Malham calamine mine

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Malham calamine mine MYD25434 (c) YDNPA, 2023

Malham calamine mine MYD25434 (c) YDNPA, 2023

Sometime in the 1790s a large deposit of calamine, an ore of zinc was found near Pikedaw above Malham. Fifty years earlier, the process of producing brass from copper and ‘spelter’ made from zinc ores had been perfected and brass makers were eager for new sources of calamine. By the 19th century calamine was being mined in large quantities at the site called Calamine Pits between Pikedaw and Grizedales. The calamine was washed near the pits and then calcined (roasted) on Malham Moor at the smelt mill near Lower Trenhouse, which was altered for this purpose. Its chimney can still be seen beside the Cove Road down to Malham village. It was fuelled with coke produced on Fountains Fell. The finished product was transported by pack horse and cart to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal wharves in Gargrave. The industry flourished between 1800 and 1830, supplying zinc ore mainly to the brass makers of Cheadle, Staffordshire.

Malham calamine mine MYD25434 (c) YDNPA, 2023

Malham calamine mine MYD25434 (c) YDNPA, 2023


Raistrick, Arthur (1947) Malham & Malham Moor. Clapham: Dalesman


Take Cove road north from Malham for 1 1/2 miles to Langscar Gate (cattle grid). Turn east on byway for 400 metres, then turn south west for 1/2 mile to Nappa Gate. Site can be viewed from here. Deep mine shafts, do not leave path.

Public Transport Details

Nearest town/village: Malham. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 885 for North Yorkshire information.


Footpaths are rough and steep in places.