Date Made/Found: 1600-1700
Material and Medium: Iron
Dimensions: Length 325mm, width 140mm
Place Object Found:
Accession Number: J1957.59
This shovel is one of a group of mining tools from Odin Mine in Castleton. They were collected by the Victorian antiquarian Rooke Pennington. This lead mine was first recorded about 1280. It was still working into the 1800s.
This shovel is made of iron. The main part of the blade survives, as does the pointed tang which fitted into the handle. The handle was made of wood and has largely rotted away.
Shovels like this had many uses during the processing of lead ore, both underground and on the surface. Lead mining was done largely by hand. The early miners worked deposits at or near the surface. Only in the Medieval period did they begin to work underground. The development of better ways of draining and ventilating underground workings allowed this to expand. The use of gunpowder for blasting was introduced in the 17th century. However, the tools the miners used changed little over time. Pick, shovels and hammers were the essential tools.