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This substantial stone column constructed from craftsman cut limestone blocks, reportedly in 1881, now stands incongruously at the north side of the country road from Little Urswick to Dalton in Furness.  Within living memory it was one of two, the other being on the camera side of the road directly opposite the one seen here.  The distant hill reaching to the skyline in the left photograph is Lindal Moor, the location of world scale haematite mining in the nineteenth century where numerous pits with their accompanying headgear, engine house chimneys, and a complex of railway tracks were to be seen.  Despite the massive scale of that operation, other than the scarred landscape, there is virtually nothing left of that mining heritage which had such a profound impact on the economy and industrialisation of the Furness peninsula.  There were other more scattered mines seeking out veins of the same ore between Lindal Moor and the position of the camera.   One of those mines, known as Pinder Ring Pit, was located behind the stone column, and spoil heaps associated with that operation may be seen to the left and right behind the column.  This pit was sunk in 1872 to a level of 111 metres and stopped working in 1890 due to flooding.  In the vicinity of and behind the camera was a later mine known as Grievson Pit which was sunk in 1881 and initially worked at a level of 33 metres but was sunk deeper in 1906.  Both of those pits were serviced with a rail line coming up from Lindal in Furness where the main line of the Furness Railway passed through.  It is understood from maps of the time that the rail line to Grievson Pit crossed the road to the west of the column and that the two columns supported an elevated tramway which may have carried ore from the Pinder Ring to a rail siding at the Grievson Pit, or may have instead or additionally carried spoil in the opposite direction.  Prominent spoil heaps on both sides of the road can be recalled within living memory but all trace of mining at Grievson Pit has now disappeared.  The Pinder Ring Pit was dismantled in 1897 and its buildings demolished in 1905.  Work at the Grievson Pit ceased in 1914.  This column, together with the old engine house chimney of Woodbine mine 2.7 km to the south west, popularly known locally as Dicky Pink, are the only prominent and distinctive structures remaining of the former extensive haematite mining industry of rural Low Furness.

Ref:  The Red Earth by David Kelly ISBN 0 9534779 0 8

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