Beckwith’s Mine Chimney Loses Its Top

Beckwith’s Mine lies in an isolated and lonely stretch of countryside located in Glen Rushen, on the west coast of the Island, its ruins a reminder of better days before the mining community left to seek pastures new, but today the mine is in the news again after recent gales finally toppled several feet of its characteristic leaning chimney.

Bricks from its wavering stack lie scattered for some distance amongst the undergrowth which grows around the remains of the disused mine which opened in 1831, after the surprise discovery of lead ore, found trapped in the spokes of a cartwheel. It’s the most westerly of the Foxdale group of mines, with its vein (known as the Foxdale shear) runs from west to east through Cross’s Mine, Dixon’s Mine and the main Foxdale group; a total of 13 mines. The mine experienced many problems and closed in 1879, although it was actually quite productive for some considerable time, eventually reaching a depth of 185 fathoms.


The chimney which marks the site of the engine shaft has withstood westerly winds for almost 150 years, but has now finally succumbed to some of the strong gales which battered the Island towards the end of April.


Valerie Caine © April 2012