Ladywell lead mine worked several galena veins discovered in the 1830s-40s, when the Wood drainage level was extended, by the mining partnership of Lewis and Phillips, from Roman Gravels mine to the Grit mines (they had control of both mines at the time).
At the junction of 2 mineral veins (Ladywell vein and First New vein) Lewis and Phillips sank a shaft, known as Flat Rod shaft or Ladywell Pit (NGR SO 3294 9946) to start working the lead - this is the first shaft in the woods, North-east of the parking place near Ladywell Mine.
Following a period of intermittent working, the Ladywell Mining Company obtained the lease in 1871 and Arthur Waters was appointed Captain (mine manager).
One of the many ventures of the mining boom years of the 1870's, Ladywell never lived up to expectations. Captain Waters failed to find the rich lead veins believed to be in this mine, despite carrying out numerous improvements, such as the sinking of a new engine shaft and the building of an engine house for a rotative beam winding and pumping engine.
It is this engine house that survives today, beside the road to Shelve. One of the most attractive ruins in the area, the brick and stone building is now a listed monument and has had some conservation work done to retard further decay.
The slot on the left presumably accomodated the flywheel of the winding gear. There are similar slots in the bob walls of the engine houses at East Grit and New Central Snailbeach.
National Grid Reference: SO 3277 9922
c1830s-1840s: Lewis & Phillips extend Wood Level, towards the Gritt Mines and discover several lead veins in the Ladywell area.
1848: Due to falling lead prices, partnership of Lewis & Phillips wound-up.
1865/6: John Taylor & Company try to obtain the lease for Ladywell Mine - unsuccessful
1871: Ladywell Mining Company obtain the lease and large scale mining restarts.
1874: New engine shaft sunk.
1875: Rotative beam winding and pumping engine house built on new engine shaft.
1882: Ladywell Mining Company goes into liqidation and the mine closes due to poor returns.