History of Lindal & Marton

A village community at the heart of Furness


Parish Council

Lindal Moor Mystery Pit

Mystery Pit in the correct orientation Expanded section of the original photo showing pit head and Furness Railway side-tipping ore wagons

When the above-left photo originally appeared on this website, it was known to have been taken in the Lindal Moor area but its precise location could not be identified. The 'Mystery Pit' was included in the Cumbrian Railways Association Journal No 110 as a challenge to its readers. The mystery was soon solved by Jonathan Wignall and Peter Holmes, who realised that the photo had been shown in reverse (ie the hut on the left of the picture instead of the right). A site visit confirmed what they had thought, and the photo is now shown in its correct orientation. The zoomed-in version on the right shows the detail of the pit head area, and clearly shows the Furness Railway side-tipping ore wagons which are of a type thought to be unique to the Furness area.

Peter Holmes has a particular interest in local mineral railways, and he would welcome any correspondence or queries on the subject. Please contact him via the Cumbrian Railways Assocation.

Lindal Moor M9 and M17 Pits

The various pits on Lindal Moor were identified by a letter and number, according to which royalty they were in. The main pit in the photograph is the M9 Pit, which was in the Muncaster royalty (Buccleuch royalty pits were prefixed with a B). The photo shows the M9 Pit headgear and loading gantry. In addition, the M9 Pit was equipped with two boilers, winding engine with gearing, pumping engine, air receiver, rock drill air compressor, and two rock drills.

The Cornish engine house, chimney and shearlegs in the background of the picture belonged to the M17 Pit, which was the main working pit of the Muncaster royalty. It was equipped with four boilers, winding engine with gearing, Cornish pumping engine, two force lifts, two drawing lifts, headgear, and steam capstan to lift 40 tons.

A total of 130 men were employed by Harrison, Ainslie & Co in the M9 and M17 Pits in the early 1900's; about 100 extracting ore, and 30 looking for new deposits.

The gate in the foreground led to the Diamond Pit, which is out of the picture on the right-hand side. The rails on the road would have led from the Diamond Pit to the loco shed and workshops, out of the picture on the left-hand side, in the area now occupied by the West Cumbria Farmers shop. The hut in the foreground is a crossing-keeper's shelter, and the pole beside the hut carries a signal controlling the level crossing.

Photo donated by Mr D Barlow, Lindal & Marton Primary School.

Information about M9 and M17 Pits summarised from "The Red Earth" by Dave Kelly, 1998, Trinity Press, ISBN 0-9534779-0-8.

Evidence of Mineworkings

John Murphy at M9 PitThere is remarkably little remaining intact evidence of the extensive mineworkings around Lindal and Marton. However, an understanding of the scale of the industry can still be achieved to an extent by walking around the area and observing the spoil heaps, remains of buildings, railway embankments, etc. The photo shows John Murphy, a Barrow Councillor and well-known local historian, pointing out features of interest in the field where the M9 Pit once stood. A small section of old railway track can be seen near his feet.

The field also contains Daylight Hole, a large cavern formed by mineworking activities. Note that the field and Daylight Hole are private property and are not generally open to the public.

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