by RF April 2014